Dela-who? It's Kansas for Lady Vols

Baylor looms, but Jayhawks prove anything can happen

Tennessee associate head coach Holly Warlick, left, and assistant coach Mickie DeMoss sends out directions to the players in the second round of the NCAA Women's Basketball Tournament at Allstate Arena in Rosemont, Il on Monday, March 19, 2012. Tennessee defeats DePaul 63-48 and advance to the Sweet 16. 

(SAUL YOUNG/NEWS SENTINEL)

Photo by Saul Young, copyright © 2012

Tennessee associate head coach Holly Warlick, left, and assistant coach Mickie DeMoss sends out directions to the players in the second round of the NCAA Women's Basketball Tournament at Allstate Arena in Rosemont, Il on Monday, March 19, 2012. Tennessee defeats DePaul 63-48 and advance to the Sweet 16. (SAUL YOUNG/NEWS SENTINEL)

Lady Vols talk NCAA tournament and facing Kansas in Iowa

In March, basketball teams have to stay on their toes and be adaptable. Tennessee’s Lady Vols were reminded of that this week.

Their mission toward an anticipated NCAA women’s basketball tournament rematch with Baylor now goes through Kansas instead of Delaware.

“We were scrambling a little bit last night,’’ Tennessee assistant coach Mickie DeMoss said Wednesday.

The Lady Vol staff was scrambling because 11th-seed Kansas sprang a 70-64 upset on No. 3 seed Delaware on Tuesday night in Little Rock in a second-round game.

The No. 2 seed Lady Vols (26-8) face Kansas (21-12) on Saturday (TV: ESPN, 12:04 p.m.) in the Round of 16 in Des Moines, Iowa.

Undefeated No. 1-seed Baylor takes on Georgia Tech in the other Sweet 16 game in Des Moines. The winners battle Monday night for a trip to the Final Four.

Assistant coach Dean Lockwood had been assigned the Delaware scouting report as UT prepared for its bracket. His diligence was rendered irrelevant after Kansas defused Delaware and its high-scoring All-American, Elena Delle Donne.

“I had probably 11 or 12 hours of film work and written stuff,’’ Lockwood said with a laugh.

DeMoss had the Kansas scout. Tennessee was safely through to the Sweet 16 after beating DePaul on Monday night.

“We kind of thought Delaware would win, just from watching both teams,’’ DeMoss said. “But this is March Madness.

“Anything can happen, even on the women’s side now. Used to be, I think, the women were more predictable. But now there’s more parity on the women’s side.

“We had watched a little Kansas tape, but not as much as Delaware.’’

The Jayhawks had to regroup after losing leading scorer Carolyn Davis to a season-ending knee injury Feb. 12.

Point guard Angel Goodrich has stepped up her game in the tournament, scoring 20 points in a win over No. 6 seed Nebraska and 27 against Delaware.

“I didn’t matter who we play,’’ said UT senior Shekinna Stricklen. “I wasn’t scared of Delle Donne. We’ve got a great defensive player in Glory (Johnson).

“But we’ve got KU. We’re not taking KU for granted. They’re a good team. I watched ‘em last night.

“If we don’t win, we can’t get to Baylor, so this game is more important.’’

The Lady Vols have been pointing toward a rematch with Baylor and 6-foot-8 star Brittney Griner since the bracket was unveiled on March 12.

Baylor eliminated UT in 2010 in the Sweet 16 round. Since then, the Bears have also beaten the Lady Vols in two regular-season games, including 76-67 on Nov. 27.

“This next game is motivation,’’ said Johnson, “because we want to match up with Baylor. We want the opportunity to play them again.

“But at the same time, we have to pass Kansas. If you don’t pass Kansas, you don’t meet up with Baylor.’’

Follow Mike Strange at http://twitter.com/strangemike44 and http://blogs.knoxnews.com/strange.

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Comments » 31

r2d2 writes:

I hope the LVs are not looking past Kansas to Baylor. Kansas is tough even with the loss of their leading scorer.

Theo writes:

I hate to even hear the team use the words Kansas and Baylor in the same paragraph much less sentence. One game at a time - focus, focus, focus.

wigmeister writes:

Focus on Kansas! You don't beat them, you are out!!!!!

Razor784 writes:

I watched part of the Kansas and Delaware game and if the LV's are looking past Kansas then they'll lose. From what i've seen of this team all year they're not good enough to look past anyone, much less a quality Sweet 16 opponent. If they bring they're "A" game then they should be fine, anything less and they'll be packing.

TheStupidPolice writes:

Shouldn't it be "Delle-who"

tonyvick#213307 writes:

Baylor may not get past GA Tech. It is so out of character for the lady vols to be talking about a potential future matchup. Take care of your business no matter who you play. I remember when other teams use to make the mistake and fear playing the lady vols in the future. ...and then they got what they ask for.

SummittsCourt writes:

“If we don’t win, we can’t get to Baylor, so this game is more important.’’

