Mike Strange: This loss should never have happened

Mike Strange
Tennessee forward Jeronne Maymon (34), guard Jordan McRae (52), guard Antonio Barton (2), and forward Jarnell Stokes (5), from left, confer while waiting for Texas A&M players to return to the court during the second half at the Thompson-Boling Arena in Knoxville on Saturday, Jan. 11, 2014. (ADAM LAU/NEWS SENTINEL)

Photo by Adam Lau

Tennessee forward Jeronne Maymon (34), guard Jordan McRae (52), guard Antonio Barton (2), and forward Jarnell Stokes (5), from left, confer while waiting for Texas A&M players to return to the court during the second half at the Thompson-Boling Arena in Knoxville on Saturday, Jan. 11, 2014. (ADAM LAU/NEWS SENTINEL)

File this one among the most, uh, let’s say surprising losses in recent Tennessee basketball history.

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Comments » 35

oldster writes:

Change the name of the team to "The Little Girl with a Curl."

OrangePride writes:

One must really wonder just what is going on with Tennessee basketball. To squander a big lead against this so so club, allow BIG baskets down the stretch with scrambling, out of sorts defense, and yet again go thru a half of basketball where we just about can't throw the ball in the ocean is just a mystery. Who are these Jeykle and Hyde's? Who is running this show? NCAA Tournament questions? Really?? Just don't see how this squad will ever be consistent enough to get it done. All this talent and we have tonight, UTEP, and NC State on our sheet. Sorry Mike, you don't go far enough...this "season" should never have happened!

tgggovols#1425081 writes:

Pitiful!

murrayvol writes:

Tough! No, not really.

Fishpants writes:

The slightest bit of success makes them cocky and lazy. Cuonzo can't seem to fix it. They need to be merciless when they get a lead instead of basking in it.

seaplane#216536 writes:

Sloppy team play. Uninspired.

wilk58 writes:

Players meetings, tempo, etc. bottom line if shots don't fall this teams mental toughness is lacking. It's like they go into panic mode threes early in shot clock, dribbling against double and triple teams. Oh we'll bring on Auburn.

oldster writes:

44 shots in a 40 minute game that has a 30 second shot clock is unlikely to win anyone many games.

volnsc writes:

Hey, I had this one in the win column. Apparently the Vols did also.

tntuba#225866 writes:

It's odd how this works out. You play a faster, uptempo game, you score 70-80 points you win...you play slow,boring ball, you score less than 60...you lose.

If you really think this coaching staff is going to "get it done" at UT then you are doing as much damage to UT B.Ball as they are.

Let's go talk to Billy Donlon, John Becker, Tim Cluess, Dave Paulsen, Keith Dambrot, Leon Rice, Randy Rahe, Michael White, Shaka Smart(Long Shot), Tom Herrion....I could keep going....but these are all good college coaches (most of whom have at least coached a NCAA tournament game) who are considered to be rising stars and are at smaller programs. Heck at this point we might even consider calling Mike Rice...we could get him cheap.

I post that list of names is response to all the people who always say "Who are we going to get." There is ALWAYS someone out there we can get. The biggest issue we are going to have is actually coming off some SERIOUS money and making a REAL basketball hire. Until we do that it's just going to be more of the same.

Go Vols.....we deserve better than we are getting!!!!!

forkball writes:

I'm pulling hard for you Coach, but why, for the second consecutive game, do you throw the ball into the corner against the press?

utfans#211352 writes:

Martin is a class act, I really pull for him but when you have a much more talented and deeper team playing at home and you lose it is on the coach. I didn't see any reaction or strategy when this game started slipping away. This team should be a 1 or 2 loss team at this point.

Plasticman85 writes:

Top 25 talent with bottom 25 coaching = losing games you shouldn't lose. It's been happening for 3 years now.. When is Hart going to get serious about UT Basketball and hire a top notch coach?

vols1002 writes:

Out coached again!! at end after they shot and hit 3 pointer we had 3 time out left no one from the bench calls time out to set up a play they look like a deer in the headlight. Time for Dave Hart To call BRUCE PEARL before he is offered another coaching gig at another SEC school.

