No 'work of art' in Lady Vols beating UT Martin, 72-49

Simmons provides spark off the bench

Tennessee's Meighan Simmons puts up a basket after getting past UT Martin's Jasmine Newsome during the first round game of the NCAA Women's Basketball Tournament Allstate Arena in Rosemont, IL on Saturday, March 17, 2012. the Lady Vols defeated the Skyhawks 72-49 and advance to the second round. 

(SAUL YOUNG/NEWS SENTINEL)

Photo by Saul Young, copyright © 2012

Tennessee's Meighan Simmons puts up a basket after getting past UT Martin's Jasmine Newsome during the first round game of the NCAA Women's Basketball Tournament Allstate Arena in Rosemont, IL on Saturday, March 17, 2012. the Lady Vols defeated the Skyhawks 72-49 and advance to the second round. (SAUL YOUNG/NEWS SENTINEL)

Kamiko Williams on the Lady Vols' win over UT-Martin

ROSEMONT, Ill. — Tennessee's sister school wasn't content with acting like a little sister on Saturday afternoon.

Faced with a feisty and determined Tennessee Martin, the Lady Vols had to summon more poise and search their depth for a 72-49 victory in the first round of the NCAA women's basketball tournament at Allstate Arena.

Led by reserve guard Meighan Simmons' 20 points, Tennessee (25-8) advanced to a second-round game Monday (TV: ESPN2, 9:30 p.m.) against No. 7 DePaul (23-10). The Blue Demons beat BYU 59-55 in Saturday's other first-round game.

Tennessee's Glory Johnson added 14 points and grabbed a game-high 12 rebounds. She scored 10 of her points in the second half, when UT built its lead to 25 points inside the final two minutes.

"Basically, it wasn't a work of art by any stretch,'' UT assistant Dean Lockwood said. "But it was a good first game."

It was a tougher first game than the seedings indicated. Despite shooting a chilly 28.8 percent from the floor (19-for-66), No. 15 seed UT Martin (23-9) gave ground grudgingly throughout the game.

"They are extremely physical,'' UT center Vicki Baugh said of the Skyhawks. "It was one of the most physical games I've played in my career and I've had an extra year."

The Skyhawks swarmed around Johnson and Baugh, Tennessee's tallest players. Aubrey Reedy, a 6-foot sophomore guard, went to the floor with the 6-3 Johnson in the first half and won a tug-of-war for the basketball. Johnson was left sitting on the court with a dumbfounded look on her face.

Lockwood was particularly concerned about UT Martin's 3-point shooters, who fueled its Division I-leading 81.1 points-per-game scoring average. He made them the focal point of his scouting report.

"As well as they shoot it, one of the things we determined is that we would much rather have them finish over our length and height than give up catch-and-shoot jumpers behind the arc,'' he said.

To fulfill this objective, the Lady Vols shed their favored zone defense and played primarily a man alignment. The Skyhawks missed some open shots in the first half. As the game wore on, the Lady Vols' shadow grew longer and darker over UT Martin's shooters.

Heather Butler's team-leading 14 points were 10 below her season average. The sophomore guard shot 5-for-25 from the floor.

Saul Young/News Sentinel
Tennessee's Vicki Baugh gets a rebound over UT Martin's Jaclissa Haislip, left, and Heather Butler during their first-round NCAA women's basketball game Saturday at Allstate Arena in Rosemont, Ill.

Photo by Saul Young, copyright © 2012

Saul Young/News Sentinel Tennessee's Vicki Baugh gets a rebound over UT Martin's Jaclissa Haislip, left, and Heather Butler during their first-round NCAA women's basketball game Saturday at Allstate Arena in Rosemont, Ill.

Guards Jaclissa Haislip and Jasmine Newsome combined for 22 points but also shot a collective 8-for-26.

Finally, the Skyhawks hit just four treys, six below their usual output, and shot 20 percent from behind the arc.

"We knew they needed 3s to survive,'' UT guard Kamiko Williams said. "We knew that if we took them away, we'd survive and we did."

But not without first overcoming their own infatuation with the long-range shot. With UT Martin packing the foul lane with defenders, the Lady Vols fired off a season-high 27 3-point attempts, hitting 10.

Since the Lady Vols couldn't resist jacking up jumpers against the Skyhawks' strategy, they needed to find someone who could hit a few. Simmons responded, making four of seven from long range and seven of 13 overall.

It was Simmons' best scoring game since her 25-point point showing against Kentucky on Feb. 13.

