February 7th, 2012 12:14 PM║ Posted By: John Pennington ║ Permalink
║ Schools: Tennessee
Tags: Dan Murphy, Martin Vols, Thompson Boling Arena, UT
Cuonzo Martin is a disciplinarian. Tennessee’s hottest offensive hand will be yanked to the bench if he’s slothful on the defensive end. Like Norman Dale at Hickory High in “Hoosiers,” Martin put his team through a number of drills in preseason sans basketballs.
After a slow start, the Volunteers have shown enough improvement in 2012 to upset Florida and UConn at Thompson-Boling Arena. Picked or 11th in the SEC, Martin’s Vols are currently eighth in the league standings. While no one in Knoxville is going to be throwing any parties over those types of numbers, but it does appear Martin’s discipline is having a bigger impact away from the court.
According to UT faculty representative Dan Murphy, the basketball team had one of its best academic semesters in “four or five years” last fall.
“I think Cuonzo Martin has really made it clear to the students that you go to class, you do your best. You’re a student-athlete. Being a student is part of what he expects from his athletes — and it shows.”
Martin isn’t being paid to raise GPAs, he’s being paid to win games. But for those who believe discipline — in all areas of life — is key to winning games long-term, Martin’s approach in Knoxville bears watching.
And looking at the numbers provided by The Knoxville News Sentinel in the article above, Derek Dooley might want to have Martin talk to his football team, too.
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