Lady Vols make push for Hartley

While Tennessee is playing catch-up in its women's basketball recruitment of guard Bria Hartley, the Lady Vols are in the game.

That's the opinion of Mike Petre, Hartley's coach at North Babylon (N.Y.) High School.

"Anytime Tennessee and Pat Summitt are calling, it's at least worth a listen,'' Petre said. "I know that she was positive about them."

Hartley, a 5-foot-9 scoring point guard was a second-team Parade All-American this spring and is ranked No. 14 on the ESPNU HoopGurlz 100. Petre describes her as having a full complement of athleticism, skills and basketball IQ.

"She has the confidence and game to help anyone when she steps on campus,'' Petre said.

Tennessee has been looking for another player to join guard Lauren Avant of Memphis Lausanne Collegiate School in this fall's signing class. A scholarship was freed up after guard Cait McMahan stopped playing last season because of persistent knee problems. The Lady Vols were interested in forward Haley Peters (Hightstown, N.J.) but she committed to Duke earlier this summer.

Petre said that Tennessee's coaches all have spoken with Hartley via conference call and coach Pat Summitt has spoken with Hartley.

"They've been great, the staff,'' he said. "I've spoken to them. They've been very positive. They've been very up front about it."

But Hartley has yet to make a campus visit to UT. Petre said that she already has made unofficial visits to such other schools on her list as Connecticut, Georgetown, Duke and Stanford.

"I'd say the key is getting her down there,'' Petre said.

Back On The Court: The Lady Vols began preseason individual workouts Thursday at Pratt Pavilion. Summitt was generally upbeat about the players' offseason work, particularly sophomore guard Briana Bass. Summitt said that if the season was starting, Bass would be the starting point guard.

Two punitive measures used during last season's struggles have been lifted. The players have recouped their practice gear and relinquished laundry duties.

But they haven't been allowed back in their locker room yet.

"We're not even talking about that; it's way too early,'' said Summitt, who added: "I think they want to make sure that they earn it back. I don't think they want anything given to them."

Good First Impression: Veteran guard Angie Bjorklund is impressed with freshman Taber Spani.

"She is such a strong person,'' Bjorklund said. "She's here to win. She's here to work. You can tell from every little thing she does. ... She's just ahead of the ballgame as a freshman. She's really impressed me so far."

Notebook: Center Kelley Cain was a workout spectator because of a concussion, suffered during what was described as a "non-athletic-related incident." ... Forward Vicki Baugh remains sidelined while recovering from knee surgery. ... McMahan will be doing her volunteer work with the team this season as an administrative assistant in the coaches' office.

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Comments » 9

LdyVolFaninKS writes:

First. This far in and not committed yet? This isn't the NFL...

bluetick writes:

My favorite time of the year is when football and basketball are happening at the same time. Love it! Don't know much about that guard but if Pat is calling I am sure she is good.

ladivolfan writes:

I'm ready for tip off, but we need someone in the back court before the team is ready. Pat needs to be recruiting for the 4 and 5.

johnlg00 writes:

in response to LdyVolFaninKS:

First. This far in and not committed yet? This isn't the NFL...

Pretty sure Hartley is being recruited for next year. Practically everybody who expects to play in college this year is already signed and most are probably on their respective campuses now.

LdyVolFaninKS writes:

in response to johnlg00:

Pretty sure Hartley is being recruited for next year. Practically everybody who expects to play in college this year is already signed and most are probably on their respective campuses now.

I would certainly hope so. But, if we haven't filled Cait's scholarship yet with somebody to play this year, the we are the ones who have dropped the ball!!

babypuglover3 writes:

Congrats to Cait; on her new position as a administrative assistant.. Hope Kelley gets over her concussion; and back for before the season starts; and same with Vickie too. Bria would be awesome at UT; especially Pat and the staff are calling her already.. Let's keep our fingers crossed. Sounds like practices are going very well w/ the team and new 3 freshmen. I hope it last through out the whole season and more some. I won't say anything til we play against Baylor on how we're doing. I bet Pat and the staff are thinking that too. Also, congrats to Brianna Bass. Hopefully starting point guard. Pat was a starting point guard; when she was at UT-Martin... Let's bring home our 9th national championship.. Go Lady Vols!!!!

johnlg00 writes:

in response to LdyVolFaninKS:

I would certainly hope so. But, if we haven't filled Cait's scholarship yet with somebody to play this year, the we are the ones who have dropped the ball!!

I confess I was a little puzzled by that reference myself. On the other hand, since Cait had so much eligibility left, maybe the writer meant there would be an opening next year that Hartley could fill.

BigOrangeVol writes:

Hartley is ranked by HoopGurlz as the #4 PG and the #14 overall player in 2010. She averages 23 ppg.

I would have thought that Pat would be hitting the #1 player in the nation - Forward, Chiney Ogwumike; the #2 player in the nation - Wing, Natasha Howard; the #5 player in the nation - Wing, Whitney Bays or Nicole Griffen, a 6'-6" Post player from WI.

We have two incoming Freshmen Guards with Williams and Spani, two Sophomores in Bass and Stricklen and one Junior with Bjorklund. Seems to me that we are thinner at the 3 and 4 spots with only Manning, Baugh, Johnson and Brewer or at the 5 with just Cain and Dupree!

FYI, the Lady Gamecocks aren't going to be a pushover anymore! 9th best lass in 2010 so far. Staley is voracious!!! With Carla McGhee and Nikki McCray on staff their recruiting is going to be off the hook. How they got Kelsey Bone out of Texas is unreal. How does she beat out Summitt, Landers, Hatchell and Goestenkors heads-up? Up until two weeks ago the #5 player in the nation, Kaneisha Horn, had USC on her list.

ps11824 writes:

Why are we playing catch-up in recruiting? Because, 2 reasons, Nick & Mick, Caldwell & DeMoss; 2 awesome recruiting coaches. Someone should go out and get those top preps before they are permanently scarred by uno arenema's ideaology

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