"I'm happy about it but at the same time it has to be consistent,'' Simmons said. "I have to make sure my shot is on like a light switch."

For this day, it helped light the way to the second round.

Dan Fleser may be reached at 865-342-6288. Follow him at http://twitterhttpcom/FleserKNS and http://blogs.knoxnews.com/fleserhttp

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Comments » 49

butch31 writes:

Great J O B Lady Vols! One think I liked very much today: 15 Assists, we shared the ball. The seniors were terrific, only flaw was shooting percentage. I hope Taber Spani can play better, this is getting really sad to see her continue to play like this.
Everyone else contributed today, a total team effort. I'm glad we won though. We have a great team, and I hope we can continue winning. Meighan Simmons & Glory Johnson are my players of the game, Glory got grabbed, choked, pushed and yoked, but she still rose above the drama from UT-Martin. I know we will come out better monday.

Theo writes:

We didn't go inside very much but it looked like they were determined to double/triple Glory and make us shoot the J. Luckily we were hitting them today. Thought the refs let them play awfully rough today. Announcer criticizing Glory failed to comment on the mutiple times she got mugged. Still, she needs to watch the elbow. Some refs would love to sit her for a game for a flying elbow. Good to see Simmons come alive and good to see Izzy get some minutes. I wish she had another year with Glory. Good win, keep it up. This team's best game is still out there for them.

jt45 writes:

Good win, a little lazy on defense but overall not a bad game. No cakewalks for any of the higher seeds this year.

Dougb-VFL writes:

Go Lady Vols! I do not want Pat to retire but if she has to due to health reasons then I hope these girls can get her one last banner. Pat Summit is and will be the best women's coach for years to come and I appreciate what she has done here, what a class act! VFL

plainspeaker1 writes:

in response to Theo:

We didn't go inside very much but it looked like they were determined to double/triple Glory and make us shoot the J. Luckily we were hitting them today. Thought the refs let them play awfully rough today. Announcer criticizing Glory failed to comment on the mutiple times she got mugged. Still, she needs to watch the elbow. Some refs would love to sit her for a game for a flying elbow. Good to see Simmons come alive and good to see Izzy get some minutes. I wish she had another year with Glory. Good win, keep it up. This team's best game is still out there for them.

That same announcer earlier in the game actually commented about how great it was that UT Martin was shoving Glory around. Glory has been beaten to death all year. You are right however. There are some refs who seem to be looking for any reason to give the advantage to our competition. Look at how Kentucky was allowed to foul at will for most of the year. I just know the Lady Vols would be able to get by with that kind of play. Sure they would!!

orangecountyvols writes:

Vols,

Just when I fussed over a bad play, someone did something well ! Spani again looked very shaky, then hit her nice 3 pointer. Biggest thing I saw that wasn't too cool was U T Martin deciding to dribble all the way to the basket and we kinda' observed as they flew by for a layup.

I know, it's unreasonable to think they'll take control of a game and win it wire to wire. But, when they play shaky at first, and miss all those outside shots, it gives the other guys a chance to hang around and make it a game.

Hopefully, this game will be in the rear view mirror and they'll step it up with the challenges that will lie ahead.

crossvoll writes:

Unfortunately our area went to the whip-around coverage for the much of the game, but what I did get to see was some good passing and some real nice plays by our Lady Vols! Congratulations on a great game! Keep it up!!!

SummittsCourt writes:

I still find it hard to believe how many people get on here after a win and be critical and point out faults. Granted there were some good things pointed out too. I just don't understand why most people feel the need to point out the negatives.

First of all, I seriously doubt any of the players read this, maybe a few, but doubtful.

Second, I'm sure the coaches are well aware of poor play, bad defense and turnovers so there is no need to continue to bring them up here.

Third, I find it hard to enjoy winning when I spend too much time pointing out the negatives.

Lastly, Nobody's perfect. I wonder how you would feel if at the end of your work day someone pulled you aside and pointed out everything you did wrong that day. I'm sure you wouldn't enjoy that even after you thought you had a pretty good day.

Let's give it a rest and enjoy the wins as they come.

Fall_Creek_Vols writes:

ESPN has Simmons with 20, Glory with 14 and 12. Isn't there an official version of the statistics?

Regardless, great win for the ladies. I didn't realize we've won 14 of our last 16. Hitting our stride at the right time!

I like this team's chances. The motivation has been well-documented. They now appear to be focused. I like the draw. I really like the play of Glory Johnson. She has become the bedrock of the team. Anyone can get hot on any given night and here lately, someone always has.

