Pat Summitt makes a point about lack of point guard play

Tennessee head coach Pat Summitt talks with one of the officials during the game against Notre Dame.

Photo by Saul Young

Tennessee head coach Pat Summitt talks with one of the officials during the game against Notre Dame.

DAYTON, Ohio — Tennessee coach Pat Summitt couldn’t resist looking ahead to her next team as she analyzed this team’s failed finale Monday night at University of Dayton Arena.

“We have one of the best point guards in the country coming in,” Summitt said. “Hopefully, she can show others how to play the game at the highest level.”

Summitt was referring to Ariel Massengale of Bolingbrook, Ill. Her comments followed a lackluster performance by three UT point guards in a 73-59 loss to Notre Dame in the Elite Eight of the NCAA women’s basketball tournament.

Point guards Meighan Simmons, Kamiko Williams and Lauren Avant combined for more turnovers than points. They had nine turnovers and seven points on combined 3-for-20 shooting.

Their difficulties were magnified by the sterling play of Notre Dame point guard Skylar Diggins, who made four of eight 3-point attempts, scored a game-high 24 points and had four assists and four steals.

“She was the best guard on the court. “Summitt said. “She energizes that team, and she was a real force.

“I have a lot of respect for her. She does what she has to do. They have good rhythm on offense because of how she played.”

3-Point Defense: Notre Dame showed why it led the Big East in 3-point defense. It held UT to 4-for-19 shooting (21.1 percent) from behind the arc.

That provided a stunning contrast to UT’s previous 3-point shooting in post-season play, which included three SEC tournament games and three NCAA tournament games.

In those six games, UT made 44 of 91 (48.4 percent) 3-point tries.

Summitt didn’t give Notre Dame’s defense all the credit for the wayward shooting.

“They definitely played good defense,” Summitt said. “But there were times we got so overanxious.

“Meighan was not herself today. I don’t know why. I thought she was overanxious.”

All-Tournament: Forward Shekinna Stricklen was the only UT player named to the Dayton Regional all-tournament team.

Notre Dame players on the team were Diggins, Becca Bruszewski and Natalie Novosel. Samantha Prahalis of Ohio State also made the team. Diggins was named the most outstanding player.

No Tiebreaker: UT missed an opportunity to become the all-time leader in Final Four appearances for men or women.

The Lady Vols’ 18 Final Four appearances have them tied with UCLA and North Carolina on the men’s side.

John Adams may be reached at 865-342-6284.

© 2011 govolsxtra.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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Comments » 46

VOLunTEAR writes:

How do we get caught in the Elite Eight without a point guard???

ole3putt writes:

It's called lack of recruiting. TN best recruiter is now the head coach @ UCLA.

flatrock writes:

ND definitely had the best PG in the game tonight,
but to blame this loss entirely on our PGs is a stretch. In fact, I can't think of a single player who turned in a winning performance. Sad because this has been a fun team to watch, especially with contributions coming from so many different players.
Notes:
-The SEC was horrible this year- especially at the PG position;
-Hate to keep harping on this, but I believe this game was lost in the pre-season when Pat
and the staff made the decision to hand over the
PG position to Meighan Simmons. IMHO, they
put entirely too much confidence (and pressure) in Meighan
and too little confidence in Kamiko. How many times did Kamiko come in and settle down the LVs
-only to sit on the bench the next game while
Meighan was rewarded with more-not less- playing time?
From the outside, it looked like the staff was more fixated on creating a superstar
than building a cohesive unit. I doubt that lack of confidence will ever be a problem for Meighan. If a little more love had been
pushed Kamiko's way, she might have played with
more consistency tonight and the LVs possibly could have overcome a great game by the Lady Irish.
-I believe Meighan has a chance to be an outstanding LV contributor- but I don't
think she has a drop of PG DNA. It appears that
she approaches each possession with a shoot-first approach and honestly has to force herself to be a QB-type. She is tremendous in the open court and her shooting is way above average when she catches and shoots with her feet set (like a great wing shooter).
-I still believe that LVs best lineup was
PG-K. Williams; 2G-M. Simmons; 3G-A. Bjorklund
or T. Spani; 4P-SEC MVP S. Sticklen; 5P-G. Johnson. Guess we will never know.

Dead_Vol_Gone (Inactive) writes:

Hello; I took an amazing amount of hatred after my Saturday post about Pat and the staff. Folks went as far as to call me every name in the book, to tell me how stupid I was, and to belittle me at every turn.

Additionally, some went as far as to have a post removed that was not profane, but was emotional.

Now, some final words. I have been a Pat Head supporter since she first came to UT to coach, and played as an Olympian. I've been on this very board ever since it went public.

No more, this will be it.

My chagrin Saturday was that we had an awful first half game plan, and expended a HUGE amount of energy to beat OSU when it should have been a reasonably easy victory. Added to that, I felt we still relied on individual players making great plays, not team work.

Yet, Pat chose not to own up to the coaching foulup and chose to leave it on the player's "effort".

Now, tonight: it was if our coaches forgot how to be humble, to realize they, too, had been "off their game" for a while. We where playing a team with weak posts, yet we barely took looks....why?? I don't know. I just do not know.

Finally, there is this:

“We have one of the best point guards in the country coming in,” Summitt said. “Hopefully, she can show others how to play the game at the highest level.”

Really Coach?? You want to lay a Class A butt-whipping on the heads of 3 young women who are part of a team full of basketball players?? No owning up by the coaching staff on the game plan??

And, to use Ariel Massengale, a kid who has played NOT A MINUTE of college ball, as your gold standard and the cure for "what's wrong"???

