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I don't hate the guy. I like him. A lot. I want him to succeed. We need him to succeed.
But I'm not blind to what I'm seeing. Right now, I'm seeing an ordinary coach. I haven't seen anything from Martin that leads me to believe he is or can be a great coach. What I see is a guy that thinks you can win by saying "Play hard". There hasn't been, at least in my opinion, a shred of strategy that has given us an edge over the opponent. In other words, our coach doesn't give us any kind of advantage over the opposing coach.
Granted, we're only about 1.5 years into his tenure. But what I've seen is a lack of any kind of creativity on the offensive end and truth be told, an average defensive team. Some think we have a great defensive team because of the points per game but that's a by product of the slow tempo.
I know the argument is "look what he's inherited". And that's fine. We don't have the most talent in the SEC. But we also don't have the worst. And right now, we're one of the 5 worst teams in the league along with LSU, UGA, Vandy and SC. And I'm not going to give Martin a pass on the talent level. If what was left to him was so poor, surely it should have been easy to recruit over those guys left on the roster.
What I still can't get over is when Martin was handed this program, he left for a couple months in the heart of the main recruiting season to be a lackey on the USA U-20 basketball team. How is that acceptable? You get a job like this and put it on hold for a couple months? Could he have signed better players? I don't know. But he didn't even give himself a chance.
Maybe he hires an offensive guru in the offseason. But I just don't see it happening. He doesn't seem to think we have an issue except for hitting open shots. Yet 90% of the dribbles on the offensive end are sideways or back to half court. We have no semblance of an idea on that end. Our inbounds plays are simply to get the ball in and we can barely do that. But just go "play hard" and I guess everything will be okay.
I'm open to opinions on why people think Martin will all of a sudden turn this around or why some think he's a very good coach because I've seen that opinion by some. I think Martin's a very good guy and I'd love to see him succeed and represent this University for a dozen or more years. But I just don't see anything out of him that leads me to believe that we'll have success with him as our HC.
Senior Writer, govols247
I agree with you 100%.
Two main issues for me. One, the style of play is awful. Two, I think it's obvious Martin doesn't know the talent level required at this level. Why in the world are we signing some these kids? Like when Buzz signed Matt Dotson in his last year.....you knew thing were bad at that point.
No reason you can't get good players to tenn....that been proven by multiple coaches. No reason to sign a kid like Chievous and several others he's signed.
By my count, Pearl signed at least 5 questionable recruits in his first two classes, and only one of them, Childress, finished his career at TN. Pearl also signed 4 highly rated players who failed to live up to their billing to various degrees. (Crews, R. Smith, Jurick, and Woolridge). I could argue that Hall has underachieved as well. A lot of people thought that Lofton, Bradshaw, and J. Smith were wasted schollies...how'd you like have those 3 back?
Style of play is a matter of taste and not a fundamental weakness. If you don't like the style, well that's your right, but it says nothing about the coach's competence. I thought it interesting that Pearl achieved his greatest post-season success with a much more half-court oriented team, and no one would argue that John Chaney wasn't a good coach.
Chievous may very well prove to be the player you think he is, but I'd say he's a good bit better prospect than Josh Tabb was, and Edwards is at least seeing a little meaningful PT which is more than M. Johnson did. Washpun is already gone, and I really don't see anyone else who doesn't look like he could develop into an SEC caliber player.
GO BIG ORANGE!!
McDoug, you're absolutely right that Pearl signed some guys that couldn't play and didn't contribute. The difference is Pearl won games. If he didn't, he would have faces massive amounts of criticism (and still did sometimes).
I'm a huge Pearl fan but I would criticize him. He didn't do everything perfectly. But even with all the mis-evals you mentioned, all he did was win.
Cuonzo doesn't win. He doesn't out his team in position to succeed. And I never wanted to bring Pearl into this because both Pearl and Martin stand on their own. Martin doesn't deserve to be compared to Pearl and vice versa. But since you did bring it up, I think one of Pearl's best traits is that he knew he didn't know it all. He relied on Shay for scouting. He had massive problems with pick and roll against OSU and went out to NBA camps to learn how to defend it.
I don't get the feeling that Martin thinks there is anything wrong except missing open shots, execution and not playing hard enough.
Took the words right out of my mouth. Not having Maymon is an excuse at this point in the year. The thing Pearl could do was adapt his style of play to who his players were something I have not seen Martin willing or able to do.
Preach it NYC. I couldn't have said it any better myself. People compare Pearl's recruiting againstartins and whatnot, but they fail to point out that Pearl won with his recruits and he won big. Martin, however, hasn't won anything.
The only reason I mentioned Pearl was because OMG referenced his recruiting in another thread, and I simply wanted to make the point that Bruce wasn't exactly perfect in that regard. I liked Pearl, too, and was very disappointed in him for the great bbq incident.
I don't know if Martin will succeed here or not, and I agree that there are valid criticisms of his work, but I'm not so sure that I agree with your specific ones. If Martin truly doesn't think there isn't anything wrong except missing open shots, execution and not playing hard enough, how do we know he isn't right? Failure in any one of those areas is enough to lose a game against a good team. If his players are getting open shots, then how is he not putting them in a position to succeed? What would you do differently? What isn't he teaching?
Would you adapt the style of play? OK, to what? There are four legacy players on the team who weren't recruited for Martin's system, and none of them played much before Martin. Would you change to style just for them?
This post was edited by mcdoug99 15 months ago
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