Cuonzo Martin Press Luncheon 1/27

Jan. 27, 2014

(Opening Statement)
"Coming off a tough one, got to give Florida a lot of credit. I thought they played well as a team. I thought Wilbekin and Patric Young did a great job corralling their guys, getting their guys ready to play on both ends of the floor. I thought they were a legitimately team, thought it was the best defense I've seen since I've been a part of Tennessee basketball against any team. I thought they did a great job as a team of defending. They were ready for the challenge. We didn't play well. We will bounce back. Didn't make shots, 2-for-29 with our perimeter guys - those guys will make those shots, but I think you have to give some of the credit to Florida's team defense. Now we have Ole Miss, a talented team, they are playing well, two of the better guards in the league and the country in my opinion. Jarvis Summers - a guy I recruited in high school is just continuing to get better and better and better as one of the best point guards at 6'3", can get to the rim, shoot 55% from the 3-point line, over 50% from the field, and then Marshall Henderson. He is going to do his thing, he makes shots, he takes tough shots. The thing about Marshall's shots whether he is making or missing is his shots impact the game. Sometimes you got two guys running at him, his big guy gets an offensive rebound, so he does a great job moving, keeping his confidence and late in the game he makes his free throws. They are a very talented team and they are playing well."

(On dwelling over the Florida game)
"Not at all, we watched the first half yesterday as a team. We watched it - it was the first time we watched it, the audio of the game. Normally, when we break down film, it is just the black and white video version. We watched audio as a team - the first half. It is one game. It's a tough loss. We didn't play well. And like I said, sometimes you don't play well because you didn't play well. In this case, you got to give the opposing team a lot of credit for you not playing well. They were physical, they were tough, they battled, they were ready to play, and they did a great job. We didn't play well. I thought Jarnell was solid, I thought Jeronne was solid, I didn't think our guards shot the ball well, and I didn't think our guards did a great job of getting into the ball with the ball screens, but it is too tough to spend a lot of time when you got 18 games in the league. You touch on it, you hit it, make your guys understand it, and you hit the key points, you learn from it, you keep moving because you'll have the opportunity again."



(On Florida's defense being the best you have seen)
"Well, with the press, anytime as guards when somebody is pressuring you from start to finish of a game, you got to do something about that as a ball player. I don't care what happens, whether you are a great ball handler or not, you got to make a decision to get the ball up the court and attack the rim. I just think their team defense is good. I thought they did a good job with four seniors, and the thing about Florida's team in my opinion is they are a good defensive team, they have really good individual talent, but they don't have anybody that stands out, where this guy is above everybody else. They have all the talented players, and I think they have several guys that will play at the next level because of the way they play and they fit in, but it is all about their team and I thought they did a good job and again it starts with your point guard in my opinion, also with the big and I thought both of those guys did a great job of talking and communicating on the floor, making their guys do what they need to do to be successful."

(On finishing possessions)
"I thought this was one of the games we didn't miss them around the rim, but I thought we were doing a better job and I just like to think it was a game. Florida does a good job to position around the basket and they doubled up. I thought we had some around the rim - just didn't capitalize on it so I think it is more of just we didn't make them. I don't think it was necessarily the defense because of where we had the ball, we just didn't make them. I like to think that that was one game also because I think up until that point we had been a lot better."

(On Jordan McRae)
"Jordan is Jordan, he worked several guys when we got back the night of the game, he worked out yesterday, he worked out this morning. Jordan is going to be in the gym. He knows and understands in watching film what gaps he had an opportunity to score and just watching it, attacking the rim and didn't do it, but I mean Jordan spends time in the gym. It's never an issue with him."

(On guys getting in the gym)
"You hate to lose the way we lost. You lost to a talented opponent, but I have to give them guys credit for the way they played. They did a good job of really pressing up, pushing it, doubling the post, and playing hard."

(On changing starting lineup)
"I don't know. We always look into it. I'm not big on that. I think when you do those types of things it's as if you are singling out one guy or two guys. I'm not really big on that because I think we have a chance to continue to do special things, and I'm not a guy that changes a lineup to get another guy motivated. When I change it, it's changed. So, for me, I spend a lot of time and understand that because you don't want to lose the moral of a young man. But, we always weigh our options on everything, so we'll look into it. But, I'm not sure right now."

