Comments by UT4prez

Written on Mike Strange: Hire a guy who can prove the joke's not on Tennessee any more:

in response to fannotsheep:

That was the stupidest Mike Strange column I have ever read. Nobody is digging up Ray Mears, rest his soul.

Tennessee fans want Bruce Pearl for their coach. The media and apparently the UT suits say it can never happen. Please just one person tell me who is the all powerful person who prevents that from being a possibility. Is it the UT Prez? Well, what a fine job he is doing! Can't argue with him. Is it Haslam? Look what a fine mess he is dealing with in his own backyard, where I don't know if there is even a barbecue. Is it Hart? Well what UT athletic department could ever get along without an Alabama/FSU refugee? Is it George Washington? He never told a lie so maybe it's him -- or some of our perfect people decked out in orange every Saturday and talking football in church every Sunday.

I just wish I knew. Because even though the NCAA was able to ruin our basketball program for three years, only we can ruin it forever. Which I'd just about bet we will with our next three or four hires in the next 10 years -- all trying to find one guy who was half the coach as the guy we fired.

It's not me!

Oh. You said UT Prez.

Written on Nearly 5,000 votes later, GVX readers name their choice for the next head basketball coach:

in response to Snapshot:

I agree. I said all along Martin was not offered the Marquette job. If they had offered he would have took the job, why else would he have got on a plane and went to THEM?

Oh well, time to move on. Open the checkbook UT and hire a proven winner. 2.9 mil would be less Butch but still enough to attract a lot of good coaches.

You may be right but he went to them so he could fully assess the opportunity. That doesn't mean he wanted them. I drove to an interview at a company and then turned them down when they offered. The fact he went there doesn't support your point whether right or wrong.

Written on [Updated] Cuonzo Martin leaving UT for California; search for his replacement begins:

in response to fannotsheep:

Yep, it sure is great that there's no chance to get the guy back who revived a dead program, filled the arena and got us to the Elite 8 for the first time, coached the team to its first #1 mid-season ranking, and beat Florida like they were a bad high school team. Yep, I'd hate to have that guy around because God knows there's been many a poor boy led astray by all the terrible things that happen when you let a high school junior go to a barbecue with older people. The humanity! Just think what that woulda done to our program!

What program? The one that has two proven players and one highly recruited but injured teenager coming back and nobody you ever heard of coming in?

Yes, I'd hate to have that evil Pearl come back in here and ruin everything Coach Martin built here. Oh wait.

I don't think I've ever seen you this fired up. My first thought when I heard the news was man I wish Pearl would've waited. Of course that doesn't mean we would've brought him back but he would surely be a candidate. I like how people keep saying his last year wasn't good. It was indeed his worst year but they played the whole year under the NCAA cloud and still made the tournament with a seed better than we received this year. Pearl was lightning in a bottle. Now I do think he may have had a tough time duplicating what he did here the first time but he is no doubt a proven winner. I don't think he will have as much success at Auburn as he had here but it's certainly possible. I wish we were finding out what he could do again here. That's for sure.

Written on [Updated] Vols will open season with Sunday game; Boomsday celebrations moved to Saturday:

Why are so many acting like this is something that could happen throughout the season? There are always some Sunday games this first weekend. And the NFL regular season will not have started yet so no worries for those wanting to see both. The Titans may have a preseason game but even that isn't likely. The preseason will probably be wrapped up by then.

Written on John Adams: Right sales pitch could keep UT quarterbacks on board:

in response to bUTch__please:

Worley needs a fire lit under his butt, plus his accuracy and touch are highly suspect.

Ferguson seems to have arm and the ability to pick up clutch yards on foot....but...has demonstrated a lack of field awareness in throwing interceptions far,far too many times. His running out-of-bounds on the last play of the game yesterday didn't impress anyone either.

Dobbs has good leadership skills, can tuck and run well, but the games he started last year showed a huge liability in arm strength. He's had time to develop his arm and truth told, none of our QB's will have a lot of time to stand back and air it out till the OL gets some whiskers.

Patterson is not weak in any area, just not outstanding in any area either.

Coach Jones says he is trying to find a "high-vision QB who can make plays under pressure and protect the possession". There's no way that question can be answered this spring with what has been shown.

Have you been to practice? Just curious if your post is based on what you've seen with your own eyes. Pretty good stuff. Clearly no one is standing out. Who would you start if the season started tomorrow?

Written on John Adams: Right sales pitch could keep UT quarterbacks on board:

Surely Adams isn't suggesting our coach mislead these young men. His ideas on what to tell them, especially the suggestion for Dobbs, sound like the intent is to mislead them to make sure they stay around. I don't think Jones would do it like that anyway. He seems to have the best interest of the young men at heart.

I think it's between Ferguson and Worley. To me, Worley would have to be significantly better to play him. If it's close then start Ferguson so he will get the game experience he will need for 2015 and beyond. I'm certainly not saying to give up on Peterman and Dobbs. I'm just guessing it won't be them. Dobbs looked better his first couple starts than he did his last couple. Peterman had the worst debut I've ever seen but he shouldn't have been out there as long as he was and that was a very tough assignment from the start. It will be fun to see how this plays out. 6-6 seems doable although it may be a mistake to count those first 2 games as wins. Those teams have been good lately but I don't know what either has returning. The road schedule is insane. Oklahoma, Georgia, Ole Miss, South Carolina, and Vanderbilt on the road. Not to mention those pesky little teams like Alabama, Florida, and Missouri at home. The fact we have to replace the entire offensive and defensive lines concerns me more than the quarterback situation. No matter what I can't wait for the season to start and I'll be cheering and supporting the team.