What's wrong, coach, is that other teams pass better and work together better. Part of that is the kid's, part is the coaching. We have All-Americans, you figure out which part is missing. Sit and watch UConn pass the ball.

Okay folks, that is it. For the first time in my too-many years as a sport's fan, I was able to stomach Notre Dame beating us because, quite frankly, their program deserved it.

As a Vol fan, raised in middle TN, who has lived and died with everything Vol, the events of the last year have really shaken my fandom. This final straw has been to see Pat once again throw kids under the bus for her and her staff's mistakes.

Good luck all, and hate away.

The more you post like a 'tommyjack', the more you will become him.

98...good luck ma'am. You are a great one.

TennVol01 writes:

Notre Dame had a hot shooting night .... the Lady Vols had one of their worst performances of the year. It all evens out in the end. I am proud of our ladies and they should hold their heads high for making it to the Elite 8.

rclarkvols#224537 writes:

From what I saw Stricklen played like Tobias Harris in that she didn't guard anyone. Avant, Simmons and Williams on the court at the same time with Gloria and Angie. More ball movement to create open looks for Angie. Anyway Pat will have them back next year even stronger. Hope Kelley drops some weight in the off season like Brian Williams did. This has not been a good two weeks. Look forward to the future

adimatteo#261830 writes:

obviously disappointing that we lost as we did.
Reality is, someone always loses, and one team feels like their life is over, but again, someone has to lose, you move on to next season, strive to be better. In fact that attitude is what drives the great coaches and athletes, and I give them great credit for it. As a non athelte it is hard to imagine working as hard as the players do to get where they are and not reach their goal.

Further, as the previous writer said, this team has great talent. fun to watch, etc. They gave us a great season.

As much as we feel sorry for ourselves and lament when "our" team loses, again, reality is, they all feel much worse than we do. They are the ones working, giving up many other things, etc...
My disappointment is that the game was not close, win or lose, I expected the team to play hard, and the only troubling aspect was how the game went. Again, credit to the opponent.

I only hope that our coaches still have the drive to succeed, as I have confidence in them, and the players still have the desire to win and continue to make UT and the Lady Vols special, as I love watching and following them.

Reality is, many many schools out there with great programs, great facilities, gone are the days of being the only team on the block, but I still hope we can continue to be one of the best .

Thanks for a great season, fun to watch, and Im sure we all wish it ended differently, hopefully, the team will move further next year (of course an awful lot of schools out there would give anyhting for the record we had this year)

mad_poly_uct writes:

in response to Dead_Vol_Gone:

Hello; I took an amazing amount of hatred after my Saturday post about Pat and the staff. Folks went as far as to call me every name in the book, to tell me how stupid I was, and to belittle me at every turn.

Additionally, some went as far as to have a post removed that was not profane, but was emotional.

Now, some final words. I have been a Pat Head supporter since she first came to UT to coach, and played as an Olympian. I've been on this very board ever since it went public.

No more, this will be it.

My chagrin Saturday was that we had an awful first half game plan, and expended a HUGE amount of energy to beat OSU when it should have been a reasonably easy victory. Added to that, I felt we still relied on individual players making great plays, not team work.

Yet, Pat chose not to own up to the coaching foulup and chose to leave it on the player's "effort".

Now, tonight: it was if our coaches forgot how to be humble, to realize they, too, had been "off their game" for a while. We where playing a team with weak posts, yet we barely took looks....why?? I don't know. I just do not know.

Finally, there is this:

“We have one of the best point guards in the country coming in,” Summitt said. “Hopefully, she can show others how to play the game at the highest level.”

Really Coach?? You want to lay a Class A butt-whipping on the heads of 3 young women who are part of a team full of basketball players?? No owning up by the coaching staff on the game plan??

And, to use Ariel Massengale, a kid who has played NOT A MINUTE of college ball, as your gold standard and the cure for "what's wrong"???

What's wrong, coach, is that other teams pass better and work together better. Part of that is the kid's, part is the coaching. We have All-Americans, you figure out which part is missing. Sit and watch UConn pass the ball.

Okay folks, that is it. For the first time in my too-many years as a sport's fan, I was able to stomach Notre Dame beating us because, quite frankly, their program deserved it.

As a Vol fan, raised in middle TN, who has lived and died with everything Vol, the events of the last year have really shaken my fandom. This final straw has been to see Pat once again throw kids under the bus for her and her staff's mistakes.

Good luck all, and hate away.

The more you post like a 'tommyjack', the more you will become him.

98...good luck ma'am. You are a great one.

You've always been a class act Dead_Vol_ I've always appreciated your usual spot on analysis, & honesty. Not to mention your sense of humor. Take care....

volntr98 writes:

in response to Dead_Vol_Gone:

Hello; I took an amazing amount of hatred after my Saturday post about Pat and the staff. Folks went as far as to call me every name in the book, to tell me how stupid I was, and to belittle me at every turn.

Additionally, some went as far as to have a post removed that was not profane, but was emotional.

Now, some final words. I have been a Pat Head supporter since she first came to UT to coach, and played as an Olympian. I've been on this very board ever since it went public.

No more, this will be it.

My chagrin Saturday was that we had an awful first half game plan, and expended a HUGE amount of energy to beat OSU when it should have been a reasonably easy victory. Added to that, I felt we still relied on individual players making great plays, not team work.

Yet, Pat chose not to own up to the coaching foulup and chose to leave it on the player's "effort".

Now, tonight: it was if our coaches forgot how to be humble, to realize they, too, had been "off their game" for a while. We where playing a team with weak posts, yet we barely took looks....why?? I don't know. I just do not know.