They're fun to watch. They LOOK like a Pat Summitt team to me. Here's hoping it lasts for just a few more games. Go Lady Vols!

r2d2 writes:

I take my hat off to Holly Warlick. I disagree with her method of frequent player substitutions. However, it is working for her. I hope thay get a chance to play Baylor and make the game a close one. The only reason I question their chances of defeating Baylor is; I am not sure if the LVs are just a good team or a very good team. If they are a very good team and play their "A" game defensively and offensively then they can defeat Baylor.

xvolx writes:

Warlick is going to take this team out early with her bench coaching and substituting. Simmons should never come out of the game. She's the only player out there. This senior gimmick is nothing but that. Put your five best players on the floor (Simmons, Massengil, Strickland, Johnson and Baugh) and quit playing these stupid substitution games.

wigmeister writes:

One game at a time. Talking about Baylor is stupid. They have to get past two opponents, to even reach Baylor, and there is a lot more good teams out there than there used to be. They may have to deal with Delaware if they continue to win, and that will not be an easy task.

plainspeaker1 writes:

in response to xvolx:

Warlick is going to take this team out early with her bench coaching and substituting. Simmons should never come out of the game. She's the only player out there. This senior gimmick is nothing but that. Put your five best players on the floor (Simmons, Massengil, Strickland, Johnson and Baugh) and quit playing these stupid substitution games.

Do you ever have a positive thought?!!

bigfan865 writes:

in response to xvolx:

Warlick is going to take this team out early with her bench coaching and substituting. Simmons should never come out of the game. She's the only player out there. This senior gimmick is nothing but that. Put your five best players on the floor (Simmons, Massengil, Strickland, Johnson and Baugh) and quit playing these stupid substitution games.

Please tell me you didn't really just say that Simmons is the only player out there! Tonight she was great, but a lot of that was because of attention being given to Glory and others. The D on them freed her up for some outside shots. Further, she could have been having an off night and she would have kept jacking them up for empty possesions. When she's good, she's very good. When bad, very bad. Let Holly and the coaches do their job and decide who starts and who comes off bench. Oh, and Massengil can be good on offense, but is a very weak link on D. I trust the coaches to know who and when. You and I aren't at practice or in charge of the game plan.

bigorange4life writes:

in response to bigfan865:

Please tell me you didn't really just say that Simmons is the only player out there! Tonight she was great, but a lot of that was because of attention being given to Glory and others. The D on them freed her up for some outside shots. Further, she could have been having an off night and she would have kept jacking them up for empty possesions. When she's good, she's very good. When bad, very bad. Let Holly and the coaches do their job and decide who starts and who comes off bench. Oh, and Massengil can be good on offense, but is a very weak link on D. I trust the coaches to know who and when. You and I aren't at practice or in charge of the game plan.

I agree with some of your points, especially about Massengale's D.But i also agree with xvolx about the lineups. The all senior thing is something I don't like. During the tournament you need to narrow the rotation to about 8 or 9 girls. To me you go with Baugh,Striclin Johnson,Massengale,Simmons,Burdick,Manning, Spani.That leaves out the others unless there's a blowout or injury.Just my thoughts.

Pullingguard writes:

For some reason this team has not reached the potential that was expected... If they make the final 8 they will be very fortunate.. And the next game could spell trouble, but lets hope for the best...

SoddyVol writes:

Starting the Seniors worked great in the SEC Tournament. Against UT-Martin, I doubt a different starting five would have done as well and probably would have been not as good. The coaches really have a tough time with this team and their mental ups and downs. Holly, or whoever was most responsible for the substitutions, did as good a job as I could imagine anyone doing. The team is just more unpredictable than most any others this year and that includes all players except Glory. Glory's play is very predictable.

Millisa writes:

in response to Theo:

We didn't go inside very much but it looked like they were determined to double/triple Glory and make us shoot the J. Luckily we were hitting them today. Thought the refs let them play awfully rough today. Announcer criticizing Glory failed to comment on the mutiple times she got mugged. Still, she needs to watch the elbow. Some refs would love to sit her for a game for a flying elbow. Good to see Simmons come alive and good to see Izzy get some minutes. I wish she had another year with Glory. Good win, keep it up. This team's best game is still out there for them.

