Lady Vols have 'a lack of passion', 66-56

After hot start, UT falls at Kentucky

LEXINGTON, Ky. — Carly Morrow grew up in Chattanooga and is very familiar with the Tennessee women’s basketball program.

Take a wild guess as to what Kentucky’s sophomore guard was feeling Thursday night.

“It’s something I’ve dreamed about,’’ she said.

Morrow’s dream — a 66-56 SEC victory over UT before a crowd of 6,868 at Memorial Coliseum — was the Lady Vols’ nightmare.

Looking listless and overmatched, they fell behind by 17 points midway through the second half. They whittled 10 points off the deficit and held Kentucky (14-12, 4-7 SEC) without a field goal during the game’s final 7 minutes, 39 seconds. Yet they couldn’t prevent their first two-game losing steak since losing to Duke and Kentucky in January of 2006.

Morrow’s teammate, Amani Franklin, is more acquainted with this Tennessee team. She used that frame of reference to explain the outcome.

“We wanted it more, that’s the bottom line, we wanted it more,’’ she said. “We knew we could beat these players.”

There’s no arguing with four Wildcats scoring in double figures, led by Eleia Roddy and Franklin scoring 18 points apiece. Morrow had 13 and Amber Smith scored 10.

They didn’t get enough quarrel from No. 13 Tennessee (18-8, 7-4), which is tied for fourth in the conference standings with LSU. Other than center Kelley Cain’s season-high 16 points, Alex Fuller was the only other double-figure scorer with 13.

“In my 35 years of coaching, this group has had the lowest energy game in and game out of any I’ve coached,’’ UT coach Pat Summitt said.

“It was totally a lack of passion. I don’t know if you can give that to a player. They have to decide who they are and what they’re willing to invest.”

No matter how flat-footed her youthful team looked at times, she wasn’t indulging any talk of fatigue — physical or mental.

“Trust me, we’ll have a healthy practice (today),’’ she said.

Summit re-emphasized her viewpoint when asked about freshman guard Shekinna Stricklen, who suffered a knee injury last week and tweaked a groin injury last night, getting beat off the dribble in the second half.

“It’s her (defensive) stance,’’ Summitt said. “It doesn’t have anything to do with a knee or a groin. No stance. No chance.”

Stricklen and UT’s other two starting guards, Briana Bass and Angie Bjorklund, shot a combined 4-for-25 from the floor. Sydney Smallbone and Alicia Manning didn’t offer much relief off the bench. Collectively, they were 1-for-8. Add it all up and Tennessee’s backcourt shot 5-for-33 from the floor.

“It’s hard to win any games when you’re not getting the production from players you’re counting on,’’ Summitt said.

Bjorklund, who battled foul trouble, shot 1-for-9. UT’s final rally fizzled when she fired up consecutive misses inside the final two minutes.

The 6-0 sophomore has shot 3-for-23 for the past two games.

“Throughout the game, I kept telling her we needed her, even when she was on the bench,’’ Fuller said. “When it comes down to it, it’s her head and it’s her hands that are shooting the ball. She knows she’s a great shooter.”

Bjorklund had three assists in the early going as Tennessee bolted to a 10-0 lead. The 6-3 Roddy helped rally Kentucky in the first half by scoring 12 of her points.

Roddy went to the bench with foul trouble early in the second half. With her out, the Wildcats deployed a smaller, quicker lineup and tore through UT’s defense, transforming a one-point deficit (32-31) into a 55-38 lead with 10:10 left.

“They kept penetrating on us and that was hurting us the whole time,’’ Fuller said. “They knew that and they took advantage of it.”

The lead held up for Kentucky’s first victory over Tennessee at the coliseum since 1986.

The loss, meanwhile, added to UT’s mounting growing pains.

Said Cain: “It’s been past time to grow up.”

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Comments » 104

imw8n4u writes:

bummer

huntined#565710 writes:

Got to understand that we have put a hurting on these sec teams for years and they know this year they have a chance to beat a TENN team..so they are going to give it their best shot as WE ARE NOT VERY GOOD THIS YEAR PERIOD
Vandy getting better as year goes on..leading so far 16-30 over AUB..

bigorangesob writes:

geeezzz, what is wrong with these girls, they seem to have the same problem as the guys no heart, I know Pat is even more frustrated then us fans, can't win them all I suppose, but either way GO VOLS

kbart4033#247331 writes:

Even with the best coach in the game, this team has manged to get worse. You can't coach up lack of quickness. Kind of like
shooting touch--you either got it or you don't. This bunch
doesn't have either. Pat should pull a Pat Riley and turn over the team to a G.A. and put her and the staff on the road
recruiting. Forget the Parade A-A list or the 4-star, 5-star
B.S. Go recruit quickness and shooting skills. MTSU would beat
this bunch by 16 right now!

