Tag Archive: Tennessee Volunteers



In this post I’m going to give you, the reader, my picks for the SEC this season. You may be wondering, “Does this guy know the division is split?”. Yes, I do. I’m going to format who I believe will win the SEC East and the SEC West. Then, I’ll predict the SEC Championship matchup and overall champion of the SEC in 2011-2012. 

SEC West

1. Alabama Crimson Tide—> The Tide have 3 of their most dangerous players returning and are adding two ESPNU 100 recruits.  Remember, Alabama was royally  screwed last season being one of the tougher bubble teams that was excluded from the NCAA tournament. They’ll have some fire and a chip on their shoulder and will win the SEC West outright!

2. LSU Tigers—> Tigers have 4 of their top scorers returning and are adding a tough power forward (Johnny O’Bryant PF ESPNU 100).  They’re experience will help them beat most teams this year and should give Alabama good, tough competition.

3. Arkansas Razorbacks—> Razorbacks have their second leading scorer returning and are bringing in an outstanding recruiting class that includes three ESPNU top 100’s.

4. Mississipi State Bulldogs—> Once you get passed the first three teams in the SEC West the bottom three are a toss up. When I compare them with who they have returning and who they’re bringing in against Auburn and Ole Miss I see Mississip State being the front runner of the group. 

5. Ole Miss Rebels—> Losing their top two scorers/leaders should show some problems, flaws, and weaknesses in this lineup.  They’re above Auburn simply due to their superior recruiting class. 

6. Auburn Tigers—> Auburn loses their two leading scorers from a season ago. But, they could be the team that upsets and surprises a few teams around the league, however, I don’t see them having too much success this season.

SEC East

The East undoubtedly includes the toughest teams in the SEC this season.  Vandy, Kentucky, and Florida should be fun to watch this year as they battle it out.  Here’s how I believe it’ll play out.

1. Vanderbilt Commodores—> Vanderbilt is not only returning a stunning 7 top scorers but are also bringing in two ESPNU 100 recruits.  The Commodores were a team last season that had a shot to win the SEC.  Their experience and talent should be a great combination to lead them to hold the SEC East crown at the end of conference play.

2. Kentucky Wildcats—> Kentucky is losing Knight, Liggins, and Harrellson. Three main guys from last years team. But, they’re bringing in one of the nations best recruiting classes that consists of 4 ESPNU 100’s.  Terrence Jones and Lamb look to lead this squad to an extremely successful season. However, Calipari’s past shows that he’s unable to lead great teams to championships (Memphis lost the lead in 2008 National Championship).  I see him not leading this team to the SEC Championship game. 

3. Florida Gators—> Florida will be that sleeper team. Good experience coming back and some talented recruits. I don’t see them containing the necessary consistency it takes to win the SEC East this year.

4. South Carolina Gamecocks—> Returning their top scorer and bringing in two extremely talented recruits should allow them to finish in the middle of the pack in the SEC East.

5. Georgia Bulldogs—> Losing very talented and experienced players, including two leading scorers, and are only bringing in 1 extremely valuable recruit. I expect this to be a rebuilding season for the Bulldogs.

6. Tennesse Volunteers—> Losing much of their squad from last year and accomplishing to bring in promising talent will lead to an extremely frustrating year for Volunteer fans.  Rebuilding is one word to describe how this season will be for Tennesse.

SEC CHAMPIONSHIP GAME

I see this matchup coming down to Alabama and Vanderbilt.  I think Vanderbilt’s experience, talent, and desire to win to be the victor of this meeting.  Though, I wouldn’t count the Crimson Tide out. They still have that chip on their shoulder from not making the NCAA tournament last season. It’ll be a very fun and interesting game to watch nonetheless!

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Richmond University and their coach Chris Mooney settled on a contract extension through the 2020-2021 season.  This 10 year extension is the 3rd straight season Mooney has been offered an extension at Richmond.  Sources say Richmond wanted to get a deal done quickly in anticipation of Mooney being given offers from power conference schools.  Richmond had the right to be worried about this.  The numbers speak for themselves.

Chris Mooney's contract extension through the 2020-2021 season is a huge step for Richmond's program

Last year Coach Mooney led the Spiders to a school record 26 win season.  That win total was surpassed by their 29 victories and trip to the Sweet 16 where they were defeated by the Kansas Jayhawks 77-57.  Both Mooney and Richmond are excited about where the program is headed and are happy with the deal that’s been made.

Amidst all the chaos happening during the rest of the tournament coaching changes also are college basketball fans attention grabbers.  Tennessee signed Missouri State’s coach Cuonzo Martin earlier today and now Richmond makes a move to solidify who they believe is the best fit for them for their Men’s College Basketball Head Coaching position.