Finally, there is this:

“We have one of the best point guards in the country coming in,” Summitt said. “Hopefully, she can show others how to play the game at the highest level.”

Really Coach?? You want to lay a Class A butt-whipping on the heads of 3 young women who are part of a team full of basketball players?? No owning up by the coaching staff on the game plan??

And, to use Ariel Massengale, a kid who has played NOT A MINUTE of college ball, as your gold standard and the cure for "what's wrong"???

What's wrong, coach, is that other teams pass better and work together better. Part of that is the kid's, part is the coaching. We have All-Americans, you figure out which part is missing. Sit and watch UConn pass the ball.

Okay folks, that is it. For the first time in my too-many years as a sport's fan, I was able to stomach Notre Dame beating us because, quite frankly, their program deserved it.

As a Vol fan, raised in middle TN, who has lived and died with everything Vol, the events of the last year have really shaken my fandom. This final straw has been to see Pat once again throw kids under the bus for her and her staff's mistakes.

Good luck all, and hate away.

The more you post like a 'tommyjack', the more you will become him.

98...good luck ma'am. You are a great one.

The truth hurts some of these folks, but your comments are dead on. Pat had plenty of opportunities to establish a real PG but settled for Simmons. Both Komiko and Avant have shown what they can do, but Pat doesn't care for either one. Her comments about Avant are always Mickie likes her. Avant is a better overall PG than Massingale, she's bigger and stronger and a much better defender. But i doubt Pat gives her a chance. Lot of pressure to put on a high school senior the poor kid is probably already resented by existing players

NickDanger-ThirdEye writes:

in response to Dead_Vol_Gone:

Hello; I took an amazing amount of hatred after my Saturday post about Pat and the staff. Folks went as far as to call me every name in the book, to tell me how stupid I was, and to belittle me at every turn.

Additionally, some went as far as to have a post removed that was not profane, but was emotional.

Now, some final words. I have been a Pat Head supporter since she first came to UT to coach, and played as an Olympian. I've been on this very board ever since it went public.

No more, this will be it.

My chagrin Saturday was that we had an awful first half game plan, and expended a HUGE amount of energy to beat OSU when it should have been a reasonably easy victory. Added to that, I felt we still relied on individual players making great plays, not team work.

Yet, Pat chose not to own up to the coaching foulup and chose to leave it on the player's "effort".

Now, tonight: it was if our coaches forgot how to be humble, to realize they, too, had been "off their game" for a while. We where playing a team with weak posts, yet we barely took looks....why?? I don't know. I just do not know.

Finally, there is this:

“We have one of the best point guards in the country coming in,” Summitt said. “Hopefully, she can show others how to play the game at the highest level.”

Really Coach?? You want to lay a Class A butt-whipping on the heads of 3 young women who are part of a team full of basketball players?? No owning up by the coaching staff on the game plan??

And, to use Ariel Massengale, a kid who has played NOT A MINUTE of college ball, as your gold standard and the cure for "what's wrong"???

What's wrong, coach, is that other teams pass better and work together better. Part of that is the kid's, part is the coaching. We have All-Americans, you figure out which part is missing. Sit and watch UConn pass the ball.

Okay folks, that is it. For the first time in my too-many years as a sport's fan, I was able to stomach Notre Dame beating us because, quite frankly, their program deserved it.

As a Vol fan, raised in middle TN, who has lived and died with everything Vol, the events of the last year have really shaken my fandom. This final straw has been to see Pat once again throw kids under the bus for her and her staff's mistakes.

Good luck all, and hate away.

The more you post like a 'tommyjack', the more you will become him.

98...good luck ma'am. You are a great one.

accurate in every instance.

madrigal writes:

Meighan Simmons is a two guard, not a true point guard. She's done an exceptional job converting this year, but she's only a freshman, for heaven's sake! Give the girl a break!!! Lauren Avant is a true point guard, but it takes awhile to go from high school to national caliber. I think the naysayers just don't get it. TRUE point guards who can make the leap from high school to national in one year are pretty rare. Those who think you can do better, I DARE YOU.

jeff1vol writes:

Pat is past her prime. She's the greatest of all time, but we all lose it after a while. This staff is NOT very good at all. Haven't been since the dude left for Duke. You can't get better players than what they have right now and they were extremely ill prepared. We can spin it any way you want to, but that is the truth to anyone that knows bball. Go Vols!

ModelMaker writes:

Point Guard is just one of the problems of the lady vols. I don't think they wanted it bad enough. Kelly Cain gained weight, Brewer gained a lot of weight. If you can't even take care of your own body how do you expect to win a national championship. Its just not going to happen. When you have to tell people to get into the gym and get extra shoots, when you have to tell people that they aren't playing with enough energy, and finally they need to grow up and be accountable. They are very immature. They reminded me of Gorgetown playing Uconn in the last 7 min. Gorgetown is a very immature team.
Unless the Lady Vols grow up and except responsbility they will never win a National Championship. You have to be 100% commited and if your not the other guy will be and they will beat you.

8ball writes:

in response to madrigal:

Meighan Simmons is a two guard, not a true point guard. She's done an exceptional job converting this year, but she's only a freshman, for heaven's sake! Give the girl a break!!! Lauren Avant is a true point guard, but it takes awhile to go from high school to national caliber. I think the naysayers just don't get it. TRUE point guards who can make the leap from high school to national in one year are pretty rare. Those who think you can do better, I DARE YOU.