LdyVolFaninKS writes:

STOP THE BALL!!! My 4th graders could score 50 on the Lady Vols. Who is the most dangerous person on the court? THE ONE WITH THE BALL!! Very disappointing. I would hate to be the Lady Vols tonight and feel the wrath of Pat. Listen to your coach ladies and execute. You are a much better team than the way you played tonight. Can't blame it on the refs, can't blame it on youth. Where's your heart? Don't tell me you left it at Rutgers. Where's your desire to win? Where's your determination? Even CPS can't coach heart, desire and determination...that has to come from within.

Rangervol writes:

in response to Mike_From_Connecticut:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

We also have 8 national championships, not to mention back to back. How many does Uconn have?

Triton1 writes:

It's just not a good year to be a Vol fan. We suck at everything this year.

BIGEJ writes:

NO committment from the sophmores to help with the freshmen. This team has NO heart; need to KNOW WHY they play the game; not playing to their potential and not listening to the coaching; poor poor play; GO VOLS

BIGEJ writes:

in response to Mike_From_Connecticut:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

VADO pulsus smoke sursum GENO ; pulsus is sicco vestri rectum iri; Mikey

tnman1025 writes:

Mike_From_Conneticut, your many posts on a Tennesssee website REEK of jealousy. I mean what other fans go from site to site bashing the Lady Vols like UCONN fans do? I was on espn.com after Coach Summitt had won her 1,000th game and I saw UCONN fans bashing one of the greatest if not the greatest coach in basketball history. So for you to sit there and post some of the things you do, shows how classeless and jealous you are.

And by the way, UCONN was favored to win the tournament last year and you saw how that turned out...don't count your chickens before they hatch.

The only thing that matters is that Tennessee has 8 women's basketball championships and UCONN has 5.

BIGEJ writes:

in response to Plasticman:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Agreed; the "sports" polarity is tilted.

LdyVolFaninKS writes:

Lets face it. UCONN will win the championship this year. They will probably go 39-0. Now, WHO CARES? Right now, my concern is the inconsistencies of the Lady Vols. Are they un-coachable? Is it really just youth? Our Naismith Coach of the Century sure doesn't blame it on youth. We can't blame their poor performance on injuries...Cait and Vicki were just 2 small pieces of the pie. Where will we be next year? Still young, but a little more experienced. No heart? No game. No leader? No championship.

Nuthinbutorange writes:

in response to Mike_From_Connecticut:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Ah, yes. Lovely Connecticut, the place where old Yugos (and women's national basketball championships) go to die.... Go shovel your nasty black snow and complain about your tax rate, moron.

teampenny#658108 writes:

in response to kbart4033#247331:

Even with the best coach in the game, this team has manged to get worse. You can't coach up lack of quickness. Kind of like
shooting touch--you either got it or you don't. This bunch
doesn't have either. Pat should pull a Pat Riley and turn over the team to a G.A. and put her and the staff on the road
recruiting. Forget the Parade A-A list or the 4-star, 5-star
B.S. Go recruit quickness and shooting skills. MTSU would beat
this bunch by 16 right now!

Good idea. Not sure more playing time will help these young ladies. Go Vols

xvolx writes:

I believe these girls want to win. they just lack the skills that other tenn. players came in with. I know this will tick some of you off; but summitt keeps trying things that just aren't going to work. they lack the quickness to run a zone press. bjorkland, manning or bass can play defense. this team should get in a zone and stay there. they don't have quickness for man to man. Cain has had two years to develope a shot. We have the slowest post players I've ever seen at tenn. the fact that they can't set a screen is because they never try to. Strickland acts like she doesn't care anymore. never going to win with these girls unless they learn how to shoot, pass, rebound and play defense for forty minutes. maybe they have peaked and this is as good as it gets.