With the way this past season has played out with Both Butler and VCU as mid-major teams making the Final Four this signing could be a major step for other non-power conferences.  Maybe the little guys won’t be so little in years to come which will be something for College Basketball fans everywhere to look out for!


Cuonzo led Missouri State to a 61-41 record including the regular season Missouri Valley Conference Championship and won MVC Coach of the Year honors

The Tennessee Volunteers announced today that they have hired Missouri State coach Cuonzo Martin.  Tennessee’s Athletic Director stated, “Cuonzo is among the most promising young coaches in the game, and we are excited about the coaching ability, toughness and energy that he brings to our program”.

Martin coached 3 seasons at Missouri State.  His first season he won just 11 games out of 31.  The next season his squad won 24 games and this past season he led Missouri State to 26 wins and the regular season Missouri Valley Conference title.  Cuonzo also coached as an assistant under Gene Keady at his Alma Mater, Purdue University, before coaching at Missouri State. Martin was also the Missouri Valley Conference Coach of the Year this season.

Cuonzo played at Purdue from 1991-1995 where he ranks 4th in 3-pointers made w/ 179

During his career at Purdue Cuonzo was known for his defensive presence and outstanding ability to hit perimeter jump shots.  He left Purdue 4th all time in 3-pointers made with 179.  Cuonzo then continued his career in the NBA and was drafted 57th in the second round where he shot 60% from beyond the arc.

Cuonzo Martin makes the 5th Division I coach to have played or coached under Gene Keady.  The other four coaches are Bruce Weber (Illinois), Steve Lavin (St. John’s), Kevin Stallings (Vanderbilt), and Matt Painter (Purdue).

I wish the best of luck to Cuonzo Martin and the Tennessee Volunteers. I see a start to a beautiful relationship.

Thoughts on 1st Round thus Far


The first two actual days aren’t even at a close yet and its already been a crazy 2nd (round of 64) round.  Here I’m going to share my thoughts on what made certain teams successful up to this point and what hurt some teams.

Morehead State

Kenneth Faried led the Eagles this season with 17.5 ppg.

Whoever called Morehead St. over Louisville is either lucky or knew something the rest of us didn’t know.  I’m running a poll and not one person picked Morehead St to advance.  I didn’t watch this game (and if I did I was too busy celebrating St. Patricks Day).  I was certain that Coach Pitino would have his guys motivated and ready to go for in the state match up.  I guess I was wrong. But that’s why I love March Madness!I’m sure Dick Vitale is shaking is head after picking Louisville to go the Final Four!

Richmond

I’m sure a lot of people had Richmond and honestly that wasn’t too much of a surprise.  The Spiders knocked off my Boilermakers at the beginning of the season (at a neutral site) so I knew the Spiders could play some ball.  I look forward to seeing them advance to the Sweet 16.  Richmond needs to stay hot from behind the arc against Morehead St. I think if they can do that they’ll advance pretty easily to set up a possible match up with Kansas.

Cincinnati

Yancy Gates has been the Bearcats go to man all season. In order for Cincy to be successful Gates needs to bring his A game

The Bearcats played one heck of a game yesterday.  I watched parts of and was very impressed.  Yancy Gates took his game to a new level and helped is team advance to the next round.  I find it funny that this victory for the Bearcats was considered by most an upset.  They are a 6 seed playing an 11.  Personally I had Mizzou winning and after that game I realize that I was very wrong.  The Big East match up against Uconn should be fun to watch.  If I remember correctly the last time these two teams played Uconn rallied late in the game to come back against the Bearcats in Cincy.  Look out for the Bearcats in the next round.  I think they’re playing well enough to possibly catch an exhausted Huskies team off guard and pull of the so called upset.

Michigan

Tim Hardaway Jr. is Michigan's leader. Look for him to give his team a lift against the Blue Devils

How about those Wolverines! Or should we ask what happened to Tennessee? I know they were going through all that crap about Coach Pearl but come on.  A 9 seed getting beat by 30 points in the 1st round is unacceptable.  Good job Selection Committee, another terrible job.  Give props to Michigan though for coming out and shooting the ball very well and playing some good tough defense.  I don’t have much hope for Michigan against Duke but boy will I be rooting for the Wolverines.

Purdue

Of course I have to mention Purdue.  The game is currently on and they’re about 4 minutes into the first half.  I’m interested to see how they play without Kelsey Barlow.  As of right now they are playing really shitty.  I’m not pleased with their 4-2 lead going into the under 16 minute time out.  I’m sure my Boilers will pull through and end up winning but they’re making it tough on themselves with poor shot selection.  They are settling for jump shots which is by no means their game.  They need to work the shot clock and either get into the paint and kick out for the open 3 or drive to the rim and draw some fouls.  That way I can watch the game in a sense of ease instead of anticipation and nervousness….that would be great.  As the game progresses I have a feeling Purdue will settle down and start going inside to JaJuan Johnson, which has been their game and success all year. 

