With a third of the SEC season in the books, a look at what is helping and hurting the Vols

ADAM LAU/NEWS SENTINEL
Tennessee forward Jeronne Maymon, from left, guard Jordan McRae, guard Antonio Barton and forward Jarnell Stokes wait for Texas A&M players to return to the court during the second half at Thompson-Boling Arena on Jan. 11.

Photo by Adam Lau

ADAM LAU/NEWS SENTINEL Tennessee forward Jeronne Maymon, from left, guard Jordan McRae, guard Antonio Barton and forward Jarnell Stokes wait for Texas A&M players to return to the court during the second half at Thompson-Boling Arena on Jan. 11.

After last Saturday’s 26-point loss to a Florida team that is now ranked third in the country, the Tennessee men’s basketball team turned inward. It closed practices and kept its players from interviews while UT coach Cuonzo Martin fought off the notion that the bludgeoning in Gainesville might have been a season-defining stumble.

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Comments » 9

wilk58 writes:

3 point shooting, defense, and turnovers. This year was expected to be an upgrade over Golden and McBee.

Columbo writes:

I think coaching needs to go under the "hurting" category, Ben.

RoadTrip writes:

Stick a fork in them. No heart and definitely a coach that has no clue how to coach to his roster. Add in that they are not good shooters. If you can only make 5 or 6 out of 10 lay-ups and bunnies (Maymon, Stokes) and the rest rarely make a mid range jumper, much less 3 pointers consistently - you get this result despite having two guys on the team that could make an NBA roster next season.

Fix it Bama Dave.

Dickattrade writes:

in response to Columbo:

I think coaching needs to go under the "hurting" category, Ben.

I think the coach needs to go into the"hunting" for another job mode.

fannotsheep writes:

Yep, that is all correct. But the free throws they missed against Texas A&M hurt them as badly as anything else they have struggled with statistically. That's because the Vols lost a home game they should have won. Where do you see them winning a road game they should lose to get that one back? I'd say they are much more likely to lose another home game tonight than to surprise anyone on the road.

Say what you want about toughness, this team has no confidence. Its coach does not trust them in transition or from the three point line, so neither do they trust themselves. If you are going to play the grind it out style that your big men give you a chance to win with, you must take care of the ball and force turnovers. When Pearl was here the Vols did, and they won games they were supposed to lose. This team loses games they should win, time and again snatching another defeat from the jaws of victory, and hardly ever turning a close game into a blowout victory with defense and transition baskets. That's the biggest reason they are so hard to watch.

johnlg00 writes:

Good stuff, Ben. Very astute use of interesting info. Basketball is a funny game; blindingly simple in some respects, maddeningly complex in others. Very small positive changes in attitudes and techniques would have huge impacts on the team's competitiveness. So near, yet seemingly so far.

bUTch__please writes:

This is the article that shuts the door on the "We're a good team with just a few things to fix" alibi.

First in the SEC coughing up a turnover. Simply means the team is ill-prepared to deal with defensive pressure when on offense. Turning over more than 1 out of 5 possessions is beyond the pale.

Last in the SEC in 3-point %. Simply means that without an understanding on how to attack an opponent based upon their weaknesses the team falls back to tossing up 3's as a last ditch effort to score...and refuses to stop when cold.

For three years the mantra has been "Be the best defensive team on the floor every night, because not every night the offense clicks." Yet here we are, three years into this line of focus, in a weak SEC and seventh in defensive efficiency. Plus, we're last in generating turnovers...how d@mning is that??

This team lacks a will to win....probably because they have poor leadership and are reluctant contributors.

UT4prez writes:

in response to fannotsheep:

Yep, that is all correct. But the free throws they missed against Texas A&M hurt them as badly as anything else they have struggled with statistically. That's because the Vols lost a home game they should have won. Where do you see them winning a road game they should lose to get that one back? I'd say they are much more likely to lose another home game tonight than to surprise anyone on the road.

Say what you want about toughness, this team has no confidence. Its coach does not trust them in transition or from the three point line, so neither do they trust themselves. If you are going to play the grind it out style that your big men give you a chance to win with, you must take care of the ball and force turnovers. When Pearl was here the Vols did, and they won games they were supposed to lose. This team loses games they should win, time and again snatching another defeat from the jaws of victory, and hardly ever turning a close game into a blowout victory with defense and transition baskets. That's the biggest reason they are so hard to watch.

That free throw thing is misleading. I'm glad they are doing well statistically but when the pressure is on they miss every single time. And it's all of them. Stokes, McRae, Barton, Maymon, and on and on and on. Free throws to me are not the strength they are made out to be due to this. I haven't had confidence in someone stepping up and knocking them down under pressure since Chism and Maze.

utfans#211352 writes:

in response to fannotsheep:

Yep, that is all correct. But the free throws they missed against Texas A&M hurt them as badly as anything else they have struggled with statistically. That's because the Vols lost a home game they should have won. Where do you see them winning a road game they should lose to get that one back? I'd say they are much more likely to lose another home game tonight than to surprise anyone on the road.

Say what you want about toughness, this team has no confidence. Its coach does not trust them in transition or from the three point line, so neither do they trust themselves. If you are going to play the grind it out style that your big men give you a chance to win with, you must take care of the ball and force turnovers. When Pearl was here the Vols did, and they won games they were supposed to lose. This team loses games they should win, time and again snatching another defeat from the jaws of victory, and hardly ever turning a close game into a blowout victory with defense and transition baskets. That's the biggest reason they are so hard to watch.

Good post, they are hard to watch, worst half court offense I have ever seen. Press them full court and go into a zone defense and it is over. Basketball is simple whoever puts the ball in the hole in most wins. Got to have better shooters to get teams out of the zone. They need a pure shooter point guard. I see Trae Golden is the leading scorer for Georgia Tech, that was a big loss for this team.

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