Meg is 2 guard as you say, avant is true point guard as you say, both are true freshman as you say, Then play meg 2 guard & avant point..

dawood32025#214896 writes:

in response to flatrock:

ND definitely had the best PG in the game tonight,
but to blame this loss entirely on our PGs is a stretch. In fact, I can't think of a single player who turned in a winning performance. Sad because this has been a fun team to watch, especially with contributions coming from so many different players.
Notes:
-The SEC was horrible this year- especially at the PG position;
-Hate to keep harping on this, but I believe this game was lost in the pre-season when Pat
and the staff made the decision to hand over the
PG position to Meighan Simmons. IMHO, they
put entirely too much confidence (and pressure) in Meighan
and too little confidence in Kamiko. How many times did Kamiko come in and settle down the LVs
-only to sit on the bench the next game while
Meighan was rewarded with more-not less- playing time?
From the outside, it looked like the staff was more fixated on creating a superstar
than building a cohesive unit. I doubt that lack of confidence will ever be a problem for Meighan. If a little more love had been
pushed Kamiko's way, she might have played with
more consistency tonight and the LVs possibly could have overcome a great game by the Lady Irish.
-I believe Meighan has a chance to be an outstanding LV contributor- but I don't
think she has a drop of PG DNA. It appears that
she approaches each possession with a shoot-first approach and honestly has to force herself to be a QB-type. She is tremendous in the open court and her shooting is way above average when she catches and shoots with her feet set (like a great wing shooter).
-I still believe that LVs best lineup was
PG-K. Williams; 2G-M. Simmons; 3G-A. Bjorklund
or T. Spani; 4P-SEC MVP S. Sticklen; 5P-G. Johnson. Guess we will never know.

I agree.

jack_2222#231746 writes:

Work harder on defense, rebound better. Thus ends the half time adjustments.

FormerCoach writes:

I was dismayed and shocked by Pat Summitt's media reaction to the loss to Notre Dame. You just don't do that to your players as a coach when the players have no short-term means of addressing the problem. In my opinion, it was cold, thoughtless, and aggressive. There would have been nothing inappropriate about her taking the affected individuals aside and privately addressing her disappointment with their play. But, to name names publicly and suggest that a high school senior will be able to come in and change everything for the better borders on cruelty, in my opinion.

VolinTally writes:

in response to Dead_Vol_Gone:

Hello; I took an amazing amount of hatred after my Saturday post about Pat and the staff. Folks went as far as to call me every name in the book, to tell me how stupid I was, and to belittle me at every turn.

Additionally, some went as far as to have a post removed that was not profane, but was emotional.

Now, some final words. I have been a Pat Head supporter since she first came to UT to coach, and played as an Olympian. I've been on this very board ever since it went public.

No more, this will be it.

My chagrin Saturday was that we had an awful first half game plan, and expended a HUGE amount of energy to beat OSU when it should have been a reasonably easy victory. Added to that, I felt we still relied on individual players making great plays, not team work.

Yet, Pat chose not to own up to the coaching foulup and chose to leave it on the player's "effort".

Now, tonight: it was if our coaches forgot how to be humble, to realize they, too, had been "off their game" for a while. We where playing a team with weak posts, yet we barely took looks....why?? I don't know. I just do not know.

Finally, there is this:

“We have one of the best point guards in the country coming in,” Summitt said. “Hopefully, she can show others how to play the game at the highest level.”

Really Coach?? You want to lay a Class A butt-whipping on the heads of 3 young women who are part of a team full of basketball players?? No owning up by the coaching staff on the game plan??

And, to use Ariel Massengale, a kid who has played NOT A MINUTE of college ball, as your gold standard and the cure for "what's wrong"???

What's wrong, coach, is that other teams pass better and work together better. Part of that is the kid's, part is the coaching. We have All-Americans, you figure out which part is missing. Sit and watch UConn pass the ball.

Okay folks, that is it. For the first time in my too-many years as a sport's fan, I was able to stomach Notre Dame beating us because, quite frankly, their program deserved it.

As a Vol fan, raised in middle TN, who has lived and died with everything Vol, the events of the last year have really shaken my fandom. This final straw has been to see Pat once again throw kids under the bus for her and her staff's mistakes.

Good luck all, and hate away.

The more you post like a 'tommyjack', the more you will become him.

98...good luck ma'am. You are a great one.

I couldn't agree more. Even in her postgame comments, CPS said "I'm very disappointed in our basketball team." Really? Well, I'm disappointed in the coaching effort and apparent lack of an offensive game plan. CPS and her assistants need to take ownership of their failures (e.g. not recruiting a point guard, etc.) and stop, as you said, throwing the players under the bus. Sorry you took flack for what you said, but I think it's a perfect observation.

VolinTally writes:

in response to FormerCoach:

I was dismayed and shocked by Pat Summitt's media reaction to the loss to Notre Dame. You just don't do that to your players as a coach when the players have no short-term means of addressing the problem. In my opinion, it was cold, thoughtless, and aggressive. There would have been nothing inappropriate about her taking the affected individuals aside and privately addressing her disappointment with their play. But, to name names publicly and suggest that a high school senior will be able to come in and change everything for the better borders on cruelty, in my opinion.

Yeah, I agree, and I know that some people think CPS's "assertiveness" is a way to toughen them up. Well, there's being critical and then there's being harsh. One can be effective; the other is simply demoralizing. I'm not one of her players, but honestly, after watching her last night, I'm not sure I'd want to play for her despite her reign as one of the best basketball coaches ever.

kantanuuv writes:

Ahh the most delicious trifecta in years. Lady Voles don't even make the Final 4, losing to a team they had beaten 20 times in a row. The Other Lady Voles lose by a record amount in the first round, then hire a high school coach who they hope lies less than CBP (Cheatin' Bruce Pearl). And the UGA-TN football team, using the few players that weren't incarcerated, has yet another losing season under the Ragin' Cajun from Athens, GA.