I love it! There is no reason to be scared of Baylor when you are a Lady Vol!

Beat Kansas, and get ready for the showdown with Baylor!

madrigal writes:

Delaware, simply put, is not all that and a bag of chips. Neither is Delle Donne. I had watched them during the regular season, since I now live in CAA country, and I could see some weaknesses. JMU almost beat them once but thought they had the game in the bag with 5 minutes left...big oops! A one-player team can be had, and Delle Donne is not nearly as strong as Griner. She could have been, but apparently didn't want it enough. If Delaware wants to run with the big girls, they need to play them more often during the season and get out of the CAA. I predict they'll sink back into relative obscurity when Delle Donne graduate. Kansas, on the other hand, is scrappy and plays a lot like the Lady Vols. They could actually be harder to beat.

orangecountyvols writes:

Vols,

The girls keep talking about not looking past Kansas but as some of you have said, the Baylor name appears in the same sentence.

It's a safe bet to say Kansas on the other hand is not looking past Tennessee.

What do you guys think? I am not 100% comfortable with this match up. Kansas is very quick, can get to the rim, and has very good outside shooting. And, in many games this season, one of the opponents had a 'career game'
against Tennessee. Plus, the haunting turnover factor with U T.

It'll be interesting, and we'll see which Lady Vol team shows up.

cdtnladyvols931#663910 writes:

I hope you all keep that attitude that I read about in this article! Go Lady Vols!!!! Defense & Rebounding!!!!

ps11824 writes:

The Lady Vols have played 2 games. They've won, but they are still turning the ball over way too much, and they are missing shots that should not be taken/missed. This has to change... Taber Spani, time to step up!!! Layups, good grief, finish the shot and don't worry about getting hit; you've got all summer to heal.

proud2btnvol (Inactive) writes:

this team's biggest problem has been not playing as a team. i am sure that the coaching is a little awkward.

samvol writes:

Lets go Lady Vols...

PureOrange writes:

We have a tremendous amout of talent on this team. We should not have lost most of the games we lost. Our problem is not lack of talent. Our problem is too many players taking plays off.

If they really want to honor Pat Summitt, they will take inventory of their individual play. Each player has to take responsibility for their effort, and start by cutting out the simply stupid, lazy passes, or passes that have not chance of completing.
When we are moving the ball around with crisp passes and hustling, we cannot be beat. But we tend to stand around at times and lose our focus.

I want a National Championship more this year than ever because I, just as everyone else, do not know how long Pat will be able to coach. She deserves a championship. This group can give her one. All they have to do is to dedicate themselves into giving everything they have on every play. Play defense as if someone is trying to steal their basket, and play offense as if they are Pat Summitt. Pat never gave up; never will. She deserves the same from her team.

Go Lady Vols! You have the talent to get it done. You only need to combine that talent with full-out; unthrottled; determined effort.

Mike_In_Storrs_CT writes:

Again I am right on the money when it comes to my views on this game. I told all of you that EDD was overrated, and of course again I am correct. Its funny how a lot of Tn. fans were worried about having to face EDD and Delaware, but I kept telling everyone that she is over rated and her team stinks..They dont play anyone and got beat by a half way decent Kansas team..She never would have made it at Uconn..

RLL59 writes:

in response to Mike_In_Storrs_CT:

Again I am right on the money when it comes to my views on this game. I told all of you that EDD was overrated, and of course again I am correct. Its funny how a lot of Tn. fans were worried about having to face EDD and Delaware, but I kept telling everyone that she is over rated and her team stinks..They dont play anyone and got beat by a half way decent Kansas team..She never would have made it at Uconn..

You're too late. We now have our own know-it-alls who remind us whenever one of their predictions come true, but conveniently ignore all those that don't. They've already shifted over to trashing Griner. Delle Donne is old news.

BigRMan writes:

in response to Mike_In_Storrs_CT:

Again I am right on the money when it comes to my views on this game. I told all of you that EDD was overrated, and of course again I am correct. Its funny how a lot of Tn. fans were worried about having to face EDD and Delaware, but I kept telling everyone that she is over rated and her team stinks..They dont play anyone and got beat by a half way decent Kansas team..She never would have made it at Uconn..

Not only would Della Donne made the UCONN team, but she would have made it better. That's almost like saying Indiana wouldn't have been better if Larry Bird had stayed and not gone to Indiana State two years after he left Bloomington. Della Donne will make a fine pro, some team's #1 draft pick. The Delaware loss to Kansas cannot be blamed on Della Donne

voloffaith writes:

in response to TheStupidPolice:

Shouldn't it be "Delle-who"

No team is Delaware...not just Ms. Donne

orangecountyvols writes:

in response to Mike_In_Storrs_CT:

Again I am right on the money when it comes to my views on this game. I told all of you that EDD was overrated, and of course again I am correct. Its funny how a lot of Tn. fans were worried about having to face EDD and Delaware, but I kept telling everyone that she is over rated and her team stinks..They dont play anyone and got beat by a half way decent Kansas team..She never would have made it at Uconn..