Written on Jarnell Stokes 'to pray about' future plans:

in response to murrayvol:

I was plenty amped about the call and thought at first it might go against Michigan. Worng again.

Give Beilein credit for setting up a defense that forced the ball into the right guy's (for them) hands at a perfect spot (again for them) on the floor. From that point Stokes would have to drive to the basket and offer a chance for their guy to "sell" the charging call.........which he did masterfully.

A better plan for tthe Vols would've been an immediate kickout from Stokes to a shooter with Maymon and Stokes heading for the glass. Didn't happen.

It was a great game.......if you didn't care who won.

I don't think we were forced into giving it to Stokes. McRae set a screen to pop Stokes out free. To me we had that backwards but that's what happened. No matter. This team did us all proud. Go Vols!

Written on Mike Strange: Vols didn't go quietly - and it hurt:

in response to johnlg00:

Good post; agree with most. I don't think it was necessarily a bad call to give Jarnell the ball on the on the side like that. Wherever he was, he was going to draw a double-team.

However, what I would have done is set up off-ball screening action between McRae and Richardson on the opposite wing. I would have stationed Barton at the top of the key. Then as soon as Morgan came out of the lane to cover Jarnell, McRae could have cut down the lane for a pass from Stokes. If that wasn't there, likely because a cut by Jordan would have sucked all the defenders into the lane, Jarnell could either pass diagonally to Richardson or to Barton on top for an outside shot, while Josh could have made the same cut right behind Jordan. If none of those were there, Jarnell could have just put up the 15' jumper, which I would rather he had done than trying to work his own way toward the basket. Even if he missed, you would have had Richardson and McRae heading toward the basket for an offensive rebound. Putting the defenders on the move like that may well have resulted in foul.

In short, the team should have had more options than simply giving Jarnell the ball and asking him to win it while everybody else stood around. If had to state just ONE criticism about Martin's coaching, it would be a lack of creativity in devising special-purpose plays for just that kind of situation.

Dang it John. Unfortunately our rotation did turn out to be a problem. Michigan did just what you said too. They are better than most at spacing. Certainly better than us. Stokes continuously let his man push him way off the block so the wing had no room to get him the ball. Stokes has shown amazing improvement no doubt but he still has some fundamentally poor areas. He doesn't use his lower body to establish position. While there was no doubt a horrible call that cost us a chance to win I agree with what someone questioned. Why did we run a play where McRae screened to pop Stokes out to the ball? Isn't that backwards? The first half was extremely frustrating. I honestly didn't think they would fight back based on their body language. They looked defeated. And the effort was pathetic. When Stokes made zero effort to get a pass from Barton, I think it was him, and it got stolen I was ready to drive up there and chew them all out for pitiful effort. They finally did match the effort Michigan gave. That's why this one hurts is and them so much. That's why they lost. They simply didn't match the intensity of Michigan for really about 30 minutes. Game over. However, I am very proud of how they did end up fighting back. They nearly made one of the greatest comebacks in tournament history. Nearly. And I'm also very proud of how they progressed this season. That includes our coach! Come on back Stokes and let's do it again next year! Go Vols!

Written on Jeff Seidel: Sweet 16 reasons Michigan will beat Tennessee (or not):

Thanks for posting this story. It's neat to see what the other side is saying. UM has some extremely talented individuals no doubt. Right now UT had excellent synergy. Their work as a team transcends their talent as individuals. This will be a great game.

Written on Cuonzo Martin previews Sweet 16 matchup with Michigan, says Vols won't contact Purdue about Wolverines:

in response to johnlg00:

You may be right about Martin's true inner nature. He may be one of those "old souls" who has seen enough adversity in his life, and in those of many that he grew up around, that he knows anybody can fall victim to their own inner demons. To the extent that he thinks about it at all, he may well feel only pity for those who react emotionally to everything, lashing out blindly at any circumstance that doesn't satisfy their immediate desires. There is an old saying that you can tell the size of a man's character by the size of the things that make him angry. Carping "fans" are probably VERY far down the list of things that make Martin angry.

As for Friday's game, no question this will be the Vols' biggest challenge of the season so far. Michigan is a skilled, experienced, confident team with plenty of weapons. They should have a large fan contingent on hand. Both their players and their coaches have much more experience than the Vols on the big stage. There is almost no way to shut them out completely, so if the Vols are to win, they may have to really make their bones on offense; they will have to match scores with a high-scoring team. This means they will have to be relentless in seeking the best possible scoring opportunities on every possession. If the Vols turn it over more often than one possession out of ten, they will be fighting from behind all night and pressure will mount with every possession.

I don't think there has been much wrong with the Vols' defensive rotations so far in the postseason, but Michigan will try to spread them out so wide that it will be tough to keep the help defense in good position. The Vols are not only going to have to do an exceptional job of staying attached to their men, they are also going to have to own the defensive boards.

In short, there is no magic formula guaranteed to produce a Vol win. All they can do is the BEST they can do in every phase of the game and hope they do it well enough to win. I can't say what the score will be or whether or not the Vols will win, but I surely DO expect them to give a good account of themselves.

Good stuff John. I didn't think about their experience advantage. Good point. At least this team has 3 games now AND has played a Big 10 team that certainly brought an unusual style and great energy. We now know what to expect there I feel.

