The still-young Tennessee Lady Vols basketball team will need to grow up in a hurry.
UT will be hosting Baylor in its season opener Nov. 15 at Thompson-Boling Arena in the State Farm Tip-Off Classic.
The game was announced on Baylor’s Web site on Monday and confirmed by UT women’s athletic director Joan Cronan.
“We could not have been matched up with a better team in a better opener,” Cronan said. “I appreciate State Farm’s support for this game. It will be exciting to be in a national television game.”
Cronan said she is not at liberty to say which network will be televising the game.
Baylor, under head coach Kim Mulkey, finished 29-6 last year and made it to the Sweet 16 before losing to Louisville. The Lady Vols ended up 22-11 and were upset by Ball State in the first round of the NCAA tournament.
“I think we had a young team last year,” Cronan said. “We’ve added new talent and they’ve been working hard. Baylor will be one of the most talented teams in the country. That will be a great measuring stick for us, and I expect to see Thompson-Boling full.”
The State Farm Classic field has been shrunk.
“They’ve cut back the State Farm Classic from two games to one so it’s very special to be selected to play in it,” Mulkey said on the Baylor Bears’ Web site. “We are honored to open up on national television versus Pat Summitt and her Lady Vols in Knoxville,”
Doing Better: Cronan says is “on the top side of getting better” while still recovering from back injuries suffered in an automobile accident near Hattiesburg, Miss., in late May.
“It has been eight weeks, so it’s time to get to feeling better.”