Plasticman85 writes:

in response to vols1002:

Out coached again!! at end after they shot and hit 3 pointer we had 3 time out left no one from the bench calls time out to set up a play they look like a deer in the headlight. Time for Dave Hart To call BRUCE PEARL before he is offered another coaching gig at another SEC school.

Yes!

WaitUntilNextYear writes:

in response to vols1002:

Out coached again!! at end after they shot and hit 3 pointer we had 3 time out left no one from the bench calls time out to set up a play they look like a deer in the headlight. Time for Dave Hart To call BRUCE PEARL before he is offered another coaching gig at another SEC school.

Pearl isn't coming.....
If you were ever at Pearl's games he always did the same thing with under 5 seconds
Again, was too much revisionist history, Pearl's last two years were a joke with the talent he had
This loss was on the seniors not the Coach, they are losers that don't know how to handle some success and find a way to win.
The first half there was ball movement and D, they got up 14 and the ball movement and D stopped. Coach Martin didn't tell them to "get happy" and stand around. The 22 year old men plus one headband wearing lazy turnover machine did it very we'll on their own.
This team is like the rest on campus, they are immature, can't handle success and find every opportunity to lose.
Tennessee is soft across the board mentally with no desire for excellence exhibited by the players.
It is now Loserville!

IndianOutlaw writes:

I will always support UT. Regardless of whom the players are whom the coaches happen to be at that time. Clearly their is a disconnect between this team and the game of basketball. The key is that it is a game to me and my life will go on "win or lose". Ultimately tho the Head Coach of the team will pay the price of the disconnect between the game and the team. It should not be just a game to him and i truly believe it is not. I really believe that this is eating up a good man. I pray that he can reconnect this team with the game. Well you know what will happen if he does not. At ground zero again.

WaitUntilNextYear writes:

I wish some of the Coach haters really knew BB and occasionally bought a ticket and sat in TBA without the revisionist history and hyperbole.
The Vols had 16 turnovers last night just like at LSU. Maymon missed a gimme layup, the front end of a 1/1, and then 2 more missed free throws all under 2 minutes after Barton hit his 2 ft's which any of which would have iced the game.
You criticize Martin with 4.4 seconds left for not using a TO, why not criticize your All -SEC senior McCrae for getting caught in the corner and committing an offensive foul instead of calling a TO or throwing the ball off of one of the A&M players...that was stupid. Why did they start jacking 3's from players with 10 minutes to go that missed and led to the A&M comeback?
Martin didn't slow down the game the players did by standing around. If you watched his coaching he was imploring them to move the ball.
The LSU victory with sloppy play happened because Barton hit 4 threes, others were hot, LSU is terrible and the shots were falling.
Stupidity, laziness, happiness, arrogance, moving screens, missed shots, turnovers, missed 1/1's and FT's in general and no sense of urgency got this team again. It was pathetic watching A&M run down the lane in the last 7 minutes throwing up lay ups while the Vols watched.
After Barton hit his FT's Coach Martin called TO to set up the D, the guard from A&M proceeded to run down the court into the lane and hit a layup while Stokes, Maymon and others just stood there while he ran by. That was the 2nd half players!
Coach Martin didn't tell this team to stop playing in the second half after getting up 14. This senior laden team chose to squander this one with their inept second half play.
Coach Martin and Coach Warlick are getting a bad rap for lazy inconsistent teams in Orange.
Go to a game sometime and see what is really happening.
When are the fans going to start holding the players accountable for losing?

underthehill writes:

Like others who have posted..I still hope Martin becomes a good coach ..he is not one now..Strange seldom tells it like it is..but in this case ..it was too obvious to deny..this loss should not have happened..too many obvious things to mention that could have made a difference ..I thought we should have fouled Caruso before he passed to the 3 point shooter..with a 2 point lead ..even if he hit both free throws ..you would have had 10 seconds to win the game..I also thought McRae was fouled and the foul was called on him..Strange makes the point McRae could have called time out..Stokes ended up with 2 fouls for the game and spent 16 min on the bench ..no adjustment on defense when Caruso was taking it to the basket anytime he wanted..I thought his was the biggest reason A&M got back in the game..plus they shot the 3's better than the Vols the 2nd half..bottom line is like Strange says...this should not have happened..it was too big of a game to give it away..if they had earned it ..I would have had no complaints..they did not earn it..the Vols gave it away..

volnsc writes:

in response to WaitUntilNextYear:

I wish some of the Coach haters really knew BB and occasionally bought a ticket and sat in TBA without the revisionist history and hyperbole.
The Vols had 16 turnovers last night just like at LSU. Maymon missed a gimme layup, the front end of a 1/1, and then 2 more missed free throws all under 2 minutes after Barton hit his 2 ft's which any of which would have iced the game.
You criticize Martin with 4.4 seconds left for not using a TO, why not criticize your All -SEC senior McCrae for getting caught in the corner and committing an offensive foul instead of calling a TO or throwing the ball off of one of the A&M players...that was stupid. Why did they start jacking 3's from players with 10 minutes to go that missed and led to the A&M comeback?
Martin didn't slow down the game the players did by standing around. If you watched his coaching he was imploring them to move the ball.
The LSU victory with sloppy play happened because Barton hit 4 threes, others were hot, LSU is terrible and the shots were falling.
Stupidity, laziness, happiness, arrogance, moving screens, missed shots, turnovers, missed 1/1's and FT's in general and no sense of urgency got this team again. It was pathetic watching A&M run down the lane in the last 7 minutes throwing up lay ups while the Vols watched.
After Barton hit his FT's Coach Martin called TO to set up the D, the guard from A&M proceeded to run down the court into the lane and hit a layup while Stokes, Maymon and others just stood there while he ran by. That was the 2nd half players!
Coach Martin didn't tell this team to stop playing in the second half after getting up 14. This senior laden team chose to squander this one with their inept second half play.
Coach Martin and Coach Warlick are getting a bad rap for lazy inconsistent teams in Orange.
Go to a game sometime and see what is really happening.
When are the fans going to start holding the players accountable for losing?

The "fans" don't much care how its done as long as it gets done. It ain't gettin' done. OK. Lazy players? Get them off the court and play those that aren't lazy. I'd rather lose with enthusiasm than lose with apathy or a giant choke. Some things can't be coached, but foul shooting can be. Basic entry passes against the press can be. Cutting off the ball being driven down the middle can be. Now this might call for a public dressing down during a game but so be it. Martin needs to hold the players accountable. It is not the "fans" responsibility to hold the players accountable. It is the "fans" right to critique the coach, players, and administration when under achieving is obvious.

atnvol#283282 writes:

in response to utfans#211352:

Martin is a class act, I really pull for him but when you have a much more talented and deeper team playing at home and you lose it is on the coach. I didn't see any reaction or strategy when this game started slipping away. This team should be a 1 or 2 loss team at this point.

I didn't see any reaction or strategy either when the game was dreadfully slipping in the last 7 minutes.....like a auto accident about to happen, and not being able to do anything about it. Coaching is the real heartbreaker involving this team.

ut_man1#1427524 writes:

in response to WaitUntilNextYear:

Pearl isn't coming.....
If you were ever at Pearl's games he always did the same thing with under 5 seconds
Again, was too much revisionist history, Pearl's last two years were a joke with the talent he had
This loss was on the seniors not the Coach, they are losers that don't know how to handle some success and find a way to win.
The first half there was ball movement and D, they got up 14 and the ball movement and D stopped. Coach Martin didn't tell them to "get happy" and stand around. The 22 year old men plus one headband wearing lazy turnover machine did it very we'll on their own.
This team is like the rest on campus, they are immature, can't handle success and find every opportunity to lose.
Tennessee is soft across the board mentally with no desire for excellence exhibited by the players.
It is now Loserville!