Yes Glory was fouled alot and they didnt call it and that announcer had no business saying that about Glory It was uncalled for. ESPN dont mess with Coach Summitt.

dewey0022 writes:

Had this been a great team, this senior line-up would have lead this team to a loss. The best team possible should be on the floor, not one that has gotten there because of seniority. That is crazy and poor coaching. Massengale has not played nearly as well coming off the bench and that has to be obvious. Megan Simmons is the teams best scorer, but I believe these coaches would rather not detract from Sticklen or Johnson and that is why she didn't play until the 8 minute mark in the first half today. What a shame and Crazy!!! Seniorities work in unions but not in college basketball. They should start the best team, not those who have been there the longest. But that is only one opinion. I love the characters of this senior team, but don't think they are nearly as talented as some of their underclassmen teammates. If this team loses before the elite 8 because of this choice, that is certainly a coaches loss, not the players they have on this team. My only hope is that they get over this senior thing and play the best players available. Todays start btw against UT-martin was not impressive at all...... Just saying.

SoddyVol writes:

dewey0022......When you say "Megan Simmons is the teams best scorer,...", what percent of the games is that true? Simmons can be a tremendous help at times like Saturday and if her defense continues to improve, she will be even more valuable. However, she has shown she can hurt the team at times when she throws up so many that don't go in while not providing the defense needed. Sometimes the best team possible "on the floor" is not the same as the one most talented. Simmons was on the floor at the right time Saturday. I'm not so sure, had she started the game, she would have been as effective. Lets hope she is at least as productive as she was Saturday for 5 more games.

xvolx writes:

in response to plainspeaker1:

Do you ever have a positive thought?!!

Yes, I'm positive that you're not a plainspeaker.

ps11824 writes:

Thanks for the W, Lady Vols. Martin played well. Dribble drive & score, make decisive shots & finish at the rim. Make good decisions with the basketball & advance to the sweet 16, That's what I'm hoping to see next week. Take it, Pat... I'm liking your smile on the sideline.

plainspeaker1 writes:

in response to xvolx:

Yes, I'm positive that you're not a plainspeaker.

I am plainspoken enough to tell you I have NO intention of getting into a pointless argument with the likes of you.
Go Lady Vols!!
Win inspite of some of these "so called" fans!

richvol writes:

Good win. Glory just continues to amaze me with her fight and desire to win. We will miss her like no other since Candace.

If UT is going to be any good next year then Massengale and Spani need to get leaner and quicker. Both have excellent skill but their inability to use quickness is a real disadvantage. Spani cannot create her own shot and both of them are defensive liabilities. Lose weight and get in the weight room.

RLL59 writes:

The fact is that not one TN Martin player could make the Lady Vol team. Yet the Lady Vols struggled for much of the game. I'm happy they won, but with the inane lineups and substitutions, no one knows her role, and the team looks frantic, and out of sync...just how any group who haven't played together as a unit consistently through the year would.

On defense, the overguarding again permitted easy access to the basket. This isn't going to do the job against better teams...and that begins with the next game. The players need the coaches to step up to the task and provide the player mix and the defensive strategies necessary to go beyond the next round. And that begins with starting the 5 best players and substituting the next best players as fouls and weariness occurs....not as time elapses or a player makes a mistake or misses a shot or two.

VolsFan4Lyfe writes:

I thought for not playing in 13 days the lady vols came out energized and committed to the scout report something we haven't seen from there all year! They were so committed to not giving up set shots and running their players off the 3 point line they got beat on the backdoor (and no that isn't ok) but that shows they adhered to the scouting report and were tuned in and respected UTM's scoring ability.

Next with the senior line up the onl reason we are not singing their praises is because of the questionable shot selection of Manning and Bass but in return Manning did hit her first 3 she shot (which she has now hit for 3/4 games in a row). If she is wide open(which she was wide open) SHOOT she knew and trusted her teammates to get the offensive rebounds and their was a size advantage. Could she have forced the ball inside ...YES...but sometimes the way to defeat a zone thats packed in and focused on beating the bigs is to O-rebound because 9/10 times the zone-defense team has a hard time rebounding out of it!

No we didnt shoot the ball well but compared to the other 2 seeds that played yesterday we had a higher shooting percentage then all of them! MD played Navy and KY played Mcneese St. We grabbed more rebounds then all the number 1s and 2 seeds along with (except KY I think but both teams that played in that game shot in the 30s). And out of all the 1-3 seeds which played yesterday we were the only one with single digit turnovers! Further more 10 blocks! So I would call it a rusty game more then a sloppy game!I was just impressed with the attention to detail they payed to the scouting report.

