Kevin Stallings

Kevin Stallings calls Tennessee fans who want Cuonzo Martin out ‘idiots’

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Through two-plus seasons in Knoxville, Cuonzo Martin has compiled a 56-39 record with the Volunteers. Tennessee is 17-11 (8-7 SEC) this year, currently sitting sixth in the conference standings.

Lately, some have speculated that Martin is on the hot seat. To make matters worse, former Tennessee coach Bruce Pearl, now an analyst with ESPN, is eligible to coach again beginning in 2014-2015. Despite being fired by the Volunteers three years ago, the Tennessee fan base still shows love for its charismatic ex-head coach.

Vanderbilt head coach Kevin Stallings, Martin’s opponent on Saturday, is in his corner, saying it’s “absurd” his job status is being questioned.

“He’s in his third year and that is ridiculous. He’s doing a good job with their team,” Stallings told Jeff Lockridge of the Tennessean before practice on Thursday afternoon. “I think they’re getting ready to make the NCAA tournament. It takes some time when you go in there and you have to change some things and change the way things are done.

“Hopefully, the powers that be over at Tennessee will tune those idiots out and give (Martin) the kind of time he deserves to do the job he needs to do.”

Tennessee was picked to finish third in the SEC back in October — receiving one first-place vote — behind Kentucky and Florida. Although, the Volunteers are still squarely on the bubble heading into that last three games of the regular season. At the moment, Tennessee is listed as the First Five Teams Out in College Basketball Talk’s latest edition of Bracketology while SEC opponents Missouri and Arkansas are in the Last Five Teams In.

Tennessee hosts Vanderbilt on Saturday, with the tip scheduled for noon.

PREGAME SHOOTAROUND: Thanksgiving Day Edition!

Kevin Ollie
(AP Photo/Ricardo Arduengo)
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GAME OF THE NIGHT: Syracuse vs. No. 18 UConn, 3:30 p.m.

For the first time since the Orange departed the Big East, the two former rivals will square off. Today’s battle will take place at the Battle 4 Atlantis, as the Orange knocked off Charlotte yesterday and the Huskies dispatched Michigan. To get ready for this battle, I’d suggest ready through the conversation @NoEscalators had with himself last night.

THIS ONE’S GOOD, TOO: No. 25 Texas A&M vs. No. 10 Gonzaga, 1:00 p.m.

The other semifinal in the Battle 4 Atlantis could end up being just as good, as the Aggies — who might be the second best team in the SEC — square off with a Gonzaga team that has one of the best front lines in the country. This will be a good test to figure out just how good both of these teams are.


1. No. 20 Wichita State vs. USC, 2:00 p.m.: The Shockers will be without Fred VanVleet for this event. It will also be a chance for us to gauge just how good this 4-0 USC team is.

2. No. 23 Xavier vs. Alabama, 12:00 p.m: The Musketeers should have no problems dispatching Alabama.

3. No. 8 Villanova vs. Stanford, 4:30 p.m.: The Wildcats are, once again, as good as any team in the country. Josh Hart might be the nation’s most underrated star.

4. No. 14 Cal vs. San Diego State, 12:00 a.m.: Tyrone Wallace and company have been awesome this season. They get their first real test of the season tonight.

5. Providence vs. Evansville, 7:00 p.m.: Evansville is one of the nation’s best mid-majors, good enough to give the likes of Wichita State and Northern Iowa a fight in the Missouri Valley. And Providence? They got a kid named Kris Dunn. Heard of him?


  • No. 3 Michigan State vs. Boston College, 6:30 p.m.
  • No. 11 Arizona vs. Santa Clara, 11:30 p.m.
  • No. 17 Notre Dame vs. Monmouth, 6:30 p.m.

VIDEOS: Rhode Island, Maryland exchange heated words in Cancun

Dan Hurley

No. 2 Maryland finally found their rhythm on Wednesday night, blowing out a good Rhode Island team, 86-63, in the finals of the Cancun Challenge.

Melo Trimble and Rasheed Sulaimon combined for 34 points and eight assists on 13-for-14 shooting and Robert Carter added 15 points, nine boards, three assists and three blocks. Peak Maryland, which is what we saw tonight, is really dangerous.

But Peak Maryland wasn’t the story after the game, as tempers flared in the waning minutes.

It started when Maryland coach Mark Turgeon called a timeout with less than two minutes remaining. Jake Layman had just hit a three to put Maryland up by 24 points and Turgeon wanted to get his walk-ons in the game. Hurley said to the Maryland bench, “We’ll see you again, boy,” according to Inside Maryland Sports, which prompted this reaction from Turgeon:

After the game, the two teams had to be separated in layup lines. According to reports from IMS and from the Baltimore Sun, Hurley was cursing at Maryland players as he was shaking their hands after the game. According Doug Gottlieb, who called the game for CBS Sports Network, Trimble said that the Rhode Island team wanted to “fight us”: