Season inching closer

The Tennessee Volunteers basketball squad is less than a week away from their preseason opener with Carson-Newman College. Read this basketball practice report for all the latest concerning Tennessee basketball.

Cuonzo Martin and the Tennessee basketball squad are less than a week away from their preseason opener with Carson-Newman College on Nov. 3.

It will be Martin's first time to see him new team in action as a head coach of the Orange and White and a great measuring stick of their progress.

"I think the great thing about exhibition games are that you have a chance to make mistakes," Martin said. "Obviously the goal is to win the game, but we get a chance to gauge ourselves."

With the exception of Cameron Tatum and Trae Golden there are virtually no players on Martin's roster that have dealt with the pressure of being a key playmaker on the Volunteer roster, which adds a whole new dimension to next week's game.

"I think it will be fun for our guys to get out there, play and have some fun," Martin said. "You are talking about guys that haven't played a prominent role outside of one or two guys.

"Now they are excited about playing on the floor. You have new guys, freshmen guys that are excited about having the opportunity to play. I think it will be fun just for our guys to get out there."

Golden, the new starting point guard, has shown out in preseason practice and it hasn't gone unnoticed by the headman.

"I think the last few days Trae Golden has made some shots," he said. "He was 7 of 11 two days ago from the 3-point line, which was good to see."

Early on in camp Martin emphasized the defensive side on the basketball, but he has no implemented the new offense and he has been pleased with the results.

"We have guys with the ability to score the basketball and they have been working hard," Martin said. "I think the key for us is to try and get production on the box and we have big guys who can face up and make plays, but we need more back-to-the-basket production right now."

Golden added that the new defense has been an adjustment, but early on the team is grasping onto the offense well.

"We did all defense at first and now we are working on our offense and it is starting to come together," Golden said. "I feel like I am doing all right. I am just working as hard as I can so I can lead the way in any way that I can."

The Vols will open their regular season schedule following exhibition games with Carson-Newman and Lincoln Memorial with UNC-Greensboro on Nov. 11 in Thompson-Boling Arena.


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