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UT’s Martin Applauds MSU’s Hiring Of Ray

Cuonzo Martin knows Rick Ray.  Tennessee’s head coach worked as an assistant under Matt Painter at Purdue with Mississippi State’s new head coach.  And he likes MSU’s decision to hire his old colleague:

“So many times we make a hire based off of, well, ‘Is he going to be great at the press conference?  Is he going to be great with the media?’  He’ll be a guy that will be in Starkville for the duration and he will develop players and also help them get degrees and have successful careers.  I applaud the fact that Mississippi State made the move and hired the guy.  That’s impressive because they went against the grain.”

The press conference comment is an interesting one because Martin isn’t known for being Mr. Personality at public functions himself.  But the first-year Tennessee coach led a team picked to finish 11th in the SEC to a surprising second-place regular-season finish in the league.

If Ray can duplicate his friends surprisingly quick turnaround, no one will worry about his personality.  (Though as we told you earlier today, he had enough personality to win over many MSU fans yesterday at his opening presser.)



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