I agree. We must be efficient and effective on offense. You know I've talked about shot selection all season. It's no different here. The announcers talked about it against Mercer as well. At first they said we are not a good team at shooting the 3. Then they correctly acknowledged that we can be when we work it inside and then kick it out. Our men can shoot. I firmly believe they can. When they work the ball in and around for good looks they make a good portion. When they stand around and then jack up a 3 with no ball movement then they shoot poorly as most would.

Thanks for your thoughts on the rotation. Again, excellent point about Michigan spreading us out to make help D more difficult. I can't wait. This is such a great clash of styles! I didn't realize Michigan started 6-4. Wow. These are 2 teams coming in very hot! It will be awesome. I 100% agree. The Vols will play hard and play well. See, I called for a loss but as it gets closer my heart starts winning out over my head. By tip I'll be calling for a UT victory! Man am I pumped! Go Vols!

Written on Cuonzo Martin previews Sweet 16 matchup with Michigan, says Vols won't contact Purdue about Wolverines:

Hey John. I actually don't think Martin has anything to say to his critics. Being the kind of man I believe him to be he doesn't carry that malice, or whatever you want to call it. I don't believe the man carries any ill will or negative attitude like that because of his strong faith. I could certainly be wrong. Just a take.

So what do you see for Friday? Obviously we need to force their shooters to put it on the floor. My concern with doing so is our help defense and rotation. It seems like our rotations have been a little slow this year which leaves the off man with a lay up or a backside rebound. Have you paid attention to our rotation on D? Particularly in the inside? I admit I haven't so my perception could be off. I know we can certainly win with the way we are playing and of course I'll be watching and rooting them on. I think our journey ends here though. Michigan 72-60. I think their zone slows us down just enough that we don't keep up with their 3s. No matter what I'm extremely proud of the team and OUR COACH. Everyone has shown tremendous growth and resolve. You can't ask for much more.

Written on Tennessee men's basketball team beats Mercer, punches ticket to NCAA tournament's Sweet 16:

This team has grown up so much this year. I've never seen a turnaround this drastic. Coach Martin has grown as well. I've also never seen a 24-4 rebounding advantage like we had at halftime. Incredible! Just keep playing hard and keep playing smart guys and thank you for an incredible run so far! We have more to come. For those saying we are screwed next year, pay attention to how Richardson is playing right now. He is our tournament MVP at this point. We are one good post player away from having a solid nucleus next year. I'd love for that to be Stokes. If he leaves as many think he will then we need to go recruit a good one. But if somehow Stokes does return and we have him, Richardson, and Hubbs then we are off to a good start. Then add Thompson, Moore, and some others and suddenly next year looks pretty darn good.

Written on Obama predicts UConn in his women's NCAA bracket :

Silly me. I read these comments thinking there would be something about UConn. I figured there'd would be people talking about the picks themselves. Or how about how screwed up they have the sites/seeding? UConn possibly having to face Nebraska in Lincoln, Stanford possibly getting a home game against South Carolina, and oh yeah UT vs Louisville at Louisville. The women's committee needs to get their heads on straight. That's just flat wrong. Meanwhile Notre Dame plays the Sweet 16 and Elite 8 on their own floor. To me, either never allow someone to play on their own floor or just do it in the first 2 rounds if it's needed for more tickets sales but it should ALWAYS favor the better seed!

Written on Tennessee men's basketball team rolls into NCAA tournament's field of 32 with blowout of UMass:

in response to johnlg00:

I certainly agree that all Vol fans should get behind the team and applaud the job they and Martin have done so far in the tourney. I do think, though, that some of the worst of the negaVols DO need to have their faces rubbed in it. As one who stated a number of criticisms of this, that, or the other thing that I thought Martin should or shouldn't have done as a coach, I still maintained that he was trying to get the guys to do the right things and that even when they were stumbling, they still had the potential to right the ship.

Oh, NOOOO, the negaVols said, Martin doesn't have a clue, shouldn't have been hired in the first place, needs to be run out of town ASAP and be replaced by just ANYBODY, the players are bums, etc., etc. The honest skeptics, such as yourself at times, never let it get to the place where so many of the other kind were ever so willing to go.

So, no, I WOULDN'T include YOU in the class of those who just KNEWWW Martin was a bum and could NEEEVVVER get this team going, and anybody who thought otherwise was an idiot. The types who DID say things like that can just have a great big gulp of STFU!

It would of course be a huge shame if the Vols didn't capitalize with another big win Sunday. No question Mercer is a quality team or they wouldn't have beaten Duke, but I just sorta think the Vols are gonna have a li'l sump'n-sump'n for the Bears as payback for the season-ending embarrassment at TBA last year. They'll see what the Vols look like when they really have something to play for.

It may be deserved but it's a waste of time. People that extreme will still cling to that extremist view. They'll still dog the team and Martin even now.

You look at how the circus has moved to Auburn, and please understand I am a huge fan of Coach Pearl and wish he had been the coach when I was in school there, but you see that and you see our team with tremendous improvement, tremendous fight, and the tremendous character shown after the Iowa game and you can't help but think maybe we do have the right guy after all. Maybe things are as they should be. I've never been a Martin hater but I was critical of him and the team earlier this year. I now give them credit for the turnaround. It's great to see our young men back in the tournament and playing better than any UT team in a long time at this point. I'm not saying they will do what Pearl's Elite 8 team did but we won our first game that year and then faced a "lesser" team thanks to an upset just like this year. I can't wait for Sunday. Go Vols!