The starting line up is something the coaches have already said it will be a game by game match up! I personally like sitting Meighan and allowing her to watch the game and give us a shot of scoring when we need it. When she is in the starting line up sometimes she seems to jacked up lately she has been coming in and picking her spots in the last couple games. She also has been taking her defender off the dribble I guess she is starting to realize she is probably one of the fastest guards in the country and when she plays under control she can blow by the best of defenders.

VolsFan4Lyfe writes:

For everyone who thinks Massengale can't D up she leads this team in steals (with 3 less games played then her teammates) and lets compare her to one of the best on ball defenders in the women's game 0-Sims. She has 7 less steals as of now than Odyssey had her entire freshman career with less games played. Oh yea and she has as many assists already and less turnovers just incase anyone was wondering.

As far as the substitutions go I don't like seeing all the ins and outs when the game is close BUT we also have to realize Vicki has had to reconstructive so that causes for more substitutions (Strickland having to move to the 4 so Burdick, Spani, or Manning come in) or Izzy has to come in to relieve Baugh in the post. Thats 5 people being affected right there and the rotation so to speak. Also this is a 1st round game you want to get the nerves out of your players who havent been here and some of the players who might want to prove themselves to much. I like the senior starting line up for atleast the first 2 games because Massengale gets to watch the game and is not so shook to impress everyone (especially being in her hometown). Sometimes the most talented players being on the floor all at once isnt whats best for the team. You have to have a Bass who is going to do her one order and thats pressure the ball handler and the Mannings who harass the opponnents perimeter players and causes mismatches down on the block.I think as the tourney goes on we will see the bench shortened like we did in the SEC tourney (very little Spani and Harrison, and manning and bass played spot duty).

Phew thats alot but lets just enjoy one win at a time and know that when things need to get fixed we do have some of the best coaches with over 92 years of experience of coaching on our sidelines.

johnlg00 writes:

in response to crossvoll:

Unfortunately our area went to the whip-around coverage for the much of the game, but what I did get to see was some good passing and some real nice plays by our Lady Vols! Congratulations on a great game! Keep it up!!!

I was lucky enough to see the whole thing on ESPN3. This "whip-around" coverage will likely end after the first round. Like some others, I am increasingly concerned about Spani, if only for what her condition might portend for Jeronne Maymon, who also has a "knee bruise". It may just be that she is a bit out of shape because of her knee, but she doesn't seem to have any lift on her outside shot right now and I am not that impressed with any other aspect her game. I would much rather see Burdick and Williams get most of her minutes going forward.

johnlg00 writes:

in response to bigfan865:

Please tell me you didn't really just say that Simmons is the only player out there! Tonight she was great, but a lot of that was because of attention being given to Glory and others. The D on them freed her up for some outside shots. Further, she could have been having an off night and she would have kept jacking them up for empty possesions. When she's good, she's very good. When bad, very bad. Let Holly and the coaches do their job and decide who starts and who comes off bench. Oh, and Massengil can be good on offense, but is a very weak link on D. I trust the coaches to know who and when. You and I aren't at practice or in charge of the game plan.

I'm pretty much with you on this one. Simmons can either shoot you into a game or out of one. I have no problem with her "green light" when she is on, but she has never seen a shot she doesn't like and when she ISN'T on, it is up to the coaches to sit her down. Pretty much agree with Massengale's poor defense on the ball; the LVs are probably better off playing the zone when she is in. Bass is a much better on-ball defender. Short as she is, she can be posted up by almost anybody, but not many opponents are going to invert their normal offense just to take advantage of that. When they do, the LVs' posts can help her out, and if the opponents' guards go inside they won't have the floor balance to stop LV fast breaks. This team has a nice enough mix of talents that I don't mind the substitutions according to the game situation. It sometimes takes much of a game to find out which ones are doing the job that night, but that is the curse of having a deep bench.

johnlg00 writes:

in response to SoddyVol:

dewey0022......When you say "Megan Simmons is the teams best scorer,...", what percent of the games is that true? Simmons can be a tremendous help at times like Saturday and if her defense continues to improve, she will be even more valuable. However, she has shown she can hurt the team at times when she throws up so many that don't go in while not providing the defense needed. Sometimes the best team possible "on the floor" is not the same as the one most talented. Simmons was on the floor at the right time Saturday. I'm not so sure, had she started the game, she would have been as effective. Lets hope she is at least as productive as she was Saturday for 5 more games.