And the best is yet to come when the NCAA labels UT as the most corrupt athletic department in the country.

Fun to watch yes? No?

Theo writes:

in response to VolinTally:

I couldn't agree more. Even in her postgame comments, CPS said "I'm very disappointed in our basketball team." Really? Well, I'm disappointed in the coaching effort and apparent lack of an offensive game plan. CPS and her assistants need to take ownership of their failures (e.g. not recruiting a point guard, etc.) and stop, as you said, throwing the players under the bus. Sorry you took flack for what you said, but I think it's a perfect observation.

Actually, they did recruit point guards. I think, someone correct me here if I'm wrong, Kate McMahan (?) should have been a junior/senior point guard this season? Also, obviously Avant was the point guard recruit but her development was really delayed from the lingering ankle spraing and at least two concussions. Sometimes things, like injuries, a coaching staff has no control over.
Also, I think it would be very enlightening to have heard the entire half-time discussion. Pat, while being a task master, feeds them at her house etc., and they generally seem to love her. I don't remember very many transfering because she was too tough. Playing time maybe.
Ex-players seem to have enough affection for their old coach to come back to UT anytime she asks. We only saw what ESPN (The UConn channel) wanted us to see.

VolinTally writes:

in response to Theo:

Actually, they did recruit point guards. I think, someone correct me here if I'm wrong, Kate McMahan (?) should have been a junior/senior point guard this season? Also, obviously Avant was the point guard recruit but her development was really delayed from the lingering ankle spraing and at least two concussions. Sometimes things, like injuries, a coaching staff has no control over.
Also, I think it would be very enlightening to have heard the entire half-time discussion. Pat, while being a task master, feeds them at her house etc., and they generally seem to love her. I don't remember very many transfering because she was too tough. Playing time maybe.
Ex-players seem to have enough affection for their old coach to come back to UT anytime she asks. We only saw what ESPN (The UConn channel) wanted us to see.

You're right, and in my disappointment, probably overlooked that point. McMahan showed some great promise, but still, some better planning should have taken place. At this stage of the game though, I'm getting more concerned about post players. Baugh, Cain, Johnson, and Brewer will be gone after next year, and so far, there isn't a big post presence coming in.

ps11824 writes:

dead vol, we've had our differences, still do, but I'm not liking this. I'm seeing a very tired coach who has apparently started the process of "not having fun at her job." She says it's time when it's not fun anymore.

I'm not blaming anyone. It's just not fun anymore when so many posts are all about blame. . .

Theo writes:

in response to VolinTally:

You're right, and in my disappointment, probably overlooked that point. McMahan showed some great promise, but still, some better planning should have taken place. At this stage of the game though, I'm getting more concerned about post players. Baugh, Cain, Johnson, and Brewer will be gone after next year, and so far, there isn't a big post presence coming in.

I feel your pain on the post issue. We missed out on the kid who went to Duke. I've really kicked around whether it would make sense for say Brewer to red-shirt. Won't happen and then you run the risk of someone getting hurt. Lots of room in the 2012 class though. Keep the faith.

Theo writes:

in response to Dead_Vol_Gone:

Hello; I took an amazing amount of hatred after my Saturday post about Pat and the staff. Folks went as far as to call me every name in the book, to tell me how stupid I was, and to belittle me at every turn.

Additionally, some went as far as to have a post removed that was not profane, but was emotional.

Now, some final words. I have been a Pat Head supporter since she first came to UT to coach, and played as an Olympian. I've been on this very board ever since it went public.

No more, this will be it.

My chagrin Saturday was that we had an awful first half game plan, and expended a HUGE amount of energy to beat OSU when it should have been a reasonably easy victory. Added to that, I felt we still relied on individual players making great plays, not team work.

Yet, Pat chose not to own up to the coaching foulup and chose to leave it on the player's "effort".

Now, tonight: it was if our coaches forgot how to be humble, to realize they, too, had been "off their game" for a while. We where playing a team with weak posts, yet we barely took looks....why?? I don't know. I just do not know.

Finally, there is this:

“We have one of the best point guards in the country coming in,” Summitt said. “Hopefully, she can show others how to play the game at the highest level.”

Really Coach?? You want to lay a Class A butt-whipping on the heads of 3 young women who are part of a team full of basketball players?? No owning up by the coaching staff on the game plan??

And, to use Ariel Massengale, a kid who has played NOT A MINUTE of college ball, as your gold standard and the cure for "what's wrong"???

What's wrong, coach, is that other teams pass better and work together better. Part of that is the kid's, part is the coaching. We have All-Americans, you figure out which part is missing. Sit and watch UConn pass the ball.

Okay folks, that is it. For the first time in my too-many years as a sport's fan, I was able to stomach Notre Dame beating us because, quite frankly, their program deserved it.

As a Vol fan, raised in middle TN, who has lived and died with everything Vol, the events of the last year have really shaken my fandom. This final straw has been to see Pat once again throw kids under the bus for her and her staff's mistakes.

Good luck all, and hate away.

The more you post like a 'tommyjack', the more you will become him.

98...good luck ma'am. You are a great one.

Alright, I'll say it. Dead Vol aren't you better than that? You'd be furious if the kids quit because they had a rough time of it. Pick another name and come on back. The water can get a little rough but generally is pretty fine.

