UT basketball's media day comments

Hoover, Ala. (WVLT/UT) - Tennessee basketball head coach Cuonzo Martin and senior guard Cameron Tatum traveled down to Hoover, Ala. for the SEC Basketball Media Day.

Cuonzo Martin

On taking over as the head coach at the University of Tennessee:

"The great thing about working at the University of Tennessee is it's a great opportunity, and it was a blessing for me to have an opportunity to coach at Missouri State. Here we have some talented young pieces, probably unproven guys but very talented in my opinion. So now it's just a matter of getting to work and getting started."

On what he likes about his team:

"The thing that I like more than anything is the effort, the way the play and how they compete. That has been impressive. Now, we have to execute on the offensive side of the ball, but the toughness level has been there so far. We have to do a better job of rebounding as well."

On his coaching style:

"I'm not sure what my style is; you will have to ask somebody about that. I just like to have fun coaching our guys, competing at a high level and playing hard."

On Gene Keady's influence:

"The greatest thing about coach Keady was more of a father figure than anything. He taught me a lot of life lessons. He was a tremendous coach and wonderful man, but I learned my most value from coach Keady on how to be a man, how to act and how to carry yourself on a day-to-day basis. I talk to him all the time, at least once or twice a week."

On the challenge of coaching at Tennessee:

"I think as a competitor you always want the challenge. It's a great opportunity, and it's a great league, one of the best in the country. It has great fan support, which I think is one of the biggest keys. If you can get great fan support, you have a chance to be successful."

Cameron Tatum: #23, Guard, University of Tennessee

On adjusting to new coach Cuonzo Martin:

"It was tough at first, just getting use to the things that he did, the way he runs practice and the way he runs things on the court as well. It is a totally different ballgame."

On proving media's expectations wrong:

"You just got to go out there and compete. One word coach Martin uses every practice is competing. Don't wait till the lights come on to go out there on the floor and compete with other teams. It starts in practice. You compete with your fellow big men. You compete with your fellow guards on the other end. So if you do it in practice on an everyday basis, it will translate onto the floor."

On fighting for playing time with a new coach and starting positions still up for grabs:

"It is still up for grabs right now, including myself being a senior: freshmen, sophomores, walk-on, anybody. Anybody can go out there and play. As long as you're playing hard, you're going to play on the court."


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