UT's all-senior starting lineup may be tweaked

DES MOINES, Iowa — Tennessee shed its all-senior starting lineup to start the second half against Kansas on Saturday.

The Lady Vols might do the same from the opening tip against Baylor on Monday (TV: ESPN, 7 p.m.) in the final of the Des Moines Regional.

"I think that's something that our staff will talk about," UT head coach Pat Summitt said in a comment posted on the school's athletic website. "I think that might be what we really need to do."

Guards Meighan Simmons and Ariel Massengale — who combined 34 points, five assists, seven rebounds and three steals in an 84-73 women's basketball victory over the Jayhawks — are likely starting candidates. They replaced Briana Bass and Alicia Manning after the break on Saturday.

"I think we're really going to talk about it," assistant coach Dean Lockwood said. "At this point — next game means the Final Four — we have to be very, very efficient. So we're really going to look at the efficiency of the groups."

Bass and Manning — along with Shekinna Stricklen, Glory Johnson and Vicki Baugh — have started the past seven games. Tennessee has won all seven, which constitutes its longest winning streak of the season.

Nonetheless, the Lady Vols have started slowly in all three NCAA games and trailed 35-30 at halftime against Kansas.

Injury Update: Stricklen suffered a leg cramp in the second half but returned to the game. Guard Taber Spani, meanwhile, tweaked her left knee in the first half and pulled herself. She played only five minutes.

Baugh said that she's been bothered by tightness in both hamstrings. Her condition might have been exacerbated by Saturday's morning tipoff.

Strategy Pays Off: Tennessee had one of its best free-throw shooting performances of the season, hitting 21 of 24 attempts (87.5 percent).

UT guard Kamiko Williams said that the attempts were a byproduct of Tennessee's strategy.

"We knew they were playing a zone," she said. "The coaches were stressing to penetrate the gaps because they can't guard penetration that well and will foul."

Something to Say: Kansas coach Bonnie Henrickson paid her respects to Summitt during the postgame handshake, telling her: "I've always had great respect for you and I always will."

During the postgame interviews, Henrickson said, "It's not just that she's won all those game, which is amazing to me, it's how she's handled success and all of that."

Moving Up: With her 18 points, Johnson surpassed former Lady Vol Dana Johnson and moved into 13th place on UT's career scoring list with 1,624 points. With her seven rebounds, the senior forward became the second Lady Vol to surpass 1,200 career rebounds with 1,204.

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Comments » 28

clvolfan writes:

Go get'em LADY's,bring it home.

SummittsCourt writes:

A performance like the second Kentucky game is on the horizon! Go Lady Vols!

voloffaith writes:

in response to SummittsCourt:

A performance like the second Kentucky game is on the horizon! Go Lady Vols!

Broken record of my comments.....'A' game every player...every minute til final whistle will give them a shot at giving Baylor first loss of the season....anything less will be trip back home unless Baylor lays down and chooses to let us win....we all know that ain't happening....

wigmeister writes:

Biggest of the bigs coming up! Give em he**!

AHOUSE writes:

"I think that might be what we really need to do"Good idea. Maybe check with stricklen to see when she is ready to play before you put her in the game the first half.
Hopefully the coaches saw what Kansas did to slow Delaware Dela Donna with the box and one. I think she still got 31 but it kept the others in check. Also she had to work hard and go tired with the fast tempo by Kansas. Get the ball down the court before Griner has a chance to block your shot.

Fall_Creek_Vols writes:

in response to voloffaith:

Broken record of my comments.....'A' game every player...every minute til final whistle will give them a shot at giving Baylor first loss of the season....anything less will be trip back home unless Baylor lays down and chooses to let us win....we all know that ain't happening....

Well said.

Bring it!

Mama_Also_Calls_Me_Precious writes:

To me it's a no brainer. Simmons and Massengale saved the senior's as ses today. I say start em both without hesitation. Heck, I'd take it one step further and start Burdick for Strickland, since Strick doesn't do much in the first half anyway. Then put Strick back in the lineup at the start of the second half..

jt45 writes:

Strickland,Baugh,Simmons,Johnson,Massengale all need to have a great game Monday night in order to beat Baylor, it would really help if Kamika and Burdick could bring some offense off the bench as well. Get Griner in early foul trouble if possible.

CrankE writes:

in response to AHOUSE:

"I think that might be what we really need to do"Good idea. Maybe check with stricklen to see when she is ready to play before you put her in the game the first half.
Hopefully the coaches saw what Kansas did to slow Delaware Dela Donna with the box and one. I think she still got 31 but it kept the others in check. Also she had to work hard and go tired with the fast tempo by Kansas. Get the ball down the court before Griner has a chance to block your shot.

I remember UTLV did this to Vandy years ago when Chantelle Anderson was there. Anderson thought she was all that and a bag of chips when Vandy beat UT early in the season. But UT changed strategy the second time they played Vandy, clamping hard on the other 4 players and letting her run wild. A career game for her, but still a loss, and turn on the tears at the end from Chantelle. A thing of beauty.

Let's send Britney Griner and her Don Cornelius voice home.

NelsonKent writes:

I hate to see Pat go out losing to Baylor but better than to lose to UConn. If we are even in the game against Baylor it will be because Tim Tebow willed us to be. 'Go Vols !

cdtnladyvols931#663910 writes:

in response to CrankE:

I remember UTLV did this to Vandy years ago