October 9, 2013

Vols not afraid of expectations

This Tennessee basketball team knows about disappointment. Dealing with not having things go their way was one of the lasting lessons from the 2012-13 season. A season that started ugly, featured a stunning midseason turnaround highlighted by a 9-1 run through one 10 game SEC stretch, but ended on a sour note when that late season surge fell just short of getting the Vols into the NCAA tournament.

To say that this year's group is motivated to get over the hump and into the Big Dance is an understatement.

It's also a goal that seems well within the reach of what should be Cuonzo Martin's most talented team during his three years in Knoxville, more talented by a wide margin.

Calling this a make-or-break year for Martin, who inherited a program facing NCAA sanctions three years ago, would be overstepping, but given the talent and experience in place, it's not a stretch to say that the high expectations being placed on this squad are valid.

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