Good points. Simmons is the exemplar of the old nursery rhyme about the "girl with the curl". You know the one: "When she is good, she is very, very good, but when she is bad, she is horrid." The best point is the one about the best TEAM not necessarily being the one with the most talented players. Some of the current bench may be able to some things some of the seniors can't, so I have no problem with substituting them in. Simmons in particular can give the team a huge lift when she is right. Burdick, Harrison, Spani, Williams and Massengale bring their own strengths at times. However, the seniors need to demonstrate the virtues of their experience and accept the main accountability for the team's performance. If the LVs are to play to their full potential, the seniors must lead them.

johnlg00 writes:

in response to RLL59:

The fact is that not one TN Martin player could make the Lady Vol team. Yet the Lady Vols struggled for much of the game. I'm happy they won, but with the inane lineups and substitutions, no one knows her role, and the team looks frantic, and out of sync...just how any group who haven't played together as a unit consistently through the year would.

On defense, the overguarding again permitted easy access to the basket. This isn't going to do the job against better teams...and that begins with the next game. The players need the coaches to step up to the task and provide the player mix and the defensive strategies necessary to go beyond the next round. And that begins with starting the 5 best players and substituting the next best players as fouls and weariness occurs....not as time elapses or a player makes a mistake or misses a shot or two.

I agree with some of this, but the fact is that most of these players haven't demonstrated the consistency that allows the team to play the same players together 30+ minutes in a game. As for the defensive strategy, UTM hung their hats on their 3-point shooting. If any team crowds the 3-point arc to stop that, it WILL be too spread out to cover all the dribble drives and back-door cuts. I thought it showed great flexibility to adjust the defense to the opponent. When they play a team that is strong inside but whose outside shooting is suspect, I fully expect the zone to reappear.

cdtnladyvols931#663910 writes:

in response to butch31:

Great J O B Lady Vols! One think I liked very much today: 15 Assists, we shared the ball. The seniors were terrific, only flaw was shooting percentage. I hope Taber Spani can play better, this is getting really sad to see her continue to play like this.
Everyone else contributed today, a total team effort. I'm glad we won though. We have a great team, and I hope we can continue winning. Meighan Simmons & Glory Johnson are my players of the game, Glory got grabbed, choked, pushed and yoked, but she still rose above the drama from UT-Martin. I know we will come out better monday.

Taber is still trying to get back in the groove from missing those 9 games with that bone bruise; she just can't seem to get back in the groove! But, as the saying goes good shooters keep shooting their bound to drop sooner or later! Yes! I agree, Glory was punched-knocked anything you could think of but she held her poise! UT Martin was like a bunch of Ants on a piece of chocolate cake! they were all over Glory! GO LADY VOLS! STAY FOCUSED!!!!

ModelMaker writes:

in response to dewey0022:

Had this been a great team, this senior line-up would have lead this team to a loss. The best team possible should be on the floor, not one that has gotten there because of seniority. That is crazy and poor coaching. Massengale has not played nearly as well coming off the bench and that has to be obvious. Megan Simmons is the teams best scorer, but I believe these coaches would rather not detract from Sticklen or Johnson and that is why she didn't play until the 8 minute mark in the first half today. What a shame and Crazy!!! Seniorities work in unions but not in college basketball. They should start the best team, not those who have been there the longest. But that is only one opinion. I love the characters of this senior team, but don't think they are nearly as talented as some of their underclassmen teammates. If this team loses before the elite 8 because of this choice, that is certainly a coaches loss, not the players they have on this team. My only hope is that they get over this senior thing and play the best players available. Todays start btw against UT-martin was not impressive at all...... Just saying.

Well said. If they keep up with these crazy substitutions the coaches will take the team out early. Even Carylon Peck said that they should go with fewer player's.

jt45 writes:

in response to VolsFan4Lyfe:

I thought for not playing in 13 days the lady vols came out energized and committed to the scout report something we haven't seen from there all year! They were so committed to not giving up set shots and running their players off the 3 point line they got beat on the backdoor (and no that isn't ok) but that shows they adhered to the scouting report and were tuned in and respected UTM's scoring ability.

Next with the senior line up the onl reason we are not singing their praises is because of the questionable shot selection of Manning and Bass but in return Manning did hit her first 3 she shot (which she has now hit for 3/4 games in a row). If she is wide open(which she was wide open) SHOOT she knew and trusted her teammates to get the offensive rebounds and their was a size advantage. Could she have forced the ball inside ...YES...but sometimes the way to defeat a zone thats packed in and focused on beating the bigs is to O-rebound because 9/10 times the zone-defense team has a hard time rebounding out of it!

