Crossville Chronicle, Crossville, TN

Sports Columns

January 31, 2013

Rocky Top Beat: Basketball has now taken center stage at Tennessee

CROSSVILLE — Basketball has taken center stage for a while at Tennessee; well, at least until football signing day gets here this coming week. Cuonzo Martin’s Vols responded with two games at home by defeating two of UT’s biggest rivals, both decided by one point. Apparently the phone call by Coach Martin to the league was good enough to give Jarnell Stokes some freedom to play his game. 

Anytime you can beat Vanderbilt and Alabama in the same week in anything is a good week. However, all the news was not great as Trae Golden will be dealing with a hamstring injury for a while. Sophomore Brandon Lopez stepped in at point guard against Vandy and showed potential. Expect to see his minutes increased until Golden returns unless Lopez plays himself out of the rotation. 

The Vols will travel to Arkansas to play on Saturday at 3 p.m. CST.  To continue their modest two-game win streak, they will have to win their first SEC road game this year in a historically tough place for visitors to leave with a victory. (Razorbacks are 12-1 this year at home). The game will be carried by ESPN. 

The Lady Vols continued their undefeated SEC campaign with a win at Vanderbilt last Thursday night, but followed that with a disappointing loss to No. 2-ranked Notre Dame at home last Monday. There was a great atmosphere with more than 13,500 orange clad fans on hand to witness Pat Summitt’s banner hoisted to the rafters prior to tip off. Unfortunately, the Lady Vols had no defensive answer on this night for Notre Dame’s All-American point guard, Skylar Diggins, who scored a career-best 33 points. 

The Lady Vols are now 16-4 overall with three of those losses coming against potential Final Four contenders. The road ahead could be a little more difficult depending on the extent of Isabelle Harrison’s injured knee. While she mends, freshman Bashaara Graves should get some relief when Cierra Burdick returns from her recent injury. After last night’s home contest against Mississippi State, they are headed to Missouri for a 1 p.m. CST contest Sunday. 

There is still a lot of basketball left to play in this season. Heading into February, both teams have an opportunity to finish strong. The Vols need to take advantage of an easier part of their schedule to enhance their post season resume. Meanwhile, the Lady Vols need to get healthy and continue to improve as they head towards their goal of hanging their own banner in the Thompson-Boling Arena rafters.

Jarnell Stokes credits his faith for his recent improvement on the hardwood but we might have seen "Devine" intervention even closer to home.

Football recruiting will be headed for a short no contact period leading into National Signing Day this coming Wednesday. It has been a virtual roller coaster ride for coaches throughout the Southeastern Conference as players continue to look at options. Coach Jones surely has some sleepless nights ahead until those signed letters of intent exit the fax machine at UT. Thankfully, only a few more days until Team 117 is introduced to the Big Orange Nation. Go Vols!

(Frank Gale is a Chronicle correspondent and his column appears regularly.)

1
Text Only
Sports Columns
  • Better police needed for college teams enticed to cheat

    Cheating has been part of college athletics probably for as long as people have bothered to keep score.

    July 24, 2014

  • Rocky Top Beat: Vols begin preparations for season opener in eight days

    The start of fall practice is only a mere eight days away. Coach Butch Jones has to be ready to get Team #118 on the field and to start preparations for Utah State.

    July 24, 2014

  • Expectations too high for a rehabbing Woods

    Even when Tiger Woods finished just a few strokes from last place at the British Open, he was one of the  featured topics in stories coming out of Royal Liverpool Golf Club.

    July 23, 2014

  • Rocky Top Beat: Vols focused on Utah

    The SEC media days have come and gone with no real news being generated. A successful media days appearance is usually defined as leaving Hoover, AL without giving a future opponent bulletin board material. Using that criteria, Tennessee left without any major gaffs.

    July 17, 2014

  • Oh Good Greif: Good things must come to an end

    The Dr. Pepper Classic, a long-time tradition at McKenzie Arena, affectively-known as the Round House, will seize, as a couple of teams dropped out, leaving the university in a "lurch," according to the Chattanooga Times Free Press Tuesday morning. Teams wanted a cash guarantee to play, which couldn't be provided (at this time).

    July 10, 2014

  • Rocky Top Beat: Majors Invitational tees off Sunday at Lake Tansi

    It is the second weekend in July and that means Johnny Majors is at Lake Tansi this weekend to host his annual golf tournament. It is always a treat for the local UT fans to interact with those that have been a part of the Vol football program. They come to the plateau each year to renew old acquaintances and share the stories of gridiron prowess from past years. By the way, the stories sure seem to get better with time.

    July 10, 2014

  • Oh Good Greif: 'Dores make history with CWS win

    History was made at the College World Series in Omaha, NE, this week, as the Vanderbilt Commodores baseball team won the school's  first national championship in any sport since the Vandy women's bowling team won the 2007 national crown.

    June 26, 2014

  • Rocky Top Beat: Tyndall hire closes the book on Martin era

    The University of Tennessee was able to close the books on the Cuonzo Martin era of Vol basketball earlier this week when they hired Donnie Tyndall to lead their program. Athletic Director Dave Hart, who conducted the search and the hiring on his own, appears to have found the right coach for this team at the right time.

    April 24, 2014

  • ROCKY TOP BEAT: You never know what will happen next with TN sports

    When you cover UT sports, you never know what is going to happen next. The past two weeks were no exception as they were filled with "the good, the bad and the ugly."

    April 17, 2014

  • Oh Good Greif: Spring in full swing with Masters under way

    With "March Madness" over and the Masters golf tournament under way in Augusta, GA, you know spring has sprung.

    April 10, 2014

Marketplace Marquee
Parade
Must Read
Section Teases
Seasonal Content
AP Video
Raw: Japanese Soldiers Storm Beach in Exercises Raw: Weapons Fire Hits UN School in Gaza Raw: Rocket Launches Into Space With Cargo Ship Broken Water Main Floods UCLA Two Women Narrowly Avoid Being Hit by Train In Virginia, the Rise of a New Space Coast New Sanctions on Key Sectors of Russian Economy Crayola Announces Family Attraction in Orlando US Ready to Slap New Sanctions on Russia Kerry: Not Worried About Israeli Criticism Boater Rescued From Edge of Kentucky Dam Girl Struck by Plane on Florida Beach Dies Rodents Rampant in Gardens Around Louvre House to Vote on Slimmed-down Bill for Border Looming Demand Could Undercut Flight Safety Raw: 2 Shells Hit Fuel Tank at Gaza Power Plant Raw: Massive Explosions From Airstrikes in Gaza Giant Ketchup Bottle Water Tower Up for Sale Easier Nuclear Construction Promises Fall Short Kerry: Humanitarian Cease-fire Efforts Continue
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Weather Radar
2014 Readers' Choice
Graduation 2014