Tennessee basketball coach Cuonzo Martin walked into an impossible situation when he accepted the challenge of filling the enormous shoes left by Bruce Pearl in Knoxville.
The challenge for Martin was compounded when Tobias Harris and Scotty Hopson left for the NBA, forcing the Vols to replace four starters. It’s no surprise they were picked to finish 11th in the SEC in 2011.
But despite a losing record after just seven games, Martin’s team has shown promise against some of the elite programs in the nation.
With single digit loses against two top-20 teams, and strong performance against fifth-ranked Duke, the Vols have shot a healthy dose of optimism into the fan base.
With conference play just around the corner, Martin’s squad will need to learn from their losses in order to finish with a strong conference record and a shot at the tournament.
Here are five keys to the Tennessee Volunteers' success in the SEC.