No we didnt shoot the ball well but compared to the other 2 seeds that played yesterday we had a higher shooting percentage then all of them! MD played Navy and KY played Mcneese St. We grabbed more rebounds then all the number 1s and 2 seeds along with (except KY I think but both teams that played in that game shot in the 30s). And out of all the 1-3 seeds which played yesterday we were the only one with single digit turnovers! Further more 10 blocks! So I would call it a rusty game more then a sloppy game!I was just impressed with the attention to detail they payed to the scouting report.

The starting line up is something the coaches have already said it will be a game by game match up! I personally like sitting Meighan and allowing her to watch the game and give us a shot of scoring when we need it. When she is in the starting line up sometimes she seems to jacked up lately she has been coming in and picking her spots in the last couple games. She also has been taking her defender off the dribble I guess she is starting to realize she is probably one of the fastest guards in the country and when she plays under control she can blow by the best of defenders.

Excellent post, lets hope they are loosened up and ready to put another whipping on DePaul like they did in December. Their going to have to watch out for those back door cuts and getting beat off the dribble. Kamika and Ariel, both had some trouble with that yesterday. Manning and Spani need to be careful not to get burned off the screens.

rlshepa#259432 writes:

in response to xvolx:

Warlick is going to take this team out early with her bench coaching and substituting. Simmons should never come out of the game. She's the only player out there. This senior gimmick is nothing but that. Put your five best players on the floor (Simmons, Massengil, Strickland, Johnson and Baugh) and quit playing these stupid substitution games.

Get a life and enjoy a win. I am sure your coaching experience????? is needed at UT; Pat will probably call you soon.

dewey0022 writes:

in response to ModelMaker:

Well said. If they keep up with these crazy substitutions the coaches will take the team out early. Even Carylon Peck said that they should go with fewer player's.

And lets remember Carolyn Peck was also a national championship whinning coach. Mulkey, Vanderbeer, Auriema, Mcgraw and a few others are probably licking their chops with the Chaos that is going on with the substitutions on the Tennessee sidelins. I would have thought that by the last 9-10 games these coaches would have figured out a good 7-8 player rotation, but they still act confused at times and seem to pulling at each other on who seems to be the best subs coming in. This in turn flows down to the players; lack of chemistry. Lets remember, this is not AAU basketball where everyone plays every game. This is supposed to be an elite womens college basketball team. I think the coaches need to act like it. Also for the poster who mentioned Ariel Massengale and here stat regarding steals and assists. Great point!!! This girl just lead the SEC with Assist/turnover ratio, i believe passed Loree Moores freshman assist record and since she began coming off the bench looks all out of sorts. I guess it is a natural process at tennessee to begin to break the confidence of their best freshman by the end of their first year rather than build it. This seems to happen year after year. Oh well.

Allenfan writes:

Thank you XVOLX, I thought I was the only one that could see how ridicilous it is to stare the 5 seniors. Bass can't bring the ball up with pressure, doesn't play great defense, has never been able to make the good passes over taller defenders. Ever wonder just why Manning is blocking out under the goal for the rebounds, it's because she has left her play open for an open shot.

People have good games and bad games but you should have your best five players to start the game. Johnson, Stricklin, Massengal, Baugh, and yes Simmons. If you think Holly is a good bench coach, then it is one of two things. You are loyal or don't know a lot about basketball.

I can tell you that you are no bigger fan than I am, but the truth is the truth.

ceross2#217486 writes:

If I had been wanting to see art, I would have went to a museum. I wanted to see a Lady Vols win, and I haven't figured out what a pretty game is. To me a win is a pretty game.

volfan2002 writes:

40 percent shooting with a lot of wide open shots missed. We've had great difficulty shooting the ball well late in the season. We will have to shoot 45 percent to beat Baylor and play great defense as well. We can do it hopefully it will all come together.

r2d2 writes:

A lot of the posts are dealing with the LVs frequent player substitutions. I commented on this earlier also. I hope and pray that Holly has a method behind her madness. If Holly know this is the best for the team as a whole: then I take my hat off to her for her ingenuity to recognize this about her team.

OrangePride writes:

Even if not a "work of art," it was a very workmanlike performance. Give MTSU credit, they left nothing on the court and fought all the way. Our Lady Vols just kept their own intensity up for 40 minutes and, at the end of the day, simply wore them down. Great effort, and good job handling those 3-shooters! We will need another performance just as good or better in our next outing. GO LADY VOLS!

RockyTop1_old writes:

in response to xvolx:

Warlick is going to take this team out early with her bench coaching and substituting. Simmons should never come out of the game. She's the only player out there. This senior gimmick is nothing but that. Put your five best players on the floor (Simmons, Massengil, Strickland, Johnson and Baugh) and quit playing these stupid substitution games.