Terone Johnson's name will be called to fill in Kelsey Barlow's place. So far the true freshman has played well and stepped up to the occasion.

It’s currently halftime during the Purdue game and I’m please with their 16 point lead.  Lewis Jackson and Terone Johnson have stepped it up and have played well this half.  Which is great news for the Boilermakers. Keep in an eye for John Hart to get some minutes as both teams start wearing down as the game goes along. I guess Hart was injured after hurting his ankle yesterday in practice.  Disregard anything I said about Hart being an impact this game.  Purdue won impressively but I’m very critical of their play.  I feel like they played too sloppy and could have taken care of the pace and ball better.  Hopefully they can clean their act up in the next round(s).

1st Round Predictions!


I have a few thoughts on this Thursday’s match ups.  I think the nation will be shocked by what they will see and even more shocked by my predictions and upsets I have picked. All these games I have on my bracket (I only have one bracket. I hate people who have a billion brackets filled out.  Your bound to be successful in one pool if you fill out 10 brackets, amateurs).

East Region: 1st Round

The Sycamores have the ability to shoot lights out from behind the arc. Don't be surprised if they pull off the 1st round upset

  • Obviously I have Ohio State advancing.
  • George Mason/Villanova is a tough pick but I’m going with George Mason
  • West Virginia over the play team (Clemson/UAB)
  • Kentucky over Princeton
  • I have Xavier over Marquette
  • Indiana St. over Syracuse ( I know I’m crazy but, I have a feeling ISU will shoot well against the zone. That’s  just me though)
  • Washington over Georgia big time
  • North Carolina over Long Island

West Region: 1st Round

Oakland has shown their ability to put up points in bunches. Look for the high scoring Golden Grizzlies to show up the low scoring Longhorns of Texas

  • Duke over Hampton, of course
  • Michigan over The Vols
  • Arizona over Memphis
  • Oakland > Texas.  Call me crazy but Texas has been struggling to score and the boys from Oakland have experience and can put points on the board. They put up 100+ twice this season including once in their conference tourney
  • Mizzou bests Cincy
  • Uconn pounds Bucknell
  • Penn St pulls out the shocker
  • San Diego State gets past Northern Colorado

Southwest Region: 1st Round

Kelsey Barlow has been suspended for the remainder of the season. His lockdown D could be missed in the backcourt when Lewis Jackson needs a breather

  • Kansas over Boston (Kansas has a crappy track record against teams that start with “B”. Does Bucknell or Bradley ring a bell?) However, I think the Jayhawks have this one
  • Illinois over UNLV
  • Vandy over Richmond, this was a tough one to pick too
  • Louisville > Morehead St. Gotta love the in state match up though!
  • Georgetown over play in (USC/VCU)
  • Purdue over St. Peter’s (Although losing Kelsey Barlow for the season hurts I think Purdue has enough guard depth, offensively, to still make a run)
  • Texas A&M over Florida St. I have no clue on this one. Simply went with the higher seed on this one
  • Notre Dame over Akron

Southeast Region: 1st Round

The Aggies won 30 games this season. Look for them to come out confident against the inconsistent kansas State Wildcats

  • Pitt over NC-Ashville
  • Butler ousts Old Dominion
  • Utah St pulls out a thriller against Kansas St ( I don’t care who you play you don’t win 30 games by accident.  I see Utah St. shocking the nation only in the new 2nd round, field of 64)
  • Wisconsin over Belmont. Bo Ryan will have his guys ready to go
  • St. John’s I feel will clobber Gonzaga
  • BYU escapes a close one against Wofford
  • Michigan State surprises everybody by actually showing up to play and beating UCLA
  • Florida wins it’s only game of the tournament against UC-Santa Barbara

I’ve mentioned in a reply to a comment that I’ve received that I’m unhappy and strongly disagree with some of the seedings.  Some of the match ups will be interesting and I see a lot of potential upsets.  The above mentioned upsets may sound ridiculous but how many people picked George Mason to make the run they made a few years back? They may be unlikely and I realize this.  However, anything can happen and if I call these games correctly I look like a genius and if not who really cares. I could care less either way.

I would like to hear all of your thoughts and points of views.  Especially if you think some different upsets may happen I’d be very interested in hearing your reasons of why.  Leave a comment and let everyone else know your opinion.

Thanks everybody for reading!

March Madness Baby!


Finally, March is here!  I know it’s been a long while since I’ve posted.  I spent my spring break in the Bahamas without internet access.  It was difficult not being able to keep up with all the scores and games but I can’t complain, I was in the Bahamas.

For this post I’m just going to post a few thoughts about Selection Sunday and some of the match ups.  This years tournament is crazy.  I strongly disagree with some of the seeding and with who got in and who didn’t.  I’m not going to get into all the numbers or reasons as to why I think a team should have or shouldn’t have gotten in.  But here are some teams I really thought should have gotten in.