Since 2002 the men's basketball ball team has lost 153 games! The football team has lost 65 games! Wow we have a great sports program LMAO!

ut_man1#1427524 writes:

in response to ut_man1#1427524:

Since 2002 the men's basketball ball team has lost 153 games! The football team has lost 65 games! Wow we have a great sports program LMAO!

AND YES I AGREE WITH YOUR COMMENT 100%

johnlg00 writes:

Certainly a bounteous feast of food for thought on the board today. REALLY disappointing loss in several respects. I have no explanation and thus have no remedy for players who cannot rise consistently to an occasion.

That said, just about every other team in the whole country has shown alarming tendencies to play badly on occasion this season. Yesterday in the ACC, Duke, UNC, Wake Forest, and NC State all lost on the same day for the first time in forever. Their respective conquerors were Clemson, Syracuse, Pitt, and UVA. Now, admittedly Syracuse's zone defense might be the toughest in America, but UNC--victor over UK, Louisville, and Mich State--could only cough up FORTY-FIVE points, the same amount recorded by NC State in losing to UVA by THIRTY-ONE!

There is a faction of "fans" who would trade UT coaches and players with most of those programs; almost any SEC fan, other than UK fans, would trade lifetime program success with any of those. Did those coaches and players just FORGET how to play? Did UT's?

As far as I can tell, everybody is vulnerable to everybody else, and there are countless programs which could finish anywhere from first to 40th. It just all comes down to which team is RELATIVELY more dialed-in on a given night, since there is clearly a great and wide distribution of adequate talent across the country, along with a relative LACK of teams that are a) deeply talented, b) consistently cohesive, and c) well-coached.

johnlg00 writes:

in response to WaitUntilNextYear:

I wish some of the Coach haters really knew BB and occasionally bought a ticket and sat in TBA without the revisionist history and hyperbole.
The Vols had 16 turnovers last night just like at LSU. Maymon missed a gimme layup, the front end of a 1/1, and then 2 more missed free throws all under 2 minutes after Barton hit his 2 ft's which any of which would have iced the game.
You criticize Martin with 4.4 seconds left for not using a TO, why not criticize your All -SEC senior McCrae for getting caught in the corner and committing an offensive foul instead of calling a TO or throwing the ball off of one of the A&M players...that was stupid. Why did they start jacking 3's from players with 10 minutes to go that missed and led to the A&M comeback?
Martin didn't slow down the game the players did by standing around. If you watched his coaching he was imploring them to move the ball.
The LSU victory with sloppy play happened because Barton hit 4 threes, others were hot, LSU is terrible and the shots were falling.
Stupidity, laziness, happiness, arrogance, moving screens, missed shots, turnovers, missed 1/1's and FT's in general and no sense of urgency got this team again. It was pathetic watching A&M run down the lane in the last 7 minutes throwing up lay ups while the Vols watched.
After Barton hit his FT's Coach Martin called TO to set up the D, the guard from A&M proceeded to run down the court into the lane and hit a layup while Stokes, Maymon and others just stood there while he ran by. That was the 2nd half players!
Coach Martin didn't tell this team to stop playing in the second half after getting up 14. This senior laden team chose to squander this one with their inept second half play.
Coach Martin and Coach Warlick are getting a bad rap for lazy inconsistent teams in Orange.
Go to a game sometime and see what is really happening.
When are the fans going to start holding the players accountable for losing?

Gotta say, I agree with nearly all of this. I think Martin has done a much better job lately of planning and orchestrating a game--not perfectly, perhaps, but apparently more effectively than he had earlier in the season. There just has to be performance by players who are capable of performing. Of course, every player is responsible for his own free throws. In general, if one is down, the others have to step up. There has been help from hitherto unsuspected sources; maybe they can take some of the pressure off the Big Three. They have on occasion found the almost mystical groove that great teams get into, but they don't yet trust their own vision. Great ball occurs when good players make decisive plays because the whole team is working to make it happen.