MajorMustard writes:

That just seemed like such a meltdown. Where was Bjorkland? Where was Strickland? A freshman meltdown is understandable. We sure could have used Kate's leadership. It was an off night accross the board but kudos to ND.

RLL59 writes:

in response to ps11824:

dead vol, we've had our differences, still do, but I'm not liking this. I'm seeing a very tired coach who has apparently started the process of "not having fun at her job." She says it's time when it's not fun anymore.

I'm not blaming anyone. It's just not fun anymore when so many posts are all about blame. . .

There are many more posts on the 2 current major threads, including yours, that specifically blame the players and the players only. To believe that 10-12 young women, personally recruited over 4 years, all had or developed selfishness, laziness, lack of heart and dedication, stubbornness, pride and/or any other negative characteristics that posters have laid on them...all in the need to absolve year long major coaching blunders ...is as absurd as believing in the tooth fairy.

Coaching wasn't the only problem this team had, but any objective view would acknowledge that it was one of them.

Ron1967 writes:

in response to FormerCoach:

I was dismayed and shocked by Pat Summitt's media reaction to the loss to Notre Dame. You just don't do that to your players as a coach when the players have no short-term means of addressing the problem. In my opinion, it was cold, thoughtless, and aggressive. There would have been nothing inappropriate about her taking the affected individuals aside and privately addressing her disappointment with their play. But, to name names publicly and suggest that a high school senior will be able to come in and change everything for the better borders on cruelty, in my opinion.

Coach, you're dead on. Except for Mickie, all of the staff needs to go. And Pat needs to man up and take responsibility and blame for the slippage in the LV program. This program is obviously missing Caldwell as an assistant in the worst way.

ps11824 writes:

RLL59, one need only look at the stats from all season to prove the lack of heart and courage, and the inconsistencies of this team. I did not say anything that the facts don't show. Do you honestly think I like admitting what is true about this team? I do. About as much as Pat likes having to coach effort during the NCAA tournament. IF you think Pat didn't want to win, you have rocks in your head. If you think she and her staff did not do everything in their power to get them ready for this... what are you? Why do you think she is allowing her staff to draw up some plays? Maybe because she is at her wits end and is willing to do whatever it takes to get ANYTHING positive going on on the court. Why do you refuse to believe she is 100% invested in her team?

The coach cannot wear the uni. She cannot make the shot...secure the ball...make the defensive stop. She can only coach and prepare as she has for 38 years. I guess you concede with the others who want her gone because she has aged. Heaven help you as you celebrate your birthdays.

proud2btnvol (Inactive) writes:

Counted on Simmons too much this year. Very surprised Pat let her run wild.

kazoo writes:

This loss is mostly on Summitt and her mediocre recruiting in recent years, which I have talked about a lot. But it's also on the team, which, though it has obvious holes--lack of quickness, lack of good guard play, lack of big-game scoring from Bjorklund--was still more than capable of beating notre dame. Bjorklund's reputation for coming up small in big games sadly continues--two points in two regional games? Are you kidding me? That's inexcusable, even though her lack of quickness is a problem. She's a nice player--but basically a taller version of Zolman, who could shoot the three when open but otherwise didn't have too many assets.

As for Summitt, there is no excuse for not having a couple of good, inexperienced guards on the floor every years. Summitt and her staff simply have done a poor job of recruiting guards for YEARS--many years, in fact: No point guards who can play, and a string of shooting guards (before simmons) who don't have the athleticism and quickness to create their own shots. McMahon wasn't going to be the answer at PG either. There is no excuse for the premier program in the country to not have a good upper-class PG! Hell, PS had to reach into the junior-college ranks a few years ago to find a PG to play with Parker--we didn't have anybody!

I also agree that playing Simmons at PG was a stupid decision--it is clear that she is not a PG and it didn't work. Williams isn't a great PG either--but in hindsight we probably would have been better off with her in the the starting lineup. Arguably a coaching screwup. Summitt hasn't had but two decent PG's in well more than 10 years--Bobbitt (played two years out of JC) and Loree Moore. Guard recruiting has been a MAJOR recruiting failure by Summitt for a long time.

We can only hope that uconn doesn't win the title again this year--it would tie geno with ps for most championships, which would be a disaster, in my opinion. But the Vols, coaches and players, can only blame themselves.

movinonup writes:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

RLL59 writes:

in response to ps11824:

RLL59, one need only look at the stats from all season to prove the lack of heart and courage, and the inconsistencies of this team. I did not say anything that the facts don't show. Do you honestly think I like admitting what is true about this team? I do. About as much as Pat likes having to coach effort during the NCAA tournament. IF you think Pat didn't want to win, you have rocks in your head. If you think she and her staff did not do everything in their power to get them ready for this... what are you? Why do you think she is allowing her staff to draw up some plays? Maybe because she is at her wits end and is willing to do whatever it takes to get ANYTHING positive going on on the court. Why do you refuse to believe she is 100% invested in her team?

The coach cannot wear the uni. She cannot make the shot...secure the ball...make the defensive stop. She can only coach and prepare as she has for 38 years. I guess you concede with the others who want her gone because she has aged. Heaven help you as you celebrate your birthdays.