Written on Tennessee men's basketball team rolls into NCAA tournament's field of 32 with blowout of UMass:

Well I've been dead on for our bracket so far. I had some weird feeling about Duke so I had Mercer taking down Duke. I had us over Iowa and UMass. However, my gut feeling also had Mercer over us initially. After watching how we gutted out the Iowa game I changed my pick for my second bracket and took us over Mercer.

Anyway, what a great game yet again. At times I have been critical of Martin's coaching but my goodness I was wrong. You don't consistently blow teams out like they have without good coaching. I'm so proud of the team and how Coach Martin has handled everything. We've seen some of these players and even Coach Martin grow this year and it's been awesome to see. Hopefully my initial gut feeling is wrong and this team keeps rolling!

Written on Mike Strange: Vols fought their way onto the plane to Raleigh:

What an incredible display of guts and determination. They played horribly for much of the first half yet clawed their way to a 3 point deficit at the halftime buzzer. The second half was much better offensively as they seemed to finally have a purpose when moving the ball. The better ball movement led to more quality looks and better shooting rhythm. The pass from Richardson to Barton for 3 and the first UT lead is a great example of that improved passing and rhythmic shooting. But like we've seen often when UT loses, the minute their offense picked it up so did Iowa's. Iowa matched the Vols shot for shot most of the game. Until overtime it felt like the Vols never put together back to back buckets. Unlike other games this year, Tennessee didn't fold under the most pressure they've faced in their careers! They didn't even panic when Iowa turned up the heat on the press. Yes it looked sloppy at times and UT maybe got lucky on a couple of passes (see Maymon 3-point play) but they found a way! I am extremely proud of the resolve shown by those young Volunteers and have no doubt they'll bring that same fight Friday and send UMass home early too! Go Vols!

Written on Back on the court: Bruce Pearl to coach Auburn basketball:

in response to fannotsheep:

OK folks, show's over. Move along.

NCAA games to play tomorrow, with the team and coach we do have right now. Let's support them and maybe they'll give us a tourney run to remember.

If things don't go well at UT there's always the possibility that some administrators may move along in the not too distant future. Pearl had enemies and resentment, but loved Tennessee fans, and living in the area. Can't be too much fun living in Lower Alabama. Pearl has great memories here. Maybe he will return someday.

Or maybe Martin will get to the sweet 16, then Hubbs plays great next year, pleasant surprises in the incoming class and Martin is Coach of the Year in 2015.

Let's play ball. Go Vols!

Exactly. I would love to have had Pearl back here. I've thought for a while Martin is not the guy due to the team's lack of fundamentals. However, I give Martin credit for some solid game plans this year and finally showing a willingness to adjust by showing some zone and some press. Maybe he is growing as a coach. Also, Stokes is not the same player that started this season. I don't believe that improvement is totally Stokes. Coaching is likely a factor in there.

No matter what I or anyone else may think Pearl is gone. We have a team in the tournament with a shot to make some noise. Let's just get behind the team and coach Martin and enjoy being back in the tournament!

Written on Back on the court: Bruce Pearl to coach Auburn basketball:

It's time to forget about Pearl and just get behind this team. We are in the tournament and play tomorrow night! As fans we should act like it!

Written on Vols fall to Florida late, 56-49:

in response to willphill#241787:

The second half the Vols went to their default play of a slow down, walk it up, half court game (scored 14 second half points), and they blew the best chance they've had this year to beat a top 10 team. Coaching makes a big difference.

The 2nd half offense certainly was horrible. A lot of standing around, no penetration by pass or dribble, way too many turnovers, and not enough touches for Stokes. Great opportunity missed. At least we should still be in although a 2-7 record against top 50 RPI is not good.

Written on Vols WR Von Pearson seizing opportunity with big plays in spring drills:

in response to murrayvol:

How long has it been since we've had 3 receivers who could play for anyone in the SEC?

2 years ago. Hunter, Rogers, Patterson.

Written on Jordan McRae, Jarnell Stokes named to All-SEC first team by coaches:

Congratulations to both players! I'm surprised McRae got it. Good for them. These honors are a reflection on the whole team.

Written on Vols say criticism of Martin 'brought us together':

in response to UpperDeckCurtains:

Let me get this straight...

We win one game, at the most, in Atlanta. Take a beat down in first NCAA game, and on that basis we should keep Cuonzo? Guess what. That would be the pinnacle of the Cuonzo era. Not much coming back next year. Terrible recruiting class.

This is literally the best year Cuonzo Martin will ever have and it means being on the bubble. We beat Auburn and Vandy by 30? OMG.

If UT is selling me mediocre basketball, then charge me mediocre prices.

I get where you're coming from. I'm not trying to convince you otherwise but just offering a different perspective. I've been all over Martin and this team. But it's been so long since we've played like this that I'm just going to enjoy it and worry about what happens to Martin when this season is done. There's been little to enjoy so now that we look like a tournament team I think I'll just sit back and watch. Where it could get tough is if they go to the Sweet 16 but again we can worry about that later. I just hope they get in first and foremost.

Written on Bubble Blowout: Vols roll Missouri 72-45:

in response to johnlg00:

I think the point a poster made above might be worth thinking about, namely, that Martin might just decide to leave on his own terms after this season. I wouldn't blame him in a way, given all the garbage that some people have said about him on here. Much of it goes well beyond criticism of his coaching. I don't like to throw the "R" word around, but there just is an element of visceral dislike of Martin among some segments of the fan base.

