VOL BASKETBALL REPORT: In The Zone

Monday, December 03, 2012 - by special report to chattanoogan.com

KNOXVILLE -- Tennessee basketball coach Cuonzo Martin met with the media Monday for the first time since Friday’s 37-36 loss at then-20th-ranked Georgetown in the SEC/Big East Challenge. Most of the questions tossed his way Monday had to do with the stifling Georgetown zone that stymied the Volunteers offense and prevented the Big Orange from getting into a scoring rhythm.

“Against any zone, you have to be able to make shots, flash to the middle and get the ball to the post,” Martin said. “I thought we could have done a better job of getting the ball to the middle and posting up strong and being aggressive. I didn’t think we flashed like we needed to, and I don’t think we did a good job with our dribble penetration.

“I thought we were patient running our offense, but we have to get to the middle with penetration. At the end of the day, you have to be able to make plays.”

While few teams possess the Hoyas’ length and athleticism across the board – four of Georgetown’s starters were 6-8 or taller – finding a way to effectively produce points against a zone defense is a problem Tennessee will work to solve.

But with 24 regular-season games remaining on UT’s schedule, the ever-steady Martin is nowhere close to pressing the panic button as it relates to his team’s offense.

“Not at all. Not from me,” Martin responded when asked if there was a sense of panic in the program. “That will never change with me. We’re six games into a long season.”

When the updated Associated Press top-25 poll was released Monday afternoon, Georgetown had ascended to 15th. Oklahoma State – the team that handed Tennessee its only other loss thus far – landed at No. 24 nationally.

STREAKING ON D

Tennessee’s opponents have suffered through three scoreless droughts of at least six minutes this season (Georgetown 6:23, Kennesaw State 6:20, Oakland 6:10).

In addition to keeping the then-20th-ranked Hoyas scoreless for nearly six and a half minutes of game time Friday, the Vols also held Georgetown without a field goal for the final 10:17 of the first half.

All told, in the 40 games Tennessee has played under second-year head coach Cuonzo Martin, the Vols have managed 10 different streaks during which the opponent has failed to score for a span of five minutes or longer. Interestingly, five of those streaks have come during home games, and five occurred away from Rocky Top – in places such as Athens, Memphis and Gainesville.

EMPHASIS OF THE DAY

Monday’s “Emphasis of the Day” – daily midcourt talking points spearheaded by head coach Cuonzo Martin prior to each practice – focused on one’s level of investment.

If you don’t invest very much, then losing doesn’t hurt very much and winning isn’t very exciting.

ABOUT THE CAVALIERS

The Volunteers (4-2) return to action Wednesday when they travel to Charlottesville, Va., to face Virginia (6-2) at John Paul Jones Arena. Tipoff is set for 7 p.m. ET (ESPN3).

Tennessee trails the all-time series with Virginia 7-4, dating to 1917. The Cavaliers have a 4-1 edge when the series is contested in Charlottesville.

This is UT’s first trip to Charlottesville since the Cavs hosted the Vols visited for a second-round NIT game on March 23, 1992. Virginia won that contest by a score of 77-52.

The most recent meeting in this series came in the second round of the 2007 NCAA Tournament, as the Vols posted a 77-74 victory in Columbus, Ohio, that propelled UT into the Sweet Sixteen.

Tony Bennett is in his fourth year as the head coach at Virginia. Bennett came to Charlottesville after spending the previous three seasons as the head coach at Washington State, where he was the 2007 National Coach of the Year. Bennett played for his father at Wisconsin-Green Bay from 1989-92 and finished his career as the Mid-Continent Conference’s all-time leader in career points (2,285) and assists (601). He was the 35th overall selection in the 1992 NBA Draft by the Charlotte Hornets and played with the team for three seasons.

Virginia is riding a five-game win streak, which includes a Nov. 28 win at Wisconsin. The Cavaliers have held three opponents to fewer than 50 points this season and are 3-0 in those games (Fairfield, Seattle and Lamar).

Tennessee head coach Cuonzo Martin was an assistant coach on the 2011 USA Basketball Men’s World University Games National Team. Bennett was one of three “court coaches” who assisted during the team’s training camp in Colorado Springs, Colo.

Tennessee is 92-77 (.544) against current members of the Atlantic Coast Conference.

(E-mail Stan Crawley at wscrawley@earthlink.net)


Ensworth Ranked No. 1 In Divison II-AA

If the 11 head coaches in Division II-AA know anything about their classification, this year’s BlueCross Bowl Division II-AA game will involve two midstate teams – Ensworth and Brentwood Academy. Both should field great teams but whether they both reach the finals has a lot to do with how the brackets are drawn up. Only time will tell what happens here. Here’s how Division ... (click for more)

Caballero Tops Stolz In Match Play Final

KNOXVILLE -- Brendon Caballero defeated Chattanooga's Zac Stolz, 2 and 1, in the final of the 11th Tennessee Match Play Championship at the Holston Hills Country Club. Caballero, from Brentwood, beat Michael Monroe, 4 and 3, in a semifinal. Stolz advanced to the final with a 4 and 3 win over Matt Cooper. In he Senior Division, Tony Green defeated Tim Jackson, 1 up. (click for more)

23-Year-Old Stabbed To Death Early Sunday Morning

A man was stabbed to death in Chattanooga early Sunday morning. At approximately 2:48 a.m., Chattanooga Police responded to 2525 6 th  Avenue Court for a person stabbed.  Officers located a 23-year-old suffering from a stab wound to his chest.  The victim was transported to a local hospital where he later died from his injury.  The victim’s information ... (click for more)

Man, 21, Arrested In Hidden Camera Case

An arrest has been made in a case in which a hidden camera was apparently placed in several local restrooms. Chattanooga Police last Sunday, received from a citizen a hidden camera that apparently had been placed by an unknown suspect in the men’s restroom at the Chattanooga Billiards Club downtown.  The footage from the camera was reviewed by Investigators with the ... (click for more)

An Open Letter To Tennesseans

We are incredibly fortunate to live in a state in which companies worldwide are clamoring to establish a presence. Many attribute it to our pro-business culture, well-prepared workforce, low tax environment, right-to-work policies, and engaged citizenry.  That is why the announcement by Volkswagen to build its midsize sports utility vehicle and establish the South’s ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: ‘Our’ American Minute

William J. Federer is one of the leading historians in the United States and every morning I am among thousands of people who get an entertaining email from him called the “American Minute.” I adore it because Bill takes a significant event in American history that happened long ago – but he remembers on the very anniversary of when it occurred. A great example is that last Thursday ... (click for more)