Mike Strange: Gators were the tougher breed

Mike Strange
Tennessee coach Cuonzo Martin shouts out to his team during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game against Florida Saturday, Jan. 25, 2014, in Gainesville, Fla. (AP Photo/Phil Sandlin)

Tennessee coach Cuonzo Martin shouts out to his team during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game against Florida Saturday, Jan. 25, 2014, in Gainesville, Fla. (AP Photo/Phil Sandlin)

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — One team promotes “A Tougher Breed” as its brand. The other team was, in real life, a tougher breed.

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Comments » 15

WaitUntilNextYear writes:

Get rid of the "Tougher Breed" and "Grind For Nine!"
They are both shallow statements lacking the commitment.
Waste of ink that neither team really believes.

TommyJack writes:

Dave Hart! Seriously...

tenacvol#248890 writes:

Bruce Pearl and Butch Jones would make a pretty dynamic duo at UT! Just sayin….

ralphiefor3 writes:

This staff and team didn't know they needed to foul at the end of the ncst game to put the other team in the bonus. They make a lot of money to show such incompetence. Results like this are inevitable.

murrayvol writes:

"But how the Vols lost could be bothersome." Pretty sound summation Mike.

VibrantVol writes:

Cheek & Hart are total buffoons if they don't fire Martin & rehire Pearl. With all the talent we have, Pearl would've had this team at the top of the SEC right now. Instead we're in the bottom half of the league & falling.

Word has it that Alabama wants to hire Pearl. That would add insult to injury to UT fans, since he will wind up knocking us out of tournaments & beating us if we let them hire him.

Martin has never made it to the NCAA Tournament as a head coach & never will. He will never get a job at this level again. He has no clue how to design an offense. The stats today were atrocious.

We have more talent than we've had in ages. However, once these seniors leave & Stokes takes an early exit, our team will be decimated next season. We absolutely MUST fire Martin or our basketball program will fall off the map. It is practically irrelevant nationally now, & that is absolutely unacceptable for a program that has one of the biggest budgets in the country.

This guy posts as DeerPark12 on Hoopsville:

http://www.utsports.com/genrel/061702...

Check out his posts at this link, including his defense of Cheek:

http://mbd.scout.com/mb.aspx?s=7&...

As you can see from that link, most everyone else has called him out as a shill for the UT administration, of which he is a part. It is obvious that the attorney that UT hired conspired with UT & Cheek against Pearl to get him fired. Look at how another school that is mentioned in the link above is doing by thumbing their nose at the NCAA & keeping a coach that had a show cause order entered against their basketball coach & is doing well, which is what UT & Cheek should've done with Pearl if they had any backbone....

http://www.ucfknights.com/sports/m-ba...

http://espn.go.com/mens-college-baske...

Cheek was a fool not to keep Pearl & do the same thing UCF has done. They are achieving far more with a coach that can't recruit off campus than we are with one that can't coach at all.

johnlg00 writes:

Gotta say, the first time I heard that "tougher breed" tag line, I thought it represented more of an aspiration for the team on Martin's part than any actual attribute of theirs.

I know some disagree, but I don't have a general problem with what Martin seems to be trying to get them to do. He is not as adept as some at manipulating his lineups with a purpose or keeping the team focused.

One would hope that a team with as many experienced players as they have would have a better sense of that on their own. Still, even if the Vols' grave has been dug, so to speak, they still haven't come to rest at the bottom of it and the attendants are still leaning on their shovels.

magicbyswh#221420 writes:

BRUCEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE

oldster writes:

Not Bruce. He and his players disgraced the university and past actions are the best predictors of future behavior.

Get a coach that, unlike Martin AND Pearl, recognized the need for good shooters who may not fit their preferred mold of long and athletic. We need basketball players, not "Athelets".

murrayvol writes:

in response to johnlg00:

Gotta say, the first time I heard that "tougher breed" tag line, I thought it represented more of an aspiration for the team on Martin's part than any actual attribute of theirs.