As for next year's team, who can say for sure that they will be terrible next year? For one thing, we don't know yet whether or not Stokes might return. The last I heard, he is a 2d-round draft choice at best. No question that he has vastly improved over the course of the season, but he is still regarded as a "tweener" in NBA terms. If he continues to diversify his game and show he can carry a team to the top, it can only help his draft status. Then if Hubbs gets healthy and comes out hungry, nobody can tell me that a starting team of Thompson, Richardson, Moore, Hubbs, and Stokes couldn't be pretty darned good. And if the rest of them take a page from Richardson's book and woodshed all summer on their offense, then the bench could be pretty stout as well.

As for that much-maligned incoming class, there is a pure PG coming in along with another potential shooter and two 6'9" guys. There are lots of pretty good teams around who don't sign the big names and some that do don't always play up to their rating--UK, anyone? Not only that, but given the way guys transfer these days, who knows who else might come in next year at a position of need. Finally, if that team commits itself to defense the way this one has lately, they could still be pretty hard to score against.

A nucleus of Richardson, Stokes, and Hubbs sounds pretty solid to me! All they have to do is remember the lessons from this year. Work the offense through Stokes, play really hard on D, and move the ball on offense with purpose to get a quality shot. Watch them against MO from yesterday versus how they were playing a month ago. The offense looks so much more fluid.

Written on Bubble Blowout: Vols roll Missouri 72-45:

in response to AxeMan:

So you're denying even a small sliver of racists are among those who call themselves "fans" of the UT sports teams? And believing that there are is way out there? That's not very realistic.

Of course there are racists everywhere. You are just way off topic and thus the left field comment. Same explanation to you Theo.

Written on Bubble Blowout: Vols roll Missouri 72-45:

in response to AxeMan:

There a simple matter of fact here, when Bruce Pearl was hired there was a sect of UT basketball "fans" who weren't into the hiring of a Jewish coach. Of course when Kevin O'Neill was hired some weren't into the hiring of a Yankee coach and many of the same weren't into Wade Houston being a black coach. It's not much more than a small sliver of the Volunteer fan base, but it does exist, no point denying it. Wish it didn't. I think the sect that demands instant gratification from the sports programs is a much more destructive sect within the fan base.

How do things look from left field? I'm just curious because you are way out there!

Written on Bubble Blowout: Vols roll Missouri 72-45:

It's amazing to see this team firing on all cylinders. They don't look like a tournament team. They look like a top 10 team. I'm not saying they are a top 10 team but for 3 straight games they've played like one.

One more win sure would make it feel closer to a lock for the tournament. Since they are the 4 seed they would likely get Florida in game 2. The way UT is playing they could beat UF. Then suddenly we go from a 11/12 seed to maybe a 9/10. The advantage of staying 11/12 is you avoid the 1 and 2 seeds longer. I really don't care though. I just want them to get in.

I'm still shocked. Even under Pearl they didn't blow teams out like they have this year. Sometimes even on the road! Go Vols! Let's table the discussion about Martin's job until this season is over. Then we can speculate. Our young men have some work left to do!

Written on Vols moving on from Vanderbilt, have another chance to sustain success :

in response to johnlg00:

The skepticism is justified based on their track record. It seems to me that the place to see that enthusiasm/focus/energy is most often on the defensive end. The Vols absolutely gave Vandy no room to breathe on defense, while it is easy to see the lethargy when opponents are just breezing to the basket at will. Offense and defense ARE linked; when a team is bearing down and active on defense, better offensive effort and execution almost always follow. When a team gives up too many easy buckets, it puts more pressure on the offense to produce and that is when you see guys start trying to do it by themselves. Shots may not always fall, but the QUALITY of shots is greatly enhanced when the ball and the players keep moving.

If this team would just focus on shot quality they would easily be a tournament team. You're right. Off and Def are no doubt tied. Hit a few shots and watch the spring in a players' steps! I sure do miss playing.

Despite all the issues this year this team is on the verge of making the dance. Win 2 and probably 1 in the SEC tournament and I believe they make it. I wouldn't have thought a record like that would be good enough before the season started.

Written on Vols moving on from Vanderbilt, have another chance to sustain success :

I was already predicting a loss to Auburn. Now after reading these comments from the team it seems like a sure thing. This is the same way they sounded after prior blowout wins this year. I'm amazed that we are here again when blowouts over UVA, LSU, UGA, Bama, Ole Miss, and Vandy prove this team is capable of playing very well. I've never seen so many blowouts of name teams by any UT squad.

Written on Mike Strange: Vols aren't getting much help from the bench:

Any shot at all Stokes comes back? I really don't think he will be projected as first round. Early in the year I didn't think he would even get drafted. Too his credit he has improved tremendously this season. His doing or the coaches? Hmmm.

Written on Vols can't overcome close-game curse, dwell on missed opportunities after overtime loss at A&M:

in response to johnlg00:

If the administration does decide to make a change, they might look at the MTSU coach, whose name escapes me at the moment. They have had a strong program there for several years now. They lost their All-American PG, Isiah Caanan, last year and hardly missed a beat this year. Since UT isn't likely to spend what it takes to get one of the top 10 coaches, look at who has done the most with the least at the mid-level. Of course, that is sorta what they did in hiring Martin--and Pearl, for that matter--so there are no guarantees either way.

John, if I recall correctly Martin only had 3 years head coaching experience so I don't think they went for the best there. Pearl had huge success at Southern Indiana over a long period of time and then decent success at Wisc-Mil highlighted by a Sweet 16 run his final year there. Unless I am mistaken about Martin the two resumes were quite different.