SilasDogooder writes:

in response to Mike_From_Connecticut:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

CTOWNICON writes:

I am so hurt for Pat. I ache for her. This team got beat off the dribble all night. I understand they are young, but it is no excuse for not playing defense. They got out hustled and out played. Their post was better and so were their guards tonight. The sad thing about it is that the lady vols are the better team. They are good players but they dont play like it. They accept what the defense gives them. They dont create shots, they dont set screens or use them. I guess they think wearing the lady vol jersey is a automatic win and you dont have to go out an hustle and play hard every posession. There was just a total lack of effort tonight. No offense and no defense from this team tonight. Once again too many jumpshots. They firing up jumpshots back to back when they are not falling. They need to learn there are more facets to the game of basketball other than just shooting. I can understand youth being a problem on offense but on defense there is no excuse. Defense just requires effort and they showed no effort tonight. I hope this loss does not hurt with the seeding. I mean this was an unranked team. It will be interesting to see where they rank the team now. I hope they show up for the next few games. Top 4 in the sec is now on the line. Where was Angie and Shekinna tonight. We have to have those two players show up in order to win any games we play.

Timed_vol (Inactive) writes:

Here is the deal; remember last year, when I said Pat wore Bjorklund out? Remember this fall, early, wehn I warned about all these freshmen wearing out??

Well, it has happened. We now have the uneviable combination of
-poor guard play
-tired legs
-lack of knowledge of waht to do
-no 'goto' player(s)

Helluva year to be a vol.

Timed_vol (Inactive) writes:

in response to iamblackbecauseIamblack:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

I understand EXACTLY what you are saying, and agree with alomst all of it. While I wouldn't break it down by race, I WOULD by 'style'.

Chris Loftoen was a small, slow guard with average quickness, but he had game where it counted. Jajuan was quick, fast, and could shoot, but he was NOT real big.

I'd lvoe to see Bruce pull a kid or 2 off the bench and say 'can you shoot the 3?'

Good post.

CTOWNICON writes:

in response to iamblackbecauseIamblack:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

YOur post really could be taken the wrong way. Basketball is a game of who can play it, not what their race is. There are great basketball players from all racial backgrounds. I dont think a coach looks at skin, i think he or she looks at skill when they put players on the court. I am sure, well i hope you did not mean it the way it sounded.

YankeeVol writes:

This is my new mantra for the rest of the basketball season:

Chill, people. It's not cancer research.

Peace,

The Yankee.

coach75 writes:

in response to Mike_From_Connecticut:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

mike 2 things uconn doesn't have.
1. 8 natl championships
2. home of women's basketball hall of fame

oh one addition, we don't have a coach who is a little beeyatch.

oldbasshead writes:

I look for Stricklin to transfer. The chemistry between her and Summit is just not good.

oldbasshead writes:

These freshman thought that all you had to do is show up at Tennessee and you automatically are a winner. With no senior or upclassmen leadership, we are suffering from just plain old immaturity.

brokebackvol writes:

Well fiddlesticks.

For the men to lose to Kentucky is fairly routine. For the Lady Vols to lose to UK is just about unthinkable. I've been a fan way back before Pat had any NCAA titles, and I was maybe one of 100 students that would paint signs and show up at Stokely to cheer on the LVs.

Let's remember Candace Parker left a huge hole in the team when she didn't come back this year. I don't know why things have gone awry, but Pat will get it fixed, just probably not this season. I would not have wanted to ride home tonight with Pat, cause those players are in for it now.

xvolx writes:

can 18-11 get into ncaa? I don't see us beating vandy, miss. st. or lsu. Maybe the embarrassment should end at the end of regulation season. Deny a bid to NIT.

coach75 writes:

mike one other thing we have that uconn does not, coaches who play by the rules. have anymore free tours to espn.

tenn32rebel writes:

in response to Rangervol:

We also have 8 national championships, not to mention back to back. How many does Uconn have?

The #1 rule on this site:

DON'T FEED THE TROLLS!!!!

(That would be Mike from UCAN'T. Ignore his glee and stupidity.)

tenn32rebel writes:

in response to MOUNTAINofOKEMO:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

tnmantravel, don't concede too much to UCAN'T without a fight! They blew it last year and they can still blow it this year.

If they lose a game before the NCAA tournament, they'll kill anybody the rest of the way. However, if they continue winning, that will prove to be their weakness.

