The University of Tennessee men's basketball coach Cuonzo Martin finished one tour Wednesday night when the annual Big Orange Caravan hit the Chattanooga Convention Center.
Entering his second year with the Volunteers, Martin soon will start another tour of his own creation.
Martin and his staff will conduct four one-day youth basketball camps across Tennessee in June, including a stop at Baylor School on June 11.
"We throw stuff around all season long really trying to enhance our profile as a university from a basketball standpoint," Martin said, "how we can reach out to the young guys that are up-and-coming basketball players that don't get a chance or the opportunity financially to come to camp for whatever reasons. We wanted to take the action to those guys and really let them get started and get a feel for UT basketball at an early age."
The Statewide Hoops Outreach Tour (S.H.O.T.) will make stops in Nashville, Greeneville and Memphis, a hotbed for basketball recruiting. The camps are open to youth from kindergarten to the sixth grade, and space is limited to the first 100 or 75 to register based on the site. The cost is $20, and more information can be found at tennesseesportcamps.com.
Martin said it's another chance to market his program.
"Everything we do, that's how we represent," he said. "Our whole staff will be a part of it."
Odds and ends
• The Volunteers will take a four-game exhibition tour in Italy in early August. NCAA rules allow teams to take overseas trips once every four years. The 10-day trip will offer Martin and the Vols a chance to jell before preseason workouts begin in October as UT gears up for a season with NCAA tournament expectations.
"I think it'll be a great opportunity ... to develop a great camaraderie as a team," Martin said.
• UT will have three new players who are expected to arrive on campus in mid-June and begin class in July. New NCAA rules allow for coaches to have limited on-court contact with players who are enrolled or progressing toward a degree. Wings D'Montre Edwards and Derek Reese and combo guard Armani Moore will have an opportunity to get a head start on their respective careers.
• Point guard Trae Golden underwent surgery to address a meniscus injury in his left knee on May 15. He's the third Vol to have knee surgery this offseason. Forward Jeronne Maymon is healthy again, and forward Dwight Miller, like Golden, is rehabbing. Continued swelling in Golden's knee prompted the procedure.
"It's always a concern when you have to have surgery," Martin said. "You want to try to avoid that if you can. I think he went home and tried to cut on it, and the swelling came back. The best thing to do was to operate on it."
• After electing not to retain Troy Wills as his strength and conditioning coach, Martin said he is conducting interviews for the positions today and Friday. His goal is to have a replacement by the Vols' first summer workout on June 4.
• Martin said UT is finalizing home-and-home series with Xavier and Wichita State that would begin next season. The Vols are waiting for the release of the SEC schedule. With the addition of Missouri and Texas A&M, the league could move to an 18-game conference schedule.
Patrick Brown has been the University of Tennessee beat writer since January 2011. A native of Memphis, Brown graduated from UT in May of 2010 with a bachelor’s degree in Journalism/Electronic Media and worked at the Knoxville News Sentinel for two years on the sports editorial staff and as a freelance contributor. If it’s the NBA, the NFL or SEC football and basketball, he’s probably reading about it or watching it on TV. Contact him ...