Tennessee has hired Missouri State's Cuonzo Martin to replace terminated head basketball coach Bruce Pearl.
Suffice it to say that this is not what I would consider to be the most intimidating hire Tennessee could possibly make. Martin is coming off a very strong season in which his team went 26-9, won a regular-season conference championship, and earned an NIT berth. However, his overall record at Missouri St. is only 61-41, hardly a history of mid-major dominance. Granted, I know little about what kinds of rebuilding challenges he faced in his former position, or what attracted Mike Hamilton to Martin's approach and philosophy. The guy may be a very solid coach. That said, he doesn't come with the credentials Pearl had when he was hired a few years back, and it's difficult to see him as being equal to Pearl. I would speculate that Hamilton may have known this job would be a hard sell with sanctions looming, and this is the result. It's not a worst-case scenario for Gamecocks fans, by any means.