(On confidence slipping away because of losses)
"I don't think they feel that way. They play, and they compete. I don't get the sense they feel like something is slipping away, not at all. I think these guys want to be successful. They're hungry. They're fighting hard. They're competing. And, again, you lost a tough game, but the key is learning from it and moving forward."

(On Antonio Barton and Josh Richardson)
"I think the biggest key with both of those guys is finding time and consistency in the gym. That's the biggest thing. But nothing outside of that."

(On defending Ole Miss guard Marshall Henderson)
"It's really tough. I mean, one thing about it--he's one of those guys, I think - I don't know if it was the last game, but I was looking at his stat sheet. It was 2-of-12 from three. But, the key is that two is a powerful two that he makes. And, again, his shots impact the game. I'd say out of the ten he missed, maybe eight that he missed, two guys ran at him, and his big guys get an offensive rebound. He shoots the ball, so his shots really impact the game. He shoots a lot of them. He can make a lot of them. He's a threat at all times, whenever he touches the ball. He does a great job moving without the ball. I mean, he's a threat on the floor. You have to respect him. But, how you defend him? You have to make his looks tough. You have to corral him. But, he does a good job of getting fouled and throwing his body into you. He's a smart basketball player. I don't think he gets enough credit for his intelligence for the game, the way he moves. And you watch him on film-- he has a good feel for the game."

(On rotating players on Henderson)
"We'll do that anyways just because of, in certain situations of what they do, you are switching. Ball screens, you're switching certain things up. But, you have to put different bodies on him to give him a different look. You can't--you give him the same look every time down, he'll adjust quickly, and he'll make you pay."

(On attitude towards point guards, particularly Barton & Thompson)
"I wouldn't necessarily say I'm frustrated by them because you have Darius who's a talented young guy. He's a freshman and has to get better. I think, in Darius' case, it's looking to score more. He has the ability to score the basketball. He's a pass-first guy. He loves to pass it. But looking to score the ball more. And, I think with Antonio, being aggressive and getting to the lane. Finding guys if he's not getting shots up--getting assists. But, really, being aggressive and attacking the rim."

(On player's memories of Henderson's 32 points in Knoxville in 2013)
"If they don't, something is wrong. He scored 32. He played well. It actually surprised me because, watching him on film, I thought he was a slight guy. He's actually a little taller in person. But, he takes and he makes big shots. And, he plays with a lot of confidence. His team passes him the ball. They look for him. And, they know when he gets the ball, it's going up. In most cases, he's shooting it. And, he does a great job of dumping it down to his big guys when he's doubled. Guys remember that. If you're a ball player, you remember that, especially the guy that was guarding him."

(On his showmanship as part of Henderson's game)
"Well, I think he does a good job with it. Because, again, -- and everybody has their own style-- but, it's never directed towards officials and that sort of thing. It's almost like he takes the pressure off his teammates and puts it on himself. I have no problem. He's having success with it."

(On Henderson's lack of credit due to his showmanship)
"I think so. I think so because, I mean, you watch him--every coach--you watch him play and understand that he has some intelligence about the game. He sets you up. He has a feel. He reads the defense. He knows how to come off and get his shot. He knows when two guys are on him, he dumps it down. So, he knows how to play the game. But, I mean, the guy--obviously there's nothing wrong with it. There are no technical fouls that have been called, so there's nothing wrong with it. It's fine. Then again, as a ball player, if you're going against him, the best way to shut him up is to try and stop him."

(On Jarnell Stokes having an impressive day and stepping up while others were having a bad game)
"Jarnell is playing well, but I take it a step further and talk to Jarnell. Your team lost a game at a high level. Now as an elite guy you have to do what it takes to put the team on your back to win ball games. I thought he played a good game but again we walked out of there with a L. Now as an elite guy you have to do whatever it takes for your team to get this win. It is not about numbers at that point it is about winning games."