AGREE...even the announcers commented that Simmons was the spark plug that gets the rest of the team going! Why can't the coaches see that?? Simmons is the ONLY one on the bench that ALWAYS ENCOURAGES TEAM MATES ON TIMEOUTS!! She has practically been ruined this year by the coaching.

Massengil gets a pass no matter how many turn overs and throw aways she's comitted all year! Get smart and use the TEAM players to win !!

ps11824 writes:

[[[ Mrlogic writes: Well said. If they keep up with these crazy substitutions the coaches will take the team out early. Even Carylon Peck said that they should go with fewer player's. ]]]]

Carolyn Peck is not the John Woodwn of basketball, nor has she won 8 NC titles, nor does she have 38 year of winning teams. With all due respect to most everyone's opinions, mine is that Pat knows the game better than me, you or Carolyn Peck and ALL of the TV analysts in the country. Nuf sed

ModelMaker writes:

in response to ps11824:

[[[ Mrlogic writes: Well said. If they keep up with these crazy substitutions the coaches will take the team out early. Even Carylon Peck said that they should go with fewer player's. ]]]]

Carolyn Peck is not the John Woodwn of basketball, nor has she won 8 NC titles, nor does she have 38 year of winning teams. With all due respect to most everyone's opinions, mine is that Pat knows the game better than me, you or Carolyn Peck and ALL of the TV analysts in the country. Nuf sed

You and I are on two different pages. I am not critizing Pat. I think Pat was the greatest coach the game has ever seen. I know first hand what dementia is, my mother had it. It completely changed her personality. It was like talking to a different person. Simple things that she was good at before she got the disease she could no longer do. It is a horrible disease and I hope they find a cure for it soon. As for my comments, I am just giving my honest opinion. I think the team would be much better off going with 7or8 players. That way you will get a lot more continuity to the offense and keep your best players on the floor.

RLL59 writes:

in response to PeytonManning:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Why do I get the feeling that if Ariel and Meighan started in place of Briana and Alicia, that you'd be ardently defending those choices as well?

I defended the all sr lineup the second game they did it, simply because it finally gave some consistency to the starting lineup and players knew what to expect. But long term it makes no sense to start two players whom the coaches expect to play 15 minutes or less the entire game. I can't think of any other team that does or did that, nor can I remember Coach Summitt ever doing it, except as a disciplinary action, or to allow a bench riding senior to start the last home game, and then remove her after just a few minutes. If they lose with their best players, the coaches have done all they can from that perspective. If they lose because their better players are on the bench, it's the coach's failure.

One other subject, the players should be told before the game that Shekinna is the offensive 'go to' player for the team, and they need to get her involved in the game early on. Since she doesn't demand the ball, she's rarely involved in the offense at the beginning of the game. The Lady Vols need her from the first minute.

ljlongtimevolfan writes:

Agree. Keep the senior lineup that brings maturity, leadership and chemistry to the team. This is a good strategy for the team since this is the last chance for the seniors to make a Final Four. The seniors play will determine their fate but the coaches must keep Simmons under control when she is inserted into the game. If Simmons is cold her selfish play may cost us the game. Senior leadership, chemistry and talent can take the Lady Vols to the finals.

RLL59 writes:

in response to PeytonManning:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Since you didn't refute anything I said, and you asked a question I had already answered, why would I argue any point?

And I didn't comment on your trashing of Meighan. I guess that's one of the subjects where you're in complete disagreement with Coach Summitt.

81alum writes:

in response to PeytonManning:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

I dont understand the jealousy towards Simmons.She gives us the best chance of beating the likes of Baylor, Notre Dame or Stanford.When she plays well I feel we can beat anyone.Without her I dont think we can win against those 3 teams.I agree with Holly about her concentrating on her defense.If she does that I agree that her offense will come to her.

johnlg00 writes:

in response to BIVOLAR_BEAR:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

You're right, BVB. Proper fundamentals are pretty much out the window in both men's and women's college ball these days. I don't see any cure for it, either. For one thing, it seems coaches at all levels these days are more obsessed with winning than they are with teaching fundamentals. It has been noted that foreign-born players often have better fundamentals because most of their coaches come from a physical-education background rather than a competitive coaching background. There is, or at least was, less exposure to hot-dogging college and pro ball in most foreign countries, so kids learning the game don't have the same flamboyantly bad examples before them that American kids do. It's hard for us old-school guys to watch the modern game sometimes, but what are you gonna do?

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