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Jeff Lockridge / The Tennessean

(NASHVILLE) - Vanderbilt men's basketball coach Kevin Stallings called those who want Tennessee coach Cuonzo Martin fired "idiots."

"I think for people to speculate on his job is absurd," Stallings said on Thursday before his Commodores practiced in advance of their Saturday game in Knoxville.

"He's in his third year and that is ridiculous. He's doing a good job with their team. I think they're getting ready to make the NCAA Tournament. It takes some time when you go in there and you have to chance some things and change the way things are done."

The Vols are 17-11 overall and 8-7 in SEC play entering their rematch with Vanderbilt. The Commodores (15-12, 7-8) edged Tennessee 64-60 on Feb. 5 in Nashville.

Tennessee failed to make the NCAA Tournament in Martin's first two seasons, settling for the NIT in each instance. The Vols are listed among Joe Lunardi's "last four in" on ESPN's latest bracket projections.

Stallings and Martin played at Purdue under Gene Keady.

"It used to be in this business guys got four or five years to show what they could do," Stallings said. "The only thing that's changed is people thinking that they ought to have more of a say in that, and then weak athletic administrations giving into that kind of pressure.

"Hopefully, the powers that be over at Tennessee will tune those idiots out and give (Martin) the kind of time he deserves to do the job he needs to do."

Reach Jeff Lockridge at 615-259-8023 or on Twitter @jefflockridge.

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