Ironic, isn't it? All UCAN'T trolls must EARN EVERYTHING!!! I will give them nothing but a hard time!

ps11824 writes:

oldbasshead may have something. There's no chemistry on this team. They don't seem to like each other. They sure aren't having fun. Quite frankly, I watched Survivor. I'll be searching for the hidden idol while these LVs are searching for their passion.

Don't sweat. It's just a game. Mike is a non-factor too.

Flavolsfan writes:

Bottom line: No Leadership! Every great team has at least one leader with a deep, burning desire to win and to pick up the team when things go wrong both on and off the court. Look at last year. I haven't seen it this year! Which player is going to step up and take the role before the team is completely beaten down?

BigRMan writes:

As far as UCON goes, I would give assistant Cris Dailey even more credit for their success than Auriemea-Coach Summitt may wind up pulling some scholarships, some may leave or transfer, but she may have to scout the JUCO ranks for some "quick Fix" help for next year-Everyone sees this is the year to get your pot shots in on the LV's-Sad part is there seems to be no improvement and hope for next year-Your can't coach guts and determination-Ya' either got it or ya' don't

BigRMan writes:

in response to MOUNTAINofOKEMO:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

You're wrong! It's Baylor who will stop UCON's run. Brittany Griner the next Parker who is 6'8" and still growing-will squash UCON like a blackhead on a pimple-Baylor gets 4 in a row if Griner stays healthy. Griner has committed to Baylor from '09-10-'12-'13

airship writes:

pat needs to hit the recruiting hard because her current players dont wear the orange uniform with pride.

AlpharettaVol writes:

This not about freshmen. This is about lack of effort. POur big players (Cain, Brewer) are way too slow and they look like they could drop 10 lbs or so. They only score when they are just taller than the opponents under the basket. Their defense is non-existent. Outside play is not worth talking about. When you take a second or two to decide whether or not you should take a shot, of course the opponent has time to get in your face.
Last night was the first time in my memory that I turned off a Lady Vols basketball game midway through the second half. It was just too painful to watch anymore.

feathersax writes:

in response to oldbasshead:

I look for Stricklin to transfer. The chemistry between her and Summit is just not good.

Stricklin is a huge flop. She seems uncoachable & very, very inconsistent. This is Pat's worst team in years. Tired of hearing about their "youth"...they just don't have the heart, desire & intensity. Sure hope better recruits are coming in! Pat, hang tough!

dwolfcreek#397971 writes:

THIS TEAM IS NO BETTER THAN THE FIRST GAME THEY PLAYED .THIS GRAY GIRL , SHE DON'T PLAY ,NEED TO RUN HER BUTT OUT OF TENN. .

richvol writes:

One thing I have noticed about Angie Bjorkland is that she is wearing herself out dribbling the ball all over the court looking for an open shot. She would be much more effective coming off of screens without the ball. She is expending too much energy trying to dribble through everyone. This affects her shooting due to the drain on her.

Glory plays hard but out of control...too many shots with no touch on them and too many turnovers.

Post up Cain and Brewer together under the basket and just feed it to them in a half court offense. They are not fast so slow it down.

dwolfcreek#397971 writes:

in response to xvolx:

I believe these girls want to win. they just lack the skills that other tenn. players came in with. I know this will tick some of you off; but summitt keeps trying things that just aren't going to work. they lack the quickness to run a zone press. bjorkland, manning or bass can play defense. this team should get in a zone and stay there. they don't have quickness for man to man. Cain has had two years to develope a shot. We have the slowest post players I've ever seen at tenn. the fact that they can't set a screen is because they never try to. Strickland acts like she doesn't care anymore. never going to win with these girls unless they learn how to shoot, pass, rebound and play defense for forty minutes. maybe they have peaked and this is as good as it gets.

I THINK YOU HIT NAIL ON THE HEAD . THEY SURE CAN'T PLAY MAN TO MAN . WHAT THE H-LL IS THE GRAY GIRL DOING ON THE TEAM ?

rockytopron writes:

in response to Mike_From_Connecticut:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

just remember, pride comes before the fall...

and I am not talking about this year's national championship...

I'm talking about when the NCAA grows a pair and conducts an investigation into geno the shark's program...does the death penalty remind you of something.