(On Ole Miss bouncing back after losing two bigs, Murphy Holloway and Reginald Buckner)
"I think so. They still run the same style and system, but what I think has happened is Jarvis Summers has increased his scoring and taking over games. Marshall (Henderson) is still doing the things he was doing last year. If you walked those two bigs last year they did a great job of rebounding and blocking shots. The ones they have now are very similar. I was surprised when Marshall came in last year and the way those guys allowed Marshall to be the guy. I thought that was impressive for two seniors that had been in the trenches for so long they allowed him to come in, be the guy and take those shots. It is the same thing now. Those other guys got it off the glass probably better than the guys they have now because they are experienced, but it is the same thing when he comes off screens he hits those guys the same way."

(On differences expected in Jarvis Summers being a role player)
"I think with the loss of the other guys also when Marshall (Henderson) was out earlier in the season. He had to step up. He was one of those guys when you watched him in high school, he was always in the gym working on his game. He was getting better and better ever since he was a freshman. So I am not surprised."

(On wanting to see gym consistency in Antonio Burton)
"You have practice time, but you also have to find time when school is in to get that individual time. Maybe a half an hour or 45 minutes every day and if not every day, every other day to work on your individual skills. You do team stuff during practice and our practices are tapered off because of fresh legs and such a long season. There has got to be time when to get in on your own whether it is 6 am or 7 am or 8 or 9 at night to get that work in and preferably with a coach to gage that level you are going at."

(On Jeronne Maymon's stats against Ole Miss being very effective)
"I just think it is his strength and the way he plays. Ole Miss plays that kind of game if they don't have the shot they pound it in. It is a rebounding game then they play a lot of zone. So the way he rebounds and Jarnell (Stokes) there are opportunities to get offensive rebounds. There are long shots from the three point line and you got to get those offensive rebounds. He does a good job at throwing his body around when the shot goes up."

(On AJ Davis)
"I think he will be out there. In the last game it was a case where we didn't want to put him in in that situation. He has been working on it. He is one of those guys that was in the gym that night and worked yesterday. He is always in the gym. I think you will see a lot more of him. The thing he has gotten better at is being physical around the rim. He has always been a perimeter guy being 6'8 or 6'9 but he has gotten better at being physical. He is posting up harder now. It was just an adjustment he had to make. I think you will see a lot more of AJ."

(On Ole Miss pressing)
"They will play a lot of zone. They are probably playing more zone then they have played in the past. They will press and do their two-two-one press trying to trap it at the half court area to see if they can get opportunities to get steals."

(On preparing for the press in practice)
"I think it is always an adjustment to prepare for something you don't normally do, but the thing about it we go over zone and we do a different type of press everyday just a part of our practice. It is something that we do. It is just a matter of using it in a game. I just think when you are going against a press you have to be aggressive in attacking it. You have to get up the floor and be aggressive. That is the bottom line. You have to be assertive and attack the rim. You can't be happy with just getting it across half court and trying to run your offense. You have to be aggressive in attacking the rim."

(On how to make players break a press aggressively)
"Good question. We spend a lot of time working on it in practice, being aggressive, attacking off the dribble, making plays, ripping and going. We spend a lot of time with it. I just think it takes time and confidence."

(On if he saw the altercation between Rick Ray and Marshall Henderson)
"I saw it last night, I was just searching through my phone. I saw it, yes."

(On if he has ever been in a verbal confrontation with an opposing player)
"Not when I was a coach. All the time, that was a way of life. You are competing and you are battling. That was not a problem because I was always a defensive stopper so you had to get underneath guys' skin. So I did it all the time as a player. Not as a coach but I have had guys look over at the bench, as players, making plays, they will look over at your bench. But I think for me as a coach that is more your players, they have to handle that. I can't play, my days are over. I can say something to the officials. But I go back to my days as a player, as a player you have to handle that. You see it."

(On if he was a trash talker in college)
"I was but it was only to the guy I was going against. Yeah, I did. But you are competing. I think what happens when you are competing, it is who you are, you can be two different people. When you are doing battle this is what you do to win and compete in the basketball game. It doesn't say that is who you are off the court, there is a difference."

(On how would feel about exhibiting actions on the court like Marshall Henderson)
"If you are doing it in a way you are competing and there is not a technical foul, it doesn't take away from your teammates, then I am fine with it."



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