98reax, I don't want Coach Summitt to retire. She alone is responsible for getting the best high school players in the country to become Lady Vols. But I want her to take responsibility for not developing a consistent starting line-up into the Elite 8. I want her to admit that not every game plan she developed was the correct one for the opponent. I want her to quit terroring her players into self deprecation for everything that doesn't go right during a game. There's a reason why none of her ex-players who have become coaches emulate her 'in your face' approach to inspiring their players. Coaches are human; they make mistakes. That's acceptable. What's not acceptable is claiming her only fault is not getting players to have a better attitude toward the game. And that's what we hear every time the Lady Vols lose. As I said, it is statistically impossible that 12 players on one team, over 4 years, all just happen to have the glut of character flaws you and other posters contend. There must be some additional or other reason why results are not as expected and that component is coaching. Next year there is another #1 ranked class coming to UT. If the problems of this year (and I don't mean the their won-lost record) are not to be experienced again in 2011-2012, Coach Summitt is going to have to change her approach. Otherwise, what magical event is going to make anything sdifferent than they are today?

The_Truth_and_nothing_but_the_Truth writes:

Being in China (on vacation) I am a day late and a dollar short so to speak. It's hard to get information unless you live next to a Computer Cafe.

I'm sorry to hear about the Tennessee loss. A 34-3 season is something to be proud of. I was hoping for a Tennessee/UCONN showdown but that unfortunately will have to wait.

It's too bad in only a week or so we have to wait for another season to root for our respective teams.

Being a reader from Connecticut I enjoy many of the posters here and in a way feel your pain. Like many others I do enjoy Dead_Vols comments and unique sense of humor.

Reconsider!

FCAllen writes:

Agree that this was the most disappointing team effort I've watched all year. We could have easily lost to Marquette except for superior talent and home court advantage. But sadly, one must consider that we have been consistently out-coached. I love CPS and appreciate her work effort and her desire to win, but the X's and O side of the equation has been lacking since Caldwell left. We stayed in the zone way too long, and considering our size, depth, and speed advantage, we should have ran them, pressed them, and ran some more. We had no coherent offense. We played incredibly tight - very bad nerves, especially Simmons and Angie. I have to believe they are afraid of CPS and her rants. Perhaps that style of coaching doesn't work as well as it used to. I have to believe if my daughter wanted to play for Tennessee, I'd have to discourage it because I wouldn't want her embarrassed on national TV. The locker room cameras and rants have got to go. Just my opinion...

CDortch writes:

Just as a different point of view, I think Pat made a bold move by calling out her team to the national media. The competitive drive of a athlete should take that comment as fuel to improve. Remember this team has had a good year but in the standards of Lady Vols Basketball nothing has been accomplished yet for the most part.

This is the point where a true leader has to come forward and make this team understand we made Pat feel that way. Everyone knows that leadership has been lacked as well for sometime now.

Can a freshman solve the problems this team has shown, no but can she help, yes for sure especially being a PG. Saying Ariel can show everyone else how to play, that part was a little more on the harsh side, but the call out on her being disappoint I think was dead on because there has been problems all year besides a PG.

The coaching staff still has it in them and the girls have it in them too. The down fall of this class was no solid leader, due to the fact the all left in 2008 and no one stepped up. Pat and the coaching staff has carried them this far, and to get over the hump there has to be a player that coaches on the floor inside the game. Which lots of us, if not everyone would agree isn't there.

flatrock writes:

I do not believe that effort and attitude were the main culprits vs. Notre Dame. This team played extremely tight the last 3 games. Do not know why, but it looked like they had absolutely no fun at all.

Changes I would like to see next season:
-Please, Pat, do not just hand the ball to the
freshman PG like you did this season...give the PG slot to Kamiko and
Lauren and bring along Ariel slowly...if she
truly earns the job and the respect of her teammates over time, good;
-get rid of the halftime cameras and theatrics...Pat is coming off more like
Woody Hayes than the coach and mentor that the LVs love and respect;
-develop a pressure defense, allowing that you will give up some cheap baskets and playing to your real strength- depth; then up the offensive tempo and again take advantage of your depth and run the opponents in the ground;
-move away from the half-court pound-it-to-the-
post offense- play only one Big at a time and rotate them so they can keep up the full-court
attack;
-treat all the players the same- tough...Pat's
coddling of Meighan and quick-hook treatment
of the others was a huge contradiction and, in
the end, left the others confused and seemed to
suck all the confidence out of the other
prep All-Americans on this squad...come to think
of it, isn't that the way the team played the last 3 games- confused and frozen in fear of making a bad play?
Go Pat; Go staff; go LVs!

Fall_Creek_Vols writes:

I think everyone needs to take deep breath and back off Pat Summitt. Lack of a game plan? No, she told them at the half to work the ball inside. When we did, we scored or drew a foul. Then, we stopped going inside. I don't know why.

As for throwing her team under the bus, weren't they the ones on the floor? Pat hasn't played a minute in some time. Didn't they fail to execute? Credit Notre Dame, they took us out of our game. We let them set the tone of the game and I agree, that should NEVER happen.

However, in the final analysis...it's the players who play the game...or not.

martinvol34 writes:

in response to flatrock:

ND definitely had the best PG in the game tonight,
but to blame this loss entirely on our PGs is a stretch. In fact, I can't think of a single player who turned in a winning performance. Sad because this has been a fun team to watch, especially with contributions coming from so many different players.
Notes:
-The SEC was horrible this year- especially at the PG position;
-Hate to keep harping on this, but I believe this game was lost in the pre-season when Pat
and the staff made the decision to hand over the
PG position to Meighan Simmons. IMHO, they
put entirely too much confidence (and pressure) in Meighan
and too little confidence in Kamiko. How many times did Kamiko come in and settle down the LVs
-only to sit on the bench the next game while
Meighan was rewarded with more-not less- playing time?
From the outside, it looked like the staff was more fixated on creating a superstar
than building a cohesive unit. I doubt that lack of confidence will ever be a problem for Meighan. If a little more love had been
pushed Kamiko's way, she might have played with
more consistency tonight and the LVs possibly could have overcome a great game by the Lady Irish.
-I believe Meighan has a chance to be an outstanding LV contributor- but I don't
think she has a drop of PG DNA. It appears that
she approaches each possession with a shoot-first approach and honestly has to force herself to be a QB-type. She is tremendous in the open court and her shooting is way above average when she catches and shoots with her feet set (like a great wing shooter).
-I still believe that LVs best lineup was
PG-K. Williams; 2G-M. Simmons; 3G-A. Bjorklund
or T. Spani; 4P-SEC MVP S. Sticklen; 5P-G. Johnson. Guess we will never know.

