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UT’s Martin To Face Brutal First-Year Schedule

Best wishes to new Tennessee basketball coach Cuonzo Martin.  This summer he’ll learn what sanctions his program will face due to the actions of his predecessor’s staff.  Then this fall he’ll take a rebuilt roster that lost its two top players from a year ago up against a schedule that includes some of the nation’s most dangerous programs.

“I think our guys will be ready for the challenges physically; it’s a matter of how quickly they pick up the things we want to do on the floor,” Martin told The Knoxville News Sentinel.  “Our returning guys want to prove some people wrong who think we won’t be competitive.  We lost some great players, but our guys continue to work to be champions.”

Championships might be out of reach in the short run.  UT learned yesterday that it will host Pittsburgh in the Big East/SEC Challenge, a year after upsetting the Panthers in their own home city.

That game is added to a nonconference slate that already features road trips to Memphis and Summit League champion Oakland.  The Vols will also play in the Maui Invitational against the likes of Duke, Kansas, UCLA, Michigan and Georgetown.  And, oh yeah, defending national champ UConn will visit Knoxville next season, too.

Tennessee fans will get their wish in seeing the Vols face a top quality schedule.  Whether or not their patient as Martin has to rebuild against said schedule remains to be seen.



  1. [...] Thursday’s announcement that defending Big East champion Pittsburgh will visit Knoxville on Dec. 3 only increases the degree of difficulty of a non-league schedule that now appears to be among the toughest in the nation. [...]

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