We know, you're always right, and worse still for us.........you're always here.

A mere suggestion, why not see if you can build a site for U Conn fans? Then, you can always be right...............there.

johnlg00 writes:

in response to orangecountyvols:

Vols,

The girls keep talking about not looking past Kansas but as some of you have said, the Baylor name appears in the same sentence.

It's a safe bet to say Kansas on the other hand is not looking past Tennessee.

What do you guys think? I am not 100% comfortable with this match up. Kansas is very quick, can get to the rim, and has very good outside shooting. And, in many games this season, one of the opponents had a 'career game'
against Tennessee. Plus, the haunting turnover factor with U T.

It'll be interesting, and we'll see which Lady Vol team shows up.

What you said. I'm not "comfortable" about ANY match-up involving Vol sports teams these days! I surely hope never to hear any player or coach say they ARE comfortable.

Goodness knows, they have too often seemed to have an attitude of what I call, "Hey, no sweat, I got this," when they should be FIRED UP, and then they wind up losing to some team no player of which should be able to start for them.

As we all know, the LVs are as capable of beating anybody as they are of losing to anybody. It mostly depends on whether they all show up to play at the same time. We KNOW Glory is going to go all out but I'm just not sure of ANY of the rest of them. The bad thing is that there are about six or eight of them who can be and have been great at least some of the time, but rarely have ALL of them been great for an entire game.

johnlg00 writes:

in response to ps11824:

The Lady Vols have played 2 games. They've won, but they are still turning the ball over way too much, and they are missing shots that should not be taken/missed. This has to change... Taber Spani, time to step up!!! Layups, good grief, finish the shot and don't worry about getting hit; you've got all summer to heal.

I don't like to criticize players, but Taber just hasn't shown me much since she came back from her injury. I would be as thrilled as anybody if she nailed about five 3's against Kansas and ecstatic if she did it against Baylor if she gets the opportunity, but based on her recent performance, I would MUCH rather see more of Williams or Burdick than see Spani at all.

born2ride writes:

We will beat Kansas.

Bring on Baylor and the she/man.

tturley#297658 writes:

If Dell-Donne had come to Tenn she would have had a couple of rings by now.

voloffaith writes:

in response to tturley#297658:

If Dell-Donne had come to Tenn she would have had a couple of rings by now.

Delle-Donne for correct spelling. No not spelling police since this is someones name....Still no given on natl champs even if we had her...still gotta playem...

LdyVolFaninKS writes:

KU is terrible. I have seen them play a lot this year. They had one decent game against Delaware...a team with one star. The Lady Vols will win by 30.

By the way...Elena Delle Donne IS good. However, ONE good player doesn't make a good team.

maxvolfan#217855 writes:

Plan and simple. We keep Goodwich under 15 pts we blow this team out. Like Delaware this is a one-girl team.

butch31 writes:

I am NOT surprised to be playing Kansas. Ohio State was overrated the WHOLE YEAR, weak non conference, Big-10 is not that good. The Big-12 is overrated too. Baylor is going down, LOL. Delaware ran through that weak conference. If Delle Donne was Not there, neither would Delaware. UT wins 67-45 over KU, Carolyn Davis has been out for a month with an ACL, she is KU's leading scorer. I think Depaul was the stiffest test, seeing that they were playing at home. Georgia Tech just might meet UT in the Elite 8.

BigRMan writes:

If Delle Donne doesn't want to play basketball, she could always be a fashion model for Versache'

catch24rules writes:

Glad Delle Donne is out of the tournament. I got sick of hearing all about her. Had we played them in the next round she would've been the golden girl getting all the calls and Glory would've been the bully probably in foul trouble. Did anyone else notice how out of shape she was and usually the last one down the court. Kansas had a great game plan against her. Now we have to stop the Kansas point guard. Good Luck Lady Vols Keep the train rolling all the way to Denver.

butch31 writes:

I wonder where the Alyssia Brewer & Kell Cain fans are? LOL! UT is better this year, we're NOT playing lazy, or scared. This team is looking VERY SCARY as in WIN IT ALL SCARY! I said all year long I LIKE THIS TEAM, I knew they would come together, and get through adversity. This really is a fun bunch. All I got more grey hairs with this bunch, it was WORTH IT! Great group of young ladies.

SoddyVol writes:

in response to catch24rules:

Glad Delle Donne is out of the tournament. I got sick of hearing all about her. Had we played them in the next round she would've been the golden girl getting all the calls and Glory would've been the bully probably in foul trouble. Did anyone else notice how out of shape she was and usually the last one down the court. Kansas had a great game plan against her. Now we have to stop the Kansas point guard. Good Luck Lady Vols Keep the train rolling all the way to Denver.

When Delle Donne dribbled the ball she reminded me a little of Vicky Baugh. Vicky lost some of her skill set after injured in 2008 but has come on to be an important contributor.

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