I think that our best lineup to start this game would have been Lauren Avant, Kamiko, and Angie with Glory and Shekinna and Manning off the bench. And run those big goons to death. Lauren Avant is a great point guard but has just been hurt. Ariel will not come in and start. I guarantee it. Give Lauren an off season and there will be a battle.

martinvol34 writes:

in response to VOLunTEAR:

How do we get caught in the Elite Eight without a point guard???

We have a point guard idiot! She sat on the bench most of the game and when she was in was when we took the lead 17 - 15.

sgtvols writes:

Lets begin at the head. That be's a dude called Cheek. So mR Cheek here's my plan. Get the h..l rid of Hamilton, hire Pat Summitt as AD and tell her the first job is to hire a new Women's coach. I know thats Croanin's job, but you get the point

TNTH2 writes:

Teams that play tight usually a reflection of the coach/coaching staff. During recent years (or other years), I never really got the impression that Lady Vols have fun while playing. Only media that stick's out in my mind is Pat screaming at players and questioning their toughness or stomping and frowning/protesting on the sideline. It's good to have high standards and expectations, but Pat's achievements and legacy appear to have become so large that anything less than a NC is viewed as failure - that's a shame. It may be time to appoint her as AD and look for her successor. Could not find a clearer definition of Volunteer to fill AD positoin than her and speculate that Lady Vols could continue current level of success under co-coaches Warlick and DeMoss.

ballhog writes:

This has been the problem all year with a supposedly superstar freshman.It is the reason Tenn had no offense their chemistry was destroyed,

A ball hog is a derisive term in basketball for a player who tends to handle the ball so exclusively that his or her behavior is damaging to their team. For this reason, "ball-hogging" is generally considered unacceptable playing behavior at all levels of basketball competition, especially by the player's teammates and coach. However, ball-hogging is not a violation of the rules of basketball.
The main behavior associated with being a ball hog is excessive shooting, including frequent attempts at difficult shots (especially when passing to an open player would've made the chances of a successful shot to the basket much greater). Ball hogs attempt to monopolize their play of the ball, frequently dribbling excessively and infrequently passing the ball to a teammate. The ball hog does this because of any combination of poor court vision, over-confidence in his own ability relative to that of his teammates, lack of confidence in his/her teammates' abilities, or sheer selfishness. Ball hogging tends to manifest itself statistically as an abnormally high percentage of team shot attempts by the ball hog and often low percentages of shot accuracy and assists. They also tend to have a very poor assist-to-turnover ratio (used as the main statistical indicator of how well a player "shares" the ball).
"Ball-hogging" can be detrimental to a team both immediately and in the long term. For instance, a player with ball-hogging tendencies may overlook or neglect a teammate who is open for a relatively easy shot, choosing instead to take a more difficult shot himself, often at the team's expense. Additionally, repeated ball-hogging by a player can damage a team's cohesiveness and alienate him or her from his teammates, coaches, and fans. Another example of a ball-hog, is a player that tries to look good statistically. This could be done even through assists. A player that tries to be the best at everything, holds the ball, executes all the plays, from scoring to assisting, can also be known as a ball hog.
The common offensive strategy for a basketball team is to have the better offensive player(s) attempting more shots. But when a player seems to be taking this strategy to excess, that player is often said to be a "ball hog" regardless of how good a shooter he might be. Therefore the term is highly subjective, and any individual player might be considered a ball hog by some observers but not by others. As explained earlier, players with the poorest assist-to-turnover ratios (lots of turnovers and very few assists) are the most likely to be in danger of gaining a ball hog reputation. Ironically, players usually must be quite talented to be considered a ball hog, especially at collegiate and professional levels; incompetent ball hogs simply do not go far in team basketball.

silvertr6 writes:

in response to jeff1vol:

Pat is past her prime. She's the greatest of all time, but we all lose it after a while. This staff is NOT very good at all. Haven't been since the dude left for Duke. You can't get better players than what they have right now and they were extremely ill prepared. We can spin it any way you want to, but that is the truth to anyone that knows bball. Go Vols!

Fully agree with your comments, There seemed to be NO STRATEGY, NO GAME PLAN, and the defense was lackluster at best. Ballhandling and hustle was inferior to Notre Dame.

calusadave writes:

I thought Summitt's post game comments were pathetic. My wife and I both agreed we would not like to have our daughters, grand-daughters, whatever, playing for Ms. Summitt.

10ec_fan writes:

in response to kantanuuv:

Ahh the most delicious trifecta in years. Lady Voles don't even make the Final 4, losing to a team they had beaten 20 times in a row. The Other Lady Voles lose by a record amount in the first round, then hire a high school coach who they hope lies less than CBP (Cheatin' Bruce Pearl). And the UGA-TN football team, using the few players that weren't incarcerated, has yet another losing season under the Ragin' Cajun from Athens, GA.

And the best is yet to come when the NCAA labels UT as the most corrupt athletic department in the country.

Fun to watch yes? No?

Is NASA missing an engineer?

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