Tennessee Volunteers basketball
|University||University of Tennessee|
|Head coach||Cuonzo Martin (2nd year)|
Orange and White
|NCAA Tournament Elite Eight|
|NCAA Tournament Sweet Sixteen|
|1967, 1981, 2000, 2007, 2008, 2010|
|NCAA Tournament appearances|
|1967, 1976, 1977, 1979, 1980, 1981, 1982, 1983, 1989, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011|
|Conference tournament champions|
|1936, 1941, 1943, 1979|
|Conference regular season champions|
|1936, 1941, 1943, 1967, 1972, 1977, 1982, 2000, 2008|
The Tennessee Volunteers basketball team represents the University of Tennessee in Knoxville, Tennessee in NCAA men's basketball competition. (Women's teams at the school, which has a completely separate women's athletic program, are known as "Lady Volunteers".) The Volunteers currently compete in the Southeastern Conference. The team last played in the NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Tournament in 2011. The Volunteers are currently coached by Cuonzo Martin.
The Volunteers have had 19 NCAA tournament appearances with an overall record of 12-17. A record of 9-7 in the first round, 3-5 in the second, and 1-4 in the regional semi finals. They have also been invited to the National Invitation Tournament 11 times. They have won nine regular season SEC championships in 1936, 1941, 1943, 1967, 1972, 1977, 1982, 2000, and 2008. The 1972, 1977, 1982, and 2000 seasons were all shared championships with another team from the Southeastern conference. Their conference tournament record is 54-43 record with 4 championships in the years 1936, 1941, 1943, and 1979. Historically Volunteer basketball has produced several successful National Basketball Association players including Allan Houston, Bernard King, Ernie Grunfeld, Dale Ellis, Tobias Harris, Tony White, Ron Slay, Larry Robinson, and C.J. Watson. Bernard King is one of only three players in Volunteers' history to ever have a jersey retired (the other pair being Ernie Grunfeld and Allan Houston). He finished his career averaging a "double double" per game of 25.8 points and 13.2 rebounds.
In March 2009, the University of Tennessee athletic department made a statement saying that they would claim the 1916 National Championship, but would not hang a banner for such an occasion. Tennessee finished that year with a 16-0 record, the only time in Tennessee basketball history that a team has gone undefeated.
As of February 8, 2012, two former Tennessee Volunteer basketball players were on rosters in the NBA. C.J. Watson with the Chicago Bulls and Tobias Harris with the Orlando Magic (formally of the Milwaukee Bucks). Of the two, Watson is regarded as the more talented player and was recently recognized as part of the starting 5 of all-time Tennessee Volunteer Basketball players.
The Tennessee Vols play in Thompson-Boling which was at one time the largest facility ever built specifically for basketball in the United States with a seating capacity of 24,678 until its 2007 renovation. Named for the late B. Ray Thompson and former UT President Dr. Edward J. Boling, the arena regularly hosts women's volleyball matches, concerts, camps, conferences and other special events throughout the year.
Thompson-Boling Arena opened during the 1987-88 season, with Tennessee defeating Marquette 82-56 before a crowd of 25,272. In its opening season, the Vols finished third nationally with an average attendance of more than 20,000 fans per game. But much of the facility's storied history has centered around men's and women's basketball. In the last two decades, the Vols and Lady Vols have hosted record college basketball crowds, as well as WNBA and NCAA Tournament basketball games.The Vols have ranked fourth in the nation in average home attendance for each of the past three seasons, including an average of 20,483 fans per game in 2008-09. Tennessee's 1989 men's game against Kentucky set the SEC regular-season record with a crowd of 25,610. The Lady Vols drew 24,597 for their 1998 game with Connecticut to establish a women's NCAA record, while a Celtics-Bullets game in 1988 attracted a then-record NBA exhibition record crowd of 23,611. The arena's largest basketball crowd since its capacity dipped to 21,678 prior to the 2007-08 season came on Jan. 7, 2009, when the Vols hosted Gonzaga in front of a sellout crowd of 22,326.
UT hosted the NCAA Tournament's South Regional Finals in 1999 and 1994 in the spacious facility. The 1990 NCAA Southeast Region's first and second round games, followed by the NCAA Women's Final Four made Knoxville a basketball hotspot. The 1989 SEC Tournament was the first of what promised to be many postseason tournaments to be held in Thompson-Boling Arena. The riverfront arena has drawn rave reviews from teams, administrators and media for its modern facilities needed for hosting major tournaments.
As of November 18, 2008, Bruce Pearl's home record at Thompson-Boling Arena was 47–2, a home winning percentage at Tennessee of 96%.
Bruce Pearl turnaround
After the Buzz Peterson era was less successful than expected, Tennessee hired Bruce Pearl from the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee in 2005. Pearl's assistants Tony Jones, Steve Forbes, Jacob Nichols, Jason Shay, and Ken Johnson rounded out a staff that helped bring the Vols to the NCAA tournament six years in a row.
During the 2006-07 season, the Volunteers were ranked 4th nationally in attendance with an average of 19,661 fans in Thompson-Boling Arena, which has a capacity of 21,758. Since coach Bruce Pearl arrived in March 2005 the attendance increased by an average of 7,436 per game.
In the 2008 season Pearl led the Vols to their first regular season SEC championship in 41 years as well as the first number 1 ranking for the program.
On March 26, 2010, the Vols made the Elite Eight for the first time ever by defeating Ohio State 76-73. The Vols were then defeated by Michigan State by one point, 70-69, on a Spartan foul shot with 1.8 seconds left in the game to fall short of their first Final Four.
On March 21, 2011, Pearl was fired by the school, based on Pearl's misconduct of lying to an NCAA investigation about recruiting violations.
While serving as interim head coach, Tony Jones donned the legendary orange blazer and tried to lead the Baller Vols to victory. However, due to an overwhelming amount of "turnovas" the team was unsuccessful.
On March 27, 2011, The University of Tennessee announced Cuonzo Martin as the Volunteers 18th head coach. Martin had spent the last 3 seasons at Missouri State where he compiled a record of 61-41. Martin was able to take the Missouri State team from 11-20 and last in the Missouri Valley Conference to a 26-9 record finishing first in the conference.
In his first year, Martin took a team that had lost their top three—and seven of their top ten—contributors from the previous season to a 2nd place finish in the SEC, largely because of their tough defense and lack of turnovers.
In his second year, Martin failed, to reach the NCAA tournament finishing as one of the last teams out.
NCAA Tournament results
The Volunteers have appeared in 19 NCAA Tournaments.
|1967||Regional Fourth Place|
|Retired Basketball Jerseys|
- Beth Rucker,Tennessee Fires Coach Bruce Pearl, Associated Press via NBCSports.MSNBC.com, March 21, 2011
- In 1967, the Volunteers lost their only two NCAA tournament games.
- In 1981, the Volunteers received a bye into the second round.