RogVOL writes:

I was at the game. I don't normally complain a lot about the officiating, but last night it seemed like they let A&M get away with a lot they called on the Vols. I got the feeling they were out to get McRae.

underthehill writes:

in response to johnlg00:

Gotta say, I agree with nearly all of this. I think Martin has done a much better job lately of planning and orchestrating a game--not perfectly, perhaps, but apparently more effectively than he had earlier in the season. There just has to be performance by players who are capable of performing. Of course, every player is responsible for his own free throws. In general, if one is down, the others have to step up. There has been help from hitherto unsuspected sources; maybe they can take some of the pressure off the Big Three. They have on occasion found the almost mystical groove that great teams get into, but they don't yet trust their own vision. Great ball occurs when good players make decisive plays because the whole team is working to make it happen.

John ..I'm gonna have to strongly disagree that Martin has done a better job of game planning..taking players out just because they have 2 fouls is not working..it is making them tentative and unable to contribute as they should when they return to action..Stokes and McRae should have played more..Stokes ended up with 2 fouls..being predictable on defense is the same as when MTSU waxed the Vols in the NIT..the opponent takes it to the basket and shoots layups or gets fouled..like Caruso did the 2nd half..a local sports show covered these points very well today..UT is giving away too much in these areas to win close games..they have got to learn to play some effective zone and keep their best players on the floor..

Slats writes:

in response to underthehill:

John ..I'm gonna have to strongly disagree that Martin has done a better job of game planning..taking players out just because they have 2 fouls is not working..it is making them tentative and unable to contribute as they should when they return to action..Stokes and McRae should have played more..Stokes ended up with 2 fouls..being predictable on defense is the same as when MTSU waxed the Vols in the NIT..the opponent takes it to the basket and shoots layups or gets fouled..like Caruso did the 2nd half..a local sports show covered these points very well today..UT is giving away too much in these areas to win close games..they have got to learn to play some effective zone and keep their best players on the floor..

-------------
Disagree regarding Stokes, he should have been on the bench the entire game! He looked like he was in a daze! Should have been drug tested immediately after the game? Wasting a lot of talent and will never play after college if he don't pick his game up!

maciste54 writes:

The Vols played the second half 5 on 4 most of the time and sometimes 6 on 4 counting horrible refs. Stokes should have sat the entire second half. AWFUL !!!

johnlg00 writes:

in response to underthehill:

John ..I'm gonna have to strongly disagree that Martin has done a better job of game planning..taking players out just because they have 2 fouls is not working..it is making them tentative and unable to contribute as they should when they return to action..Stokes and McRae should have played more..Stokes ended up with 2 fouls..being predictable on defense is the same as when MTSU waxed the Vols in the NIT..the opponent takes it to the basket and shoots layups or gets fouled..like Caruso did the 2nd half..a local sports show covered these points very well today..UT is giving away too much in these areas to win close games..they have got to learn to play some effective zone and keep their best players on the floor..

Are you saying that the Vols DIDN'T actually play with both more structure and fluidity in the previous several games than they had before? Before last night, of course. The thing is, they lost games the same way earlier as they lost the one last night. Then they seemed to get things together for a few games and then backslid. In other words, they stopped shooting themselves in the foot and let their talent carry them. I would argue that that was a stretch of good coaching. I would also say that while one may make any prejudgment they are comfortable with, the season isn't over yet. The team will likely be up and down another time or two, so if you don't have the stomach to watch, don't watch. There aren't too many fan bases anywhere who are all just tickled with the way their team is performing. I guess if enough people don't watch and the team doesn't win--for certain values of "win"--they'll dump Martin and try somebody else. That prospect doesn't cheer me as much as it probably would some others on here.

tntuba#225866 writes:

The people who continue to blindly support this coach remind me SO much of those who blindly supported Dooley.

