Mike Strange: SEC will have to reckon with Vols after all

Mike Strange
Advocate staff photo by RICHARD ALAN HANNON --  Tennessee Volunteers guard Darius Thompson (15) is pressured by LSU Tigers forward Jarell Martin (12) as LSU Tigers guard Malik Morgan (24) looks on during the second half on Tuesday in the Maravich Center.

Photo by RICHARD ALAN HANNON, © 2014 The Advocate

Advocate staff photo by RICHARD ALAN HANNON -- Tennessee Volunteers guard Darius Thompson (15) is pressured by LSU Tigers forward Jarell Martin (12) as LSU Tigers guard Malik Morgan (24) looks on during the second half on Tuesday in the Maravich Center.

BATON ROUGE, La. On the first possession of the first SEC road game, senior Jordan McRae dropped a pass out of bounds. Uncontested turnover.

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Comments » 13

johnlg00 writes:

This was a virtually ideal rendition of Keady ball at its best. The Vols were excellent on offense for at least 30 minutes of the the game. They did struggle a bit with the press, which could be a disturbing sign going forward, but their own defense was about as good as it has been lately. It seemed that the Vols dominated their defensive board in the second half, depriving LSU any chance of getting back in the game by way of putbacks. Stokes and Maymon got a few swatted but they kept putting them up, scoring on some, getting fouled on others, and making some nice scoring passes. They will win most of the games in which they play as well as they did tonight.

VibrantVol writes:

Finally a good job from our ample talent on the road. Not sure we can credit Martin's coaching. The Pete Maravich Center was mostly empty. Sad that a major city like Baton Rouge doesn't support LSU men's basketball very well at all.

johnlg00 writes:

in response to VibrantVol:

Finally a good job from our ample talent on the road. Not sure we can credit Martin's coaching. The Pete Maravich Center was mostly empty. Sad that a major city like Baton Rouge doesn't support LSU men's basketball very well at all.

That was a rather back-handed compliment. If the coach is going to take all the blame when they lose, doesn't he get some credit when they win? The Tiger team is better than their fans, but that takes nothing away from a dominating UT performance. The Vols completely cut out their hearts in a situation where many doubted them going in.

no1djkb#278630 writes:

in response to VibrantVol:

Finally a good job from our ample talent on the road. Not sure we can credit Martin's coaching. The Pete Maravich Center was mostly empty. Sad that a major city like Baton Rouge doesn't support LSU men's basketball very well at all.

See my point. What kind of comment was that? You blame him for the loses but don't give him credit for the win. Give me a break

atnvol#283282 writes:

It sure was a surprising outcome to me. I am appreciative and look forward to maybe things changing for the better in 2014....in all of the athletic programs at our university of choice.

magicbyswh#221420 writes:

Wow I was impressed. Maybe they are actually one of the better teams in the SEC. We will see over the next few weeks. I think that was the quietest SEC
crowds I ever heard from start to finish. The crowd did nothing to help LSU period.

atchleyaaron#1420833 writes:

in response to magicbyswh#221420:

Wow I was impressed. Maybe they are actually one of the better teams in the SEC. We will see over the next few weeks. I think that was the quietest SEC
crowds I ever heard from start to finish. The crowd did nothing to help LSU period.

They looked and acted like our crowd when we played North Carolina State.

johnlg00 writes:

Gotta say, I was as "surprised" and "impressed" as anybody by the thoroughness of the beating. I would have thought that if the Vols won, it would be because of a brilliant performance by McRae or another outburst by somebody like Richardson. For them to have won by carrying out a winning game plan to near perfection for most of the game was an outcome I could have only wished for. Just how many more such performances they can come up with is a mystery for the future, but they have come up with four straight like this so far. They might just be getting the hang of this game.

bUTch__please writes:

Good step. Road wins are 2A gold. As long as Stokes and Maymon continue to play as bigs - boards, put backs and defense - that will allow the rest of the team room for their role. Thank goodness Richardson has come out of his shell. His offensive contributions go far beyond just his line. McRae now has a little extra room to get that second step and seems to be playing looser without all the scoring burden on him. Barton is coming into his own, would be nice if he'd play with his head up a little more earlier in the possession, but maybe that'll come. The most noticeable change that Coach Zo has made is slowing down that disjointed substitution off of the bench. Letting the big dogs eat and play the game. Now, defend the house against A&M.

johnlg00 writes:

in response to bUTch__please:

Good step. Road wins are 2A gold. As long as Stokes and Maymon continue to play as bigs - boards, put backs and defense - that will allow the rest of the team room for their role. Thank goodness Richardson has come out of his shell. His offensive contributions go far beyond just his line. McRae now has a little extra room to get that second step and seems to be playing looser without all the scoring burden on him. Barton is coming into his own, would be nice if he'd play with his head up a little more earlier in the possession, but maybe that'll come. The most noticeable change that Coach Zo has made is slowing down that disjointed substitution off of the bench. Letting the big dogs eat and play the game. Now, defend the house against A&M.

Perhaps the best of it was that the defense took LSU out of everything they wanted to run without committing a lot of silly fouls. When guys aren't getting in early foul trouble, they can stay in the game longer. The guys still aren't quite as "high and hot" with their hands--a nod to ESPN analyst Jimmy Dykes--as I would like, but they are moving their feet and at times the defense is stifling.

fannotsheep writes:

Wait and see is the only thing I can say. Give Martin credit for having the team ready and give the players credit for the meeting after the embarrassing loss to NC State. But the Vols won't shoot over 50 percent from outside the three point line forever and we will have to see how they handle it when McRae misses a long range shot (if he ever does). In the meantime just enjoy the performance. If you've read any of my posts in the past several years you know I love Pearl -- but if Martin can make these performances become more commonplace I will be squarely in his corner.

johnlg00 writes:

in response to fannotsheep:

Wait and see is the only thing I can say. Give Martin credit for having the team ready and give the players credit for the meeting after the embarrassing loss to NC State. But the Vols won't shoot over 50 percent from outside the three point line forever and we will have to see how they handle it when McRae misses a long range shot (if he ever does). In the meantime just enjoy the performance. If you've read any of my posts in the past several years you know I love Pearl -- but if Martin can make these performances become more commonplace I will be squarely in his corner.

We will not know until the end of the season what their record will be, but I really think they have reached a whole new level of awareness of how they have to play. Yes, they need to do a better job of advancing against a press and they haven't come close to tapping the full potential of the press themselves. They also go long stretches not turning the ball over at all. No, they likely won't make all of those 3-pointers, but they are getting good looks in rhythm that can be offensively rebounded. Almost any team can have fatal lulls in the offense, but the Vols are also playing better defense than most. As I said on another thread, it may be too early to call this a trend, but it is surely a chain of similar instances. If they keep doing it, they can go far.

murrayvol writes:

Every game in the SEC is a "must win" for every team excepting UK, FU, and Mizzou (jury's still out on Arkansas). Those three teams are the only "NCAA locks" in our conference. Until our out of conference winning percentage (vs quality competition) improves, we will get no love from the selection committee.

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