Not everything has changed in Tennessee women's basketball from last season to this one.
The Lady Vols still look overmatched against elite teams.
You saw that again Saturday afternoon at Thompson-Boling Arena as No. 1 Stanford started fast and did what was necessary the rest of the way to take a 73-60 victory.
The Cardinal picked up where No. 3 Baylor left off Tuesday night in Waco, Texas. The Lady Bears jumped out to a 17-0 lead en route to a 76-53 victory.
Two double-digit losses in the same week doesn't constitute business as usual for the Lady Vols. That hasn't happened since January of 1997 when they lost by 15 points to No. 1 Connecticut and by 11 to No. 2 Old Dominion two days later.
You don't have to go back that far to find comparable results against similar teams.
Tennessee lost to Stanford by 17 points last December and by 19 to Baylor in the Elite Eight of the NCAA tournament in March.
If that senior-laden team couldn't be competitive against Final Four-caliber teams, perhaps it was too much to ask of this less experienced UT model. But first-year head coach Holly Warlick made it clear she expected so much more against the Cardinal.
"We're playing the No. 1 team," she said. "We've got a great crowd."
Based on the last two practices, Warlick felt her team had moved past the thumping from Baylor and positioned itself to seize an opportunity. Instead, she was astonished by the lack of effort, especially on defense.
It was a recurring theme for last season's more experienced and talented team. Warlick even referenced that inconsistent effort in her preseason media conference, emphasizing that more of the same wouldn't be tolerated.
Maybe that's why Tennessee's third loss in 10 games resonated more than the first two.
"You've got to have a relentless effort and a big heart," Warlick said. "We didn't play with energy."
Effort might not have been all that was lacking against Stanford. You have to wonder about the Lady Vols' confidence after being overwhelmed a few days earlier by Baylor.
Tennessee might have stopped Stanford from building a big lead early if it had simply hit all those follow-up shots following offensive rebounds in the early going. It shot as though Baylor's Brittney Griner were still lurking, poised to swat away anything close to the basket.
But the drop-off from Griner to Stanford's Chiney Ogwumike is only five inches. You're going from a 6-foot-8 All-American to a 6-3 All-American.
UT didn't have a good answer for either one.
Ogwumike had 21 points, 19 rebounds, five assists and two blocked shots while playing the full 40 minutes. Her timing was significant, too.
Tennessee's finest moments came midway through the second half when it forced a faster tempo, sliced a 17-point lead to nine, and helped restore a roar to the crowd. But in the next two minutes, Ogwumike had a layup, an assist, two rebounds and a block. Just like that, the lead was up to 15.
The Lady Vols can raise their intensity. They can push harder on defense. They can become more committed to a faster tempo.
But they still won't have a good answer for players like Griner and Ogwumike. Or for teams as good as Baylor and Stanford.
Those answers come only through recruiting.