I am a season ticket holder for both Football and Basketball, I do go to the games, I do have a degree from the school, I do have a Power T tattooed on my arm,

I do understand the game of basketball. I have sat in that arena for SEC games with less than 5,000 people in the building when Kevin Oneal was the coach...and I "suffered" through having my seats moved when everyone showed up to the games when Pearl showed up.

Tennessee Fans are hungry to win. For the last three years we haven't had much at all to cheer for in Football or Men's Basketball. You can't hold anyone but the coach responsible for lazy play on the court. Especially when he does NOTHING about it.

At the beginning of the year EVERYONE said he had to get this team to the tournament or he had to go.

So here we sit at 10-5

We have 16 games left to play and only 3 of those games being vs top 25 teams (2 to Florida and 1 to Kentucky).

Our RPI is currently 55. Of our 16 games left we play Missouri (RPI 43) twice, Kentucky (RPI 20) and Florida (RPI 9) twice. Those are our only chances to improve.

The rest of the schedule is: Auburn (RPI 168) Twice, Georgia (RPI 160) twice, Miss St (RPI 135), Vandy (RPI 134) twice, Just got beat by RPI 133 Texas A&M and must play them once more, Bama (RPI 110), South Carolina (RPI 109), Ole Miss (RPI 80) and Arkansas (RPI 80).

The best wins of the season are Wake Forrest (RPI 64), Xavier (RPI 34) and Virgina (RPI 22)
The worst losses are UTEP (RPI 162), Texas A&M (RPI 133) and NC State (RPI 71)

With the SEC being as weak as it is, our out of conference schedule being so week, our losses to weak teams and no real signature win...we have got to seriously go 14-2 possibly 13-3 or win the SEC Tournament to even have a prayer of getting into the tournament.

I don't see us going 14-2 or 13-3 and I sure as hell don't see us winning the Conference Tournament

Coach Martin might be the nicest guy to EVER coach a game of basketball.....but he's just not getting it done

In before the TLDR posts.

irishcoffee writes:

we were up by 14 at half time with reese, moore, thompson and edwards playing substantial minutes. however, i don't think moore or edwards saw the second half, with reese and thompson just playing sparingly. i don't understand that one.

underthehill writes:

in response to johnlg00:

Are you saying that the Vols DIDN'T actually play with both more structure and fluidity in the previous several games than they had before? Before last night, of course. The thing is, they lost games the same way earlier as they lost the one last night. Then they seemed to get things together for a few games and then backslid. In other words, they stopped shooting themselves in the foot and let their talent carry them. I would argue that that was a stretch of good coaching. I would also say that while one may make any prejudgment they are comfortable with, the season isn't over yet. The team will likely be up and down another time or two, so if you don't have the stomach to watch, don't watch. There aren't too many fan bases anywhere who are all just tickled with the way their team is performing. I guess if enough people don't watch and the team doesn't win--for certain values of "win"--they'll dump Martin and try somebody else. That prospect doesn't cheer me as much as it probably would some others on here.

The point was made on a Sunday talk show that UT won a couple of games with fantastic outside shooting that we knew would not continue and when it failed they had nothing else to turn to that would help them win..John ..I agree 100% with you that it would be best if Martin is a success and UT does not have to change coaches again..but Martin is not giving himself a chance or his team the best chance to win when he is predictable on defense..he is totally out of touch with today's game to think he can let the opponent know what he is going to do and make it so easy for them to prepare..the same on offense..you have to be prepared to change the offense when the opponent changes their defense..this coaching staff just does not appear capable of doing this..I like the way Martin has done better than Pearl in keeping his players out of court ..and I am pulling for him to be the best coach UT has ever had..but I really believe he is going to have to look at things that simply won't work and make some changes..such as coaching his team to play multiple defenses..what do you think would happen in football if your opponent knew exactly what you were going to do and knew you were not prepared to do anything else..the principle is the same in basketball..

westknoxrepub writes:

in response to WaitUntilNextYear:

I wish some of the Coach haters really knew BB and occasionally bought a ticket and sat in TBA without the revisionist history and hyperbole.
The Vols had 16 turnovers last night just like at LSU. Maymon missed a gimme layup, the front end of a 1/1, and then 2 more missed free throws all under 2 minutes after Barton hit his 2 ft's which any of which would have iced the game.
You criticize Martin with 4.4 seconds left for not using a TO, why not criticize your All -SEC senior McCrae for getting caught in the corner and committing an offensive foul instead of calling a TO or throwing the ball off of one of the A&M players...that was stupid. Why did they start jacking 3's from players with 10 minutes to go that missed and led to the A&M comeback?
Martin didn't slow down the game the players did by standing around. If you watched his coaching he was imploring them to move the ball.
The LSU victory with sloppy play happened because Barton hit 4 threes, others were hot, LSU is terrible and the shots were falling.
Stupidity, laziness, happiness, arrogance, moving screens, missed shots, turnovers, missed 1/1's and FT's in general and no sense of urgency got this team again. It was pathetic watching A&M run down the lane in the last 7 minutes throwing up lay ups while the Vols watched.
After Barton hit his FT's Coach Martin called TO to set up the D, the guard from A&M proceeded to run down the court into the lane and hit a layup while Stokes, Maymon and others just stood there while he ran by. That was the 2nd half players!
Coach Martin didn't tell this team to stop playing in the second half after getting up 14. This senior laden team chose to squander this one with their inept second half play.
Coach Martin and Coach Warlick are getting a bad rap for lazy inconsistent teams in Orange.
Go to a game sometime and see what is really happening.
When are the fans going to start holding the players accountable for losing?

Here are the numbers, not revisionist history, just solid numbers. . .
Pearl went to six straight NCAA tournaments

Martin has never been to an NCAA tournament and is unlikely to go this year

As for your comment about "lazy" players. . .they're HIS PLAYERS. Their performance is all on him, and again, HE'S NEVER BEEN TO THE TOURNAMENT, HE DOESN'T KNOW HOW TO WIN.

johnlg00 writes:

in response to underthehill:

The point was made on a Sunday talk show that UT won a couple of games with fantastic outside shooting that we knew would not continue and when it failed they had nothing else to turn to that would help them win..John ..I agree 100% with you that it would be best if Martin is a success and UT does not have to change coaches again..but Martin is not giving himself a chance or his team the best chance to win when he is predictable on defense..he is totally out of touch with today's game to think he can let the opponent know what he is going to do and make it so easy for them to prepare..the same on offense..you have to be prepared to change the offense when the opponent changes their defense..this coaching staff just does not appear capable of doing this..I like the way Martin has done better than Pearl in keeping his players out of court ..and I am pulling for him to be the best coach UT has ever had..but I really believe he is going to have to look at things that simply won't work and make some changes..such as coaching his team to play multiple defenses..what do you think would happen in football if your opponent knew exactly what you were going to do and knew you were not prepared to do anything else..the principle is the same in basketball..

I think we agree with each other for the most part on much about UT basketball. I have made many of these same criticisms of Martin's style if not necessarily of his philosophy. I have said for some time now that this season likely will and probably should determine his future.

He is not making a very good argument for himself right now--and neither is Holly, for that matter--but the season isn't over for either of them, and both HAVE made changes in directions many fans have hoped for. Most of us agree that the players are talented enough, whatever that actually means, to win if they could play consistently together. CCM and CHW are both rather conservative people--then again, look where they live--who are clinging to values, patterns, and symbols that were meaningful to them growing up.

That may be why enough changes may not be taking effect soon enough for anybody, but we won't know that until the season is over. In terms of basic values and decency, both could not fit this school and this region better. BUT! We all know they have to WIN at what we fans would like think of as our accustomed level.

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