Written on Antwan Space downs the Vols again, this time in overtime, 68-65:

in response to johnlg00:

And while we're all nitpicking, I have become concerned lately about Jordan McRae's shooting form. He has always had that off-kilter right elbow, but lately, especially on free throws, it seems further off-line than ever. Also, he seems to duck his head down and to the right and move his right shoulder toward the basket, giving him a couple more non-standard motions to compensate for. Of course, it is hard to say too much about McRae's awkward form when you see that Mizzou sub who nailed about three 3-pointers with absolutely THE WORST shooting form I think I have ever seen in a college player!

McRae does not play smart ball at all. He turns it over and gets out of control the way you would expect a freshman would. However, I get the feeling he is the type of player that if you try to reign that in then you take him out of his game and he becomes useless.

Regarding your other post, I agree. PG has killed us. Martin has brought some good things to the table this year but the lack of fire in this team and the poor basketball IQ with which they play have to come back to him. The teacher has to motivate the students and teach them how to best utilize their talents. It's a shame though. I swear this team has improved from last year in a lot of ways. They pass the ball better and with more intent. They move better. They attack a zone better. It just hasn't shown up in the record. I really wish they would go on a tear now and make the tournament. It's just not going to happen though.

Written on Antwan Space downs the Vols again, this time in overtime, 68-65:

in response to oldster:

I am not a revisionist, but a pragmatist. I am aware of what his teams accomplished. I also recognize that once Lofton left, his style changed to a half court grind it out offense and a slow 'em down defense and that his team's record grew, gradually, worse. In his last year, while the team made the tournament, it was as bad a team that made it. He left the cupboard bare for Martin.

I am also aware of the police blotter, drug issues, and other morally suspect decisions that his players made. Therefore, when he got caught being dishonest, it merely demonstrated why he was not particularly concerned with the character of his players - his own is suspect. I would bet his ex would agree with my assessment.

Part of the reason the BBB crowd calls you revisionist is because you say Pearl's record grew gradually worse. His next to last team had 28 wins, his second most. That next to last team also made the deepest tournament run of any Pearl team. I get why it seems his teams gradually got worse as 2010-11 was his worst year, and his last of course, followed by 2008-09. So his two worst records came in his last 3 years.

Written on Antwan Space downs the Vols again, this time in overtime, 68-65:

Unfortunately my prediction of 4-3 the last 7 is off to a bad start. No doubt we are NIT bound. I don't mind calling a time out at the end of the game. However, you either call it as soon as you cross half court or you let them play it out. This team will lose at auburn as well. Missouri is very possible as well. Wasted season.

Written on Statement not made, Vols must sustain winning streak:

in response to johnlg00:

Look, the reason we keep harping on the idea that the Vols can "settle" for any particular number of wins and still be in is based on the fact that they HAVE finished strong both of the previous years, last year winning 9 of their last 10, IIRC, and they were snubbed. Most of those bracketologist projections are if the season ended today or projecting out a certain number of wins and if dozens of other teams in the mix perform to a certain level.

I'm trying to say further that we don't know, and most likely Joe Lunardi doesn't know, exactly what criteria the selection committee will use this year. Some years in the past they have given extra weight to a team's record in their last 10 games. Some teams from multi-bid conferences need to win a conference tourney game or two. They have given extra consideration to a team that got an injured star back in time for the finishing drive to the post-season. And so on. If the Vols have somewhat shaky statistical qualifications, they could be displaced by a team that fit one of those somewhat subjective criteria. They vary slightly each year and straight math is only one factor, though a highly important one. It's not that I or anybody else knows how many it would take, it's just that we have seen what can happen to the Vols when the selection committee gets down to the hard cases. A conference record of 11-7 MIGHT get them in; a record of, say, 14-4 would have made it virtually impossible for the committee to leave them OUT.

He is right John. I remember some pretty strange comments from some folks. I don't recall who and certainly know it wasn't you. You're as level-headed as anyone on here.

I say who cares though? Who cares what was said a couple weeks ago or month ago. I only care about what happens going forward. I predict 4-3 to close. What's your call?

Written on John Adams: UT Good needs to show up in Show Me State:

in response to Plasticman85:

Bruce Pearl won plenty of games against " better teams". Kansas, Texas, Memphis, FL ( numerous times) , Ohio St. , Pittsburgh just to name a few. It's amazing what really good coaching can do. Too bad we haven't had any for 3 years.

Bruce did a lot of good things here. I don't think we've had good overall coaching these last 3 years either. I do give Martin credit for a solid game plan against Florida since I never hesitate to criticize him. Florida is a real title contender this year and we have poor fundamentals. The poor fundamentals really hurt us against the Gators. As good as they are, any mistake made are magnified. We played pretty well overall really. Good enough to beat about any one on our schedule outside of Florida and maybe Wichita.

Written on John Adams: UT Good needs to show up in Show Me State:

in response to johnlg00:

I'm sorry, but that is a very simplistic way of looking at it. Every team is unique. Trae most definitely had his moments, both good and bad, but just simply plugging his numbers in and declaring that the team would have been better is just not possible. Scoring patterns would most likely have been different on the team with Trae, but that doesn't mean the TEAM would have been better.

Martin made a reasonable stab at replacing Trae, but it just didn't work out. There was no chance of retaining Trae anyway; he was gone, no matter who UT did or did not have to take his place. You can argue that Martin should have recruited somebody better, but clearly PG has been a problem for UT to one degree or another since CJ Watson.

I agree. Way too simplistic. Too much changes with a team from one player to another.

