Bashaara Graves on Stanford and Christmas break
Tennessee's Isabelle Harrison spent Thursday's team practice either stretched out on a trainer's table or on the sideline, receiving treatment for a sprained right ankle.
Apparently this has been time well spent for the sophomore center.
Both Lady Vols head coach Holly Warlick and Jenny Moshak, the associate director of sports medicine, are hopeful that Harrison will return for a women's basketball game against No. 1 Stanford on Saturday at Thompson-Boling Arena (TV: SportSouth, MyVLT, 4 p.m.). The 6-foot-3 Harrison suffered the injury last Sunday versus Texas and missed Tuesday's 76-53 loss at No. 3 Baylor.
"I think the chances of having her for Saturday are a lot better than for Baylor," Warlick said. "Baylor was a long shot. I'm very, very optimistic we will have her."
Harrison's presence would help since Stanford's front-court starters — Chiney Ogwumike, Joslyn Tinkle and Mikaela Ruef — all stand 6-3.
Jasmine Phillips, meanwhile, will not play Saturday. Warlick said that the sophomore guard's ongoing absence remains a coach's decision, but Warlick also conceded that Phillips isn't fully healthy. Moshak said that Phillips has had issues lately with her right hip flexor.
Phillips hasn't played since Nov. 25 against Alcorn State. She missed two games while getting her academics in order but completed her first-semester requirements.
Nell on Wheels: Former Auburn coach Nell Fortner, who coached the 2000 U.S. Olympic women's team, is bringing her Game-Day show — Nell on Wheels — to Knoxville. She will set up in Arena Dining on Saturday and the show will take place 2:30-3:15 p.m. before the Stanford-UT game. Former Lady Vols assistant coach Mickie DeMoss will be on hand.
Fortner said that she's using this season as a test pilot for the show — which depends on fan response.
"It lives on social media; it's not on TV," she said.