Aug. 26, 2011
Friday marked the first official day of individual fall workouts for the Tennessee basketball team, and first-year head coach Cuonzo Martin made sure the day was a productive one.
"The guys did a great job, better than I thought for 6 a.m. mile run," Martin said. "They were in pretty good shape. We talked a lot about our defensive DNA and what we expect on the defensive side of the ball."
The Volunteers started things off with a timed mile run at 6 a.m. at Tom Black Track. Freshman guard Brandon Lopez crossed the finish line with a team-best time of 5:08, while the entire squad completed the run in six minutes.
Following the run--but still well before sunrise--the team made its way to Pratt Pavilion for a multi-station session with strength and conditioning coach Troy Wills.
The players then dispersed for morning classes before returning to Pratt Pavilion for high-intensity, four-man workouts on the hardwood. Friday's emphasis during the 30-minute sessions was toughness.
"It definitely was a long day," senior guard Cameron Tatum said. "A lot of guys didn't know what to expect, but we just knew it was going to be tough.
"A lot of guys answered the call. Everybody attacked it head-on and kept the energy going all day. I think the key is consistency--that's what coach Martin and his staff want to see. Once we show that we can bring it at the highest level everyday, then we can really start making progress. That's when we can really start to become a good team."
A family dinner for the team staff and players was scheduled for Friday evening, with the group set to conclude the day by cheering on the Lady Vols volleyball team at their home match against Ohio at Thompson-Boling Arena.
Four-man workouts continue for the Vols on both Saturday and Sunday.