I also agree with another of your posts elsewhere. Martin had a good game plan. We lost due to a few too many sloppy turnovers, missed close up shots, and missed free throws. The fact is Florida is considerably better. We would have had to play nearly flawless to win. We came close and had good effort. We had a few mistakes and against top 5 teams that's all it takes.

Written on Opportunity turned over as Vols fall to No. 3 Florida, 67-58:

What bugs me more than their losses are the things the players and coach say after they lose. Martin says they way they turned it over is uncharacteristic. What has he been watching? McRae had the same careless and sloppy turnovers he has every game and I swear Maymon has to lead the country in traveling violations. Every time they speak after a loss it is like nails on a chalkboard. Because of their comments after games I don't believe this team and this coach live in reality.

With that off my chest, I am proud of the effort they gave. Outside of the sloppy turnovers they played pretty well overall and showed good fight. Martin displayed good prowess switching to the zone. I'd like to see us use it some in every game. We better finish 6-1 or 7-0 if we want any chance at the tournament. I don't see it though. I see 4-3, maybe 5-2 then 1-1 in the SEC tournament. That won't be good enough to dance yet again.

Written on Vanderbilt loss kills Vols' momentum, invites bubble trouble:

in response to WaitUntilNextYear:

Only making 61-67% of their layups, walking up the court and jacking bad some you should blame the coach, why aren't the players and their attitudes held accountable.
Don't expect much from the perseverance of this team and lacking a commitment to excellence and winning will leave them home early.

Who should hold the players accountable? Yes it would be nice for them to hold theirselves accountable or each other but ultimately that falls to the coaching staff.

Written on Vanderbilt knocks off Tennessee, 64-60:

in response to underthehill:

Didn't see this coming..the Vols didn't either..they just were not ready to play..have to credit Stallings..he had his team ready and they ran a lot of old fashion give and go.. and back door cuts when the Vols zoned..just a clinic by Stallings..

You should have seen it coming. They have done this for 3 years under Martin. Nothing has changed.

Written on Jordan McRae, Jarnell Stokes help Tennessee throw out the history books at Alabama:

in response to murrayvol:

With all respect I still see no game plan other than making shots against the zone. When we make them, we're a very good team. And if we don't you get Florida.

The Vols have "turned many corners" in the past 3 years. I'll withold judgement until FU comes to town. If we compete (not necessarily win), then I'll be convinced.

I understand you holding back your enthusiasm. I am as well. Been burned too many times by Martin's teams. However, there is a difference in this team. I do see a game plan. They are attacking the zone with strategy and I assume that is a result of Martin's coaching. They are making shots because of this approach leading to more quality shots.

Written on Mike Strange: Cuonzo Martin says Vols are finding their way:

in response to johnlg00:

It is certainly true that the Vols have had more scoring droughts than any of us would like, but I'm not sure I agree that the Vols have all that many more or longer droughts than any other fairly decent team. Four top-10 teams went down Saturday, and I don't think any of them topped 30 points in the first half. Look down the list of the outcomes of all games yesterday; I think you would see any number of games where the score didn't get out of the 50's for either team. You are right; it is my belief that ALL teams have lulls and dry spells. The thing that makes the difference between any two fairly well-matched teams is to limit one's own droughts and extend those of the opponents. Just because a team makes a certain percentage of its shots, that doesn't mean that they do that in mathematical order; a team could shoot 50% for a game, but included in that might be runs of 10 straight misses followed by 10 straight makes.

True. I agree with the other poster. I haven't been as critical of Martin as some but I have been critical. The game plan has been excellent and executed excellently. Now let's just do it consistently. They are playing better on the road than any of Martin's prior teams. If we can keep it going there's no reason to think we can't make the NCAA tourney.

Written on Mike Strange: Cuonzo Martin says Vols are finding their way:

Very much improved. For the second game in a row they executed very well and the shot selection is vastly improved. They are penetrating the zone and either shooting off that penetration or kicking out for open 3s. Again I say, this team can shoot. They are not at all bad shooters. They just have had a habit of taking bad shots. These last couple of games have been mostly good decisions on offense and when they get good looks these guys are knocking them down.

John, I know you talk about every team having dry spells. To me this team was having way more than the average team. Certainly more than a top-25 team. These last couple games actually have included dry spells but they were normal for the ebb and flow of a game and the team pushed past them. I agree on the new look D. Great move worth mentioning.

These next 2 games are huge. We need 2 wins with Florida heading in after those. Vandy is another tough place to play. No question we have a talent advantage. If they play with the energy, effort, and intelligence of the last couple games then 2-0 will happen. Florida certainly would not be out of reach either with such an all around performance.

Written on Can Vols keep it going on the road? :

Agreed. CM needs to show some fire during the game.

I don't like Stokes saying he is hesitant on anything. We need an aggressive Stokes! Great win though! Awesome game plan and execution. If we move the ball and our guys move their bodies around to get quality shots like they did against Ole Miss then I am confident they will knock them down. I disagree with people saying they can't shoot. Yes they can. They just haven't taken quality shots. When they do they knock them down. Go Vols!

Written on John Adams: Missed opportunities have Vols on NIT course:

in response to johnlg00:

So why do they seem so much smarter at home than they do on the road? Why does every team, no matter who the coach is, struggle likewise at times? Yes, we wish they would do more of the right things in the right way at the right time, and the converse, but you can't really say the players and coaches don't know what most of those things ARE! The fact that they can execute well on occasion shows that they are being properly taught; the fact that they don't execute well all the time just means that they are a college basketball team made up of human beings, just like every other one in the country.