I know some disagree, but I don't have a general problem with what Martin seems to be trying to get them to do. He is not as adept as some at manipulating his lineups with a purpose or keeping the team focused.

One would hope that a team with as many experienced players as they have would have a better sense of that on their own. Still, even if the Vols' grave has been dug, so to speak, they still haven't come to rest at the bottom of it and the attendants are still leaning on their shovels.

I really tried to keep watching that game yesterday john. Couldn't do it. Just too painful. The lion's share of blame falls on the coaching staff when a "supposedly" talented team simply can't compete.

We're dang close to February so this is not an "early season syndrome". We start 3 seniors and 2 juniors so it sure isn't youthful mistakes. When a team doesn't know how to break a press or run an offensive set, I'm drawn to the coaches for an explanation.

murrayvol writes:

in response to oldster:

Not Bruce. He and his players disgraced the university and past actions are the best predictors of future behavior.

Get a coach that, unlike Martin AND Pearl, recognized the need for good shooters who may not fit their preferred mold of long and athletic. We need basketball players, not "Athelets".

I'll take "athelets" for 600 oldster.:{)

bUTch__please writes:

in response to murrayvol:

I really tried to keep watching that game yesterday john. Couldn't do it. Just too painful. The lion's share of blame falls on the coaching staff when a "supposedly" talented team simply can't compete.

We're dang close to February so this is not an "early season syndrome". We start 3 seniors and 2 juniors so it sure isn't youthful mistakes. When a team doesn't know how to break a press or run an offensive set, I'm drawn to the coaches for an explanation.

Good post. Spot on.

They never press, so they don't know how to break it.
They never play zone, so they don't know what breaks it down.
They're told the ball must go inside to be successful, so when the defense packs the lane, OUR guys back out further towards mid-court and pass around for an opening instead of challenging the defense by attacking and kicking out.

They are lost with the ball in their hands and it isn't their fault...not after this amount of time and experience.

gohiking2#509686 writes:

Opinions are many and emotions are running high because of yesterday's humiliating loss and a season of inconsistency. But the fact is, this coaching staff and team are average at best. If average is what the UT administration wants, they have a coach that will deliver and never cause the program bad publicity. But UT admin better be prepared to see attendance drop like a rock. I'm a season ticket holder and have no plans to renew next year. I'm not buying tickets and making donations to see this level of basketball. I hear many other long-time basketball fans say the same. I'll be a fan and listen to the radio, but I'm not paying to watch this anymore.

underthehill writes:

in response to bUTch__please:

Good post. Spot on.

They never press, so they don't know how to break it.
They never play zone, so they don't know what breaks it down.
They're told the ball must go inside to be successful, so when the defense packs the lane, OUR guys back out further towards mid-court and pass around for an opening instead of challenging the defense by attacking and kicking out.

They are lost with the ball in their hands and it isn't their fault...not after this amount of time and experience.

Your observations seem to be prevalent among most Vol fans..and after all the times Martin has been embarrassed and exposed by coaches who prepare their teams to take advantage of what they know Martin coached teams are going to do ..he still seems to think what he is doing is going to work..and he is forcing UT to let him go either this year or next..I hate it because I..like many others..appreciate the fact that his players have stayed out of trouble with law enforcement..but he don't appear capable of changing anything even if it would help his chances of winning...

fannotsheep writes:

For whatever reasons, UT has played well against Florida? I will enlighten you as to the reasons: Bruce Pearl, Tony Jones, and Co.

Pearl owned the Gators and Li'l Billy (Eddie Munster).

Now the program is in shambles despite talent good enough to be a force if they only had the right coaching. The UT administration (what a joke) has utterly destroyed what was once a fine athletic department. Cheek and Hart's former employers (Florida, Bama and Florida State) must be toasting every nail their moles have driven in the coffin.

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