1. I really thought Colorado should have gotten in.  Every one knows that it’s hard to beat a team 3 times in one season.  Colorado did that against Kansas State this year.  Yeah, KSU may have not had their expectations met but they’re still a good team.  Colorado took care of business against them.  They also have wins over Texas and Missouri.  Colorado had 21 wins this year.  Most of their losses came in the Big 12, a tough conference to play in.  I think Colorado deserved to get in…especially over Georgia or Illinois

2. Virginia Tech I thought should have been in as well.  VT’s resume isn’t as strong as some others but I do think the Hokies should’ve been given a chance.  I can easily pick a few teams that I don’t think should be in where VT would fit well (or more deserving).  Virginia Tech has wins over Florida State, Penn State, and Duke and some close losses to Purdue and North Carolina.  I think Malcolm Delaney could have made things interesting in this years tournament.

3. I’m not sure why but I’m a big fan of Missouri State this year.  They come out of the Missouri Valley Conference which has provided some very interesting games in the tournament in years past (including Northern Iowa’s upset over 1 seed Kansas in 2010 as a 9 seed).  The Bears don’t have many shocking wins but put up a very close game against Tennessee.  I still don’t agree with some of the teams that got in and I feel like it would have been fun to watch Missouri State make some noise in this years big dance.

A few teams that I think shouldn’t have made it are the following:

  • UAB
  • Clemson
  • Georgia
  • Illinois
  • USC
  • VCU

To me these teams lucked into the tournament.  These teams did not impress me during the season and I feel the Selection Committee could have chosen different teams that would have made the tournament more enjoyable to watch. Such as Alabama, Cleveland State, Saint Mary’s,even Harvard should have made it, and the fore mentioned teams above.

I’m also a little heated over some of the seedings that some teams received.  I was very surprised that Georgia (who was supposedly a bubble team) got a 10 seed.  I was really confused when I saw North Carolina receive a 2 seed as well as Florida.  Both the ACC and SEC were pretty weak conference this season and I don’t feel as if either team truly deserved a 2 seed.  San Diego State finally has an opportunity to prove me wrong.  I can’t believe they received a 2 seed over BYU who beat them twice.  Personally I have Penn State beating San Diego State.  That’s how much I disrespect SDSU, plus Talor Battle is on fire as of late.

I thought Texas and Louisville deserved a 2 seed.  I also think St. Johns should have been seeded higher.  Other than that I thought the seeds were distributed as they should have been.  This years tournament should be very interesting and I “CAN’T WAIT” (to quote the infamous Bart Scott) til Thursday when the tourney takes off on the road to crown 2011’s National Champion!


The Pittsburgh Panthers is another team that meets the criteria of a National Championship team.  You should know the criteria by now but if you don’t no worries. I’ll tell what they are right now:

  1. Team must have at least a 10 game win streak at some point during the season.
  2. Team’s victories must average double digit margin.  +10 points/victory
  3. Team must have been ranked in the preseason top 10

Pitt’s Preseason rank: 5 (I ran into a problem with this.  From the information I have Ohio State is said to have also been preseason ranked #5.  If anyone can help me out with this that would be great.)

Pitt’ MoV: 16.4

Pitt’s record: 26-4 (14-3 Big East)

RPI: 7

I’m not going to act like I know a whole bunch about the Panthers.  I do know that all of their losses are against tough opponents (Tennessee, Notre Dame, St. John’s, and Louisville).  All of those teams are/were ranked at some point this season.  They say that the Big East Conference is the toughest basketball conference this year, that could be true and I will not refute that claim here. I have not had the time to look at each team individually and their RPI’s and key wins/losses but I’m flabbergasted that the Big East might get 11 teams in the tournament.  I will thoroughly enjoy watching the Big East get knocked off fairly quickly in the first two rounds, and of course with that many teams in the tournament somebody has got to get past the Elite 8 and I’m confidently positive that Pittsburgh is the Big East team that has the best shot at making the Final Four.  Some might say well that’s easy to call.  No kidding.  I think the Big East has so many teams eligible and ranked because other big time conferences are down (mainly the ACC).  But, Pitt’s season team stats are very impressive considering the “level” of competition they supposedly play.  They rank in the top 50 in the nation in the following categories; Points per game, Assists per game, Rebounds per game, and team Field Goal % (46th, 7th, 3rd, 23rd respectively).  I’m not a math major but that’s incredible!

Like I said, I do not know very much about Pitt even though I wish I did.  The numbers only sometimes lie and with their numbers I can see them making it to the Final Four.  But, just like any other team they could be upset.  Which keeps the game and especially the tournament exciting!

If you know more about Pitt please fill free to leave comments about them and your opinions on how far they will go in the upcoming March Madness Tournament.