I agree that every team has ups and downs. Every team has moments of inconsistency. With UT the downs are more frequent than top-25 caliber teams and thus they aren't one. Also, those types of teams, teams that make the tournament, find ways to tough out some games even when they aren't at their best. I do agree they have the knowledge in there so kudos to the coaches for ensuring it is there but it also the coaches' responsibility to get the best out of them. To get that consistency as much as possible. Leaders are there to get the best out of everyone. Now maybe this is their best. Perhaps they just aren't as talented as we thought. I do give the coaches credit for an excellent game plan against Ole Miss. You could see a clear offensive plan. And I credit the players for executing it superbly.

Written on John Adams: Missed opportunities have Vols on NIT course:

in response to johnlg00:

While I agree that Martin will be on the hot seat if they don't make the NCAAs this year, almost no matter why, I do disagree with the blanket statement that he can't coach. I have no better explanation than anybody else why they have looked as bad as they have at times this year, but I do know that their record varies almost entirely with their shooting percentages. When they shoot well, they usually win; when they shoot poorly, they often lose. And I still don't know what kind of coaching even COULD cause players to miss wide-open shots that the offense is designed and run to get.

Fans can nitpick any team to death if they see enough of them because there just aren't any perfect teams. In short, I am not saying and never have said that Martin was a great coach; I thought he was more than decent in some ways and limited in others, but that he had the potential to get better. He HAS gotten better--perhaps not better ENOUGH, SOON enough--but it is not rational to call for his immediate dismissal, as some on here seem all too ready to do, just because some college kids don't make all their shots. They don't make them all for Roy Williams, John Calapari, Coach K, Tom Izzo, et. al., either.

John, they shoot poorly when they take poor shots. Look at the game tonight. Go back and compare the shot selection this game to the shot selection against Florida. UT was much more confident and aggressive moving the ball around the perimeter and regularly got the ball to the middle of the zone where it is supposed to go. It's not rocket science but when this team hesitates on moving the ball, stands around with no movement, has no zone penetration to the high post or even low post, and has poor spacing then they just pass the ball around the outside and take a jumper from 15+ feet. In the second half they did miss wide open shots against UF but the confidence was already gone and the game out of reach. In tonight's game the opposite happened. They had good confidence thanks to good offensive execution so that in the second half when the execution wasn't quite as sharp at times they still made shots, ones that really weren't great looks and ones they would typically miss. Their shooting percentage is a direct correlation to shot selection. That ties back to basketball IQ which at some level does come back to the coaching.

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

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.

Written on Inconsistent point guard play a growing concern for Tennessee men's basketball team:

Zero urgency. To read these words you'd think Barton had tons of time left. He's a fifth year senior. You'd also think the season were still early. Nope. This far in and UT is searching for answers and Martin is tinkering with the lineup on the road against Florida. I'm not talking about Lopez. I'm talking about Chievous and Davis. Why did they suddenly get back into the rotation? Forget the NCAA tourney. We better watch it or we might not be in the NIT either.

Written on Mike Strange: Vols one of few weak spots on Billy Donovan's ledger:

in response to johnlg00:

I thought the Vols could have been one of the top teams in the country this year. All the pieces seemed to be in place. It is somewhat astounding that it took so long to establish a winning style--which, I will argue, they have; they just lack the confidence to keep running it and the mental toughness to make the shots--by this team and especially dismaying that such an experienced team gets knocked off stride so easily.

Being objective, there are clear improvements in the overall performance of this team. They actually do handle a zone better this year than last. Their passes are generally more crisp, and, as poorly as they handle traps at times, they actually handle traps better this year than last, especially Stokes.

I agree. It is troubling that a team with so many upperclassmen plays like a very young team. It just goes back to fundamentals. They don't play fundamentally sound and over 2.5 years into it I'm convinced Martin can't teach them. What do you think? Still think Cuonzo gets it done? If he does go, who's next you think?

Written on No. 6 Florida stifles Tennessee, 67-41:

Thanks for responding and having a civil and intelligent discussion. Most people on here insult you if you don't agree with what they say. I didn't figure you would be that way and you aren't.

Regardless of what has happened or what will happen I'll continue to watch and continue to cheer for the Vols. Even though I believe Martin should be let go I would much rather the Vols start winning and show Martin to be the best coach in the country. That's what I want. Go Vols!

Written on Guards fail Tennessee in 67-41 blowout loss in Gainesville:

in response to oldster:

That Martin cannot get it done is becoming more and more evident. However, I am not convinced that Pearl is the answer either. He certainly is charismatic and entertaining; however, he recruited the same kind of players that Martin has recruited, to-wit: long, athletic players with little ability to put the ball through the hoop at a distance of more than 5 feet with any consistency. Moreover, many, if not most of the players he signed got into trouble off the court. I would also point out that his last team did not live up to expectations either. In fact, the success of his teams pretty much steadily declined from the first year to the last.

Of the two coaches, I would still prefer Martin because neither he nor his players disgrace the university off the court. However, I would prefer getting a coach who actually realizes the value of good shooters, even if they are not long and/or athletic. E.g. Chris Lofton, Trajan Langdon, Reddick, etc.

Interesting post. I was a huge Pearl fan and would love to have him back as he won a lot and his teams were just fun to watch. You have some good points though about the player types and player troubles. He did find ways to win even with the similar player types. I would not at all rather have Martin than Pearl but only because Martin's and his teams' lack of fire drives me nuts!

Who would you like to see? That's realistic. Shaka Smart is not realistic. What about SDSU's coach? He seems to have done a nice job there.