Coach Cuonzo Martin and his coaching staff took time out of their busy schedules to stop by and spend time with students at the Presidential Courtyard Cafe on Thursday. While the students ate lunch, the men's basketball coaching staff went around to meet everyone.
Joseph Warrick, sophomore in history, was impressed that the staff decided to stop by.
"I think it's something special," Warrick said. "I think it shows our coaches want to get the students involved, and it encourages our students to support our athletes and represent our school."
The Vols played four games against club and professional Italian teams on a 10 day trip that started Aug. 5. Martin said the team certainly improved from the experience.
"I just think we got better as a team," Martin said. "When you're talking about bigger, stronger, faster, but also to understand the system, the level we expect them to play at. "I think that was the great thing about playing over in Italy," Martin added. "I thought our guys did a great job of handling the game and competing from start to finish, and we have a lot of different lineups rotating five guys throughout the game, and I thought the guys really played hard in that situation."
Several players stepped up for the team while overseas. While Martin knew what to expect from the returning players, he was impressed with the newcomers.
"(Redshirt freshman) Quinton Chievous is a guy that if we need a four man and we go to a four man lineup I thought he could really bang around the rim — he does a really good job of getting offensive rebounds, getting big rebounds, and also posting up for his size," Martin said. "And I thought (junior transfer) D'Montre Edwards did a good job of rebounding the basketball on both ends of the floor. (Freshman) Armani Moore, I thought he was good for us, pushing the ball, running the floor, and finding guys, but also finding his offense as well. I thought those guys, and other guys, it was business as usual. They've gotten better. But I thought just watching those two guys (Edwards and Moore) coming into a new system, new style, I thought they did a good job of adjusting."
Martin said that about one and a half of the four games were competitive, although he did have one concern.
"We were fouling a lot. I thought we did a really good job of really getting pressure. I don't know so much if it was how they call the game or whatever, but we had our hands on guys too much in the four games."
The Tennessee head basketball coach said that during the off-season, he's rooting for Tennessee football and looking for wins.
"However many points that is," Martin said. "For me all it takes is one more point than the opposing team, but 100 percent for Tennessee."