Tennessee 92, UNC-Greensboro 63
Trae Golden had 29 points and nine assists as Tennessee cruised
to a 92-63 win over UNC Greensboro on Friday night.
The game was part of an expanded Maui Invitational tournament.
The Volunteers travel to Maui to face No. 6 Duke on Nov. 21, while
the Spartans face Middle Tennessee at Murfreesboro, Tenn., in the
regional field of the tournament.
So much about Tennessee (1-0) basketball has changed from a
Gone is Bruce Pearl, the animated coach that led the Vols to
their first No. 1 ranking and first trip to the NCAA regional
finals in his six seasons. The Vols are no longer concerned with
the NCAA investigation of Pearl and his staff that lingered all
Forward Tobias Harris and guard Scotty Hopson left early to
enter the NBA draft and four other seniors who saw regular playing
time have graduated, leaving Cameron Tatum as the lone returning
With five new scholarship players and first-year coach Cuonzo
Martin, Tennessee is running a fast-paced pressure defense. As long
as they put full effort into their defense, the Vols have
permission from Martin to shoot at will.
Their defensive effort against UNC Greensboro (0-1) may not
completely please the coach, but they shot freely anyway.
Jeronne Maymon hit a long jumper and Jordan McRae and Golden had
back-to-back 3s as Tennessee took an 8-0 lead in the first 1:09 of
Golden had the hottest hand of the night. The sophomore had two
fastbreak baskets early in the game and scored three treys in a row
over a two-minute period that gave the Vols a 40-28 lead with 3:03
One of Golden’s dishes went to McRae, who nailed another
3-pointer with 6 seconds left before the break to give Tennessee a
49-30 halftime lead, their biggest margin of the first half.
Maymon added 15 points for Tennesseee, McRae had 14 and Renaldo
Woolridge scored 11 and grabbed a team-high eight rebounds. The
Vols shot 64.6 percent and hit 15 of 24 from 3-point range
Korey Van Dussen led UNC Greensboro with 12 points, and Derrell
Armstrong and Trevis Simpson each scored 10 points.
The Spartans’ shooting warmed up briefly after the break. Van
Dussen sank a trey and then stole the ball from Golden, setting up
a 3 by Drew Parker that cut Tennessee’s margin to 55-40, but UNC
Greensboro wouldn’t get any closer.
Still, the Spartans gave the Vols some trouble inside, scoring
32 points in the paint and outrebounding Tennessee 34-31. They also
stole the ball eight times and scored 14 points off turnovers.
UNC Greensboro is trying to avoid a similar start to last
season, when it opened with a 15-game losing streak. The Spartans,
who returned four starters and nine of their top 10 players, went
on to win seven of their last 16 games, including an upset of
Davidson in the Southern Conference tournament.
Martin, who put 14 different players on the floor, is still
trying to get a feel for what his players can do. He wants to cut
his rotation to eight or nine players after evaluating as many Vols
as he can in early-season games.