Following Kentucky loss, Jarnell Stokes campaigns for Vols to play faster

Tennessee head coach Cuonzo Martin huddles with his players on the sideline during a timeout in the second half at University of Kentucky's Rupp Arena in Lexington on Saturday, Jan. 18, 2014. Tennessee lost 74-66. (ADAM LAU/NEWS SENTINEL)

Photo by Adam Lau

Tennessee head coach Cuonzo Martin huddles with his players on the sideline during a timeout in the second half at University of Kentucky's Rupp Arena in Lexington on Saturday, Jan. 18, 2014. Tennessee lost 74-66. (ADAM LAU/NEWS SENTINEL)

The play occurred in that narrow gray area between control and chaos.

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Comments » 6

underthehill writes:

It would improve the chances of this team to win if they were more prepared to make changes during the game..speeding up the tempo..changing defenses to fit the game situation..being predictable gives the opponent an edge the Vols cannot afford..and they are predictable ..

wigmeister writes:

Coach is incapable of making the necessary changes either at half time or on the fly. Just like Derek Dooley.

VibrantVol writes:

Even the players can see we have no gameday coaching. This is the beginning of a rift. There will be more dissension. Stokes will definitely leave after this season if we don't get another coach. Rumor is that Pearl is wanted by Alabama & maybe a couple of other SEC schools. We are fools if Cheek isn't persuaded to rehire him.

slb1zellwood#1421797 writes:

in response to wigmeister:

Coach is incapable of making the necessary changes either at half time or on the fly. Just like Derek Dooley.

I would have to agree with you about that. The offensive scheme that this team uses is hard for me to watch and I'm not even a die hard basketball fan who only watches the Vols play. How you real basketball fans endure is beyond me.

RoadTrip writes:

Most of us have been saying what Jarnell said for the past three seasons. Trying to run a half court system with full court, transition type players and no true PG is insane. Add in they have no bigs with length to defend the basket or be successful in the post up game. I just don't think Zo knows how to do it any differently. He is the Dools of basketball - just is a better person. But I am tired of millionaire coaches being dumber than a box of rocks at what they get paid to do.

johnlg00 writes:

If the Vols could produce more than one stretch a game like the first 15 minutes or so of the UK game, and cut out the self-inflicted wounds, they would win every remaining game on the schedule. If they happen to also be hitting 3-pointers and FTs on most such nights, they should win big.

As I see it, Martin has something of a dilemma on his hands. All his experience and instincts incline him to want to control as much of the action on the court as possible. Gene Keady was a pretty animated personality who exerted a lot of control on the court. Martin prefers to train the players to play under control so he doesn't have to constantly prod them to play under control.

The following is not intended as analyis of someone else's mind, it is merely my attempt to link what I see on the court with the mental/emotional states that might produce them. Martin doesn't seem to have the personality to control the game in real time from the sidelines in much useful detail anyway. He thinks, as many successful coaches do, that most of his work is done in practice, in player development, in defining roles, and in preparing game plans. Side-line coaching is an art that few master, and some of the masters neglect some of the other good things that Martin rightly emphasizes.

There are many admirable things about Martin's apparent philosophy, but excessive dedication to creating even a very sound, winning, long-range program at the cost of creating maximum success with the team at hand, likely means that there won't BE a long-range program. This is especially true when virtually everybody recognizes in the current team a collection of experience, depth, and talent that very few can match.

The problem with system coaches is that while the system may well guarantee a certain level of success, only superior talent used to the fullest will take you to the highest level. I think this is what people fear about Martin. If he shows he can't coach talent, then he won't have much future talent to coach. Let 'em play! Compromising on principles is not necessary; being more flexible in defining principles, and choosing and enforcing appropriate game tactics IS necessary.

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