Cuonzo's Future at UT - 03/31/14
Marquette is reportedly coming after Tennessee's basketball coach, Cuonzo Martin. Should Vols fans be overly worried that Martin will leave? I say no.
Sure, Martin just led the Vols into the Sweet 16 but UT's inconsistent play earlier in the season did warrant criticism. To be fair, Martin does have every reason to be upset about the ridiculous on-line petition that over 35,000 Vols fans signed, hoping to bring Bruce Pearl back to head the program. The Big Orange fans got way ahead of themselves in that process, and likely contributed to sending Martin on to a new school.
But would finding a new head coach be that bad? Outside of the NCAA tournament run of the last few weeks, Martin's three year tenure (63-41 record, 32-20 in SEC play) has been adequate but not overly impressive. His recruiting has also been decent, but not spectacular. Beginning tomorrow, Martin's buyout drops to 1.3 million, giving Tennessee a little extra cash to find a new coach. And UT will likely lose four starters heading into next season, so with a new head coach, expectations for rebuilding in 2014-2015 would be low.
If Martin does stay, UT is likely to suffer a big drop-off and be right back in the same situation next season. The best case scenario for Tennessee might be Martin leaving for Marquette, and the Vols taking a chance on bringing a new man in to lead the Tennessee program.