COLUMBIA, MO — To start the new year, Cuonzo Martin joined the media via zoom to field questions about Wednesday’s loss to Tennessee and Saturday’s game against Arkansas.
It wasn’t pretty on Wednesday when the Tigers were blown out at home by a talented Volunteers team. However, Coach Martin thinks the Tigers’ performance wasn’t indicative of the team they are, “We just didn’t play well… we are certainly a much better team than we showed.”
However, he didn’t want to diminish the performance of Tennessee either, “I think you gotta give Tennessee credit… but I don’t think we played at all or nearly toward our talent level.”
When asked about what the Tigers needed to improve for the game against Arkansas, Martin had a clear answer, “The ball just has to move… we have to do what we practice, that’s it.”
If that ball is going to move, it starts with one man, Xavier Pinson. In recent games, a lot has been made of Pinson’s decision making and shot choice, and Cuonzo said, “He has to move the ball… when he stands over the ball, everyone else stands, too, and that makes it hard,” about Pinson’s recent play.
For the Tigers to deliver a bounce back in Fayetteville, it won’t just be on Pinson, however. The Tigers will need one of those complete team efforts that were a hallmark to their early-season run of form, and Tigers fans will just have to wait if Martin’s message of ball movement will resonate with the team and help them deliver a bounce-back performance.