Martin on Media Day
This story originally published on
Posted Oct 25, 2012

Picked to finish fourth in the SEC by the media, Tennessee has some buzz around its hoops program entering the 2012-13 season. It's second-year coach tempered expectations on SEC Media Day.

Entering his second year on Rocky Top, Cuonzo Martin is focused on getting his up-and-coming Vols to play harder, especially on the defensive side of the floor. He emphasized Thursday that scoring is more fun and comes easier to most, but it's hard work on the defensive end that will propel UT basketball back to prominence.

When asked the strengths of his team, Martin responded, "I like to think if you asked me that 10 years from now, I would say playing hard and defending at a high level. Offense can always score, you got guys that can score and you have guys that can shoot and guys that are really good post players, whatever the case may be - you may score 70, 80, 90, I don't know; but you have to defend at a high level."

There was also plenty of talk about the Vols' trip to Italy over the summer.

"I thought the trip was great from the standpoint of the camaraderie of the team, being together," said Martin. "The talent level was great. We played four games, one and a half games that were pretty good. I think the biggest thing we were trying to get out of that trip was the camaraderie of the team, and I thought we established that."

On a lighter note, the Tennessee head man noted that he was 1-1 in the orange jacket last season. He doesn't know just yet if he'll be bringing that look back.

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