It's going to happen sooner or later that cheat you call a coach is going to be shown for what he is.

dwolfcreek#397971 writes:

in response to richvol:

One thing I have noticed about Angie Bjorkland is that she is wearing herself out dribbling the ball all over the court looking for an open shot. She would be much more effective coming off of screens without the ball. She is expending too much energy trying to dribble through everyone. This affects her shooting due to the drain on her.

Glory plays hard but out of control...too many shots with no touch on them and too many turnovers.

Post up Cain and Brewer together under the basket and just feed it to them in a half court offense. They are not fast so slow it down.

YOU ARE ARE RIGHT , PAT SUMMIT SOULD READ THIS FORUM , SHE APPARENTLY DON'T NOTICE ANYTHING IN THE FILMS OF THE GAMES .

huntined#565710 writes:

We just don't have a player that wants the ball when the game is close... Need to get Cain and Brewer A jump-rope..right now they would have trouble getting the rope under their feet. Had a large guy on our h.s team and that is how the Coach got him started getting off his feet. It won't get any easier as the season goes on.. Vandy playing their best ball right now.. They might just win the SEC this year.

anosikefan writes:

in response to Mike_From_Connecticut:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Mike, how many times are you going to make the same comment? Can't you think of anything clever to say? REJECT!

BigRMan writes:

in response to Nuthinbutorange:

Ah, yes. Lovely Connecticut, the place where old Yugos (and women's national basketball championships) go to die.... Go shovel your nasty black snow and complain about your tax rate, moron.

I remember Yugo-Freddie Yugo-It was Ron Liebman's character in the Sylvester Stallone/Dolly Parton 1983 comedy Rhinestone.

anosikefan writes:

in response to oldbasshead:

I look for Stricklin to transfer. The chemistry between her and Summit is just not good.

No way...
I look for Amber Gray to transfer...she can't even complete a full practice and didn't make the Oklahoma trip b/c she didn't finish a conditioning workout! Strick is not a quitter! Quitters transfer!

anosikefan writes:

in response to BigRMan:

You're wrong! It's Baylor who will stop UCON's run. Brittany Griner the next Parker who is 6'8" and still growing-will squash UCON like a blackhead on a pimple-Baylor gets 4 in a row if Griner stays healthy. Griner has committed to Baylor from '09-10-'12-'13

Hate to tell ya pal but this kid is no CP3 just b/c she can dunk. Yes she is good but she doesn't have the range OR the handles that CP3 has. No way no how!

silvertr6 writes:

Lady Vols do not have a go to player or the will to win. The comment about getting worse instead of better is correct. I feel sorry for Pat, this team after Duke and Kentucky is not even trying!

sdorangetrio writes:

in response to Mike_From_Connecticut:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

WHO WAS OR WHAT WAS A UCONN TILL THEY STARTED PLAYING TENNESSEE....YOU HAVE TENNESSEE TO THANK FOR GETTING YOU ON THE MAP...YOU NEED TO GET YOUR PANSY COACH A NEW PAIR OF PANTIES I AM TIRED OF ALL THE WOMEN ASSIST. COACHES HOLDING HIM BACK WHEN HE GOES TO CRYING

GR82BAVOL writes:

Poor girls...They're about to wake a sleeping giant. Coach Summit has had enough talent over the past decade to be a "kinder, gentler" coach, but with this bunch, look for her to go back to the Summit of old.

I'd say there'll be a fire sale at season's end.

One other thing...what's up with the Geno cheats posts? He couldn't take the team he had last season to the finals in one of the weakest tourney fields ever, so I don't think he's cheating. An arrogant wannabe yes, but as long as Coach Summit is around it's just not gonna happen for him.

BigRMan writes:

in response to anosikefan:

Hate to tell ya pal but this kid is no CP3 just b/c she can dunk. Yes she is good but she doesn't have the range OR the handles that CP3 has. No way no how!

Griner is further advanced at this stage than Parker was at the age Griner is now. By the time 2013 rolls around, Griner will have had the benefit of 4 years teaching and coaching with Kim Mulkey & Leon Barmore. I think she'll be the "Real Deal"-If Donna Orender had really wanted to save the Houston Comets, She would have allowed Brittany to go from high school to pro. That would have cured the attendance problem that started after Cooper retired, and would have allowed the league to conduct a more honest, thorough search for new owners. If the WNBA lasts that long, we'll have to wait for the Summer of 2013 for a Griner/Parker showdown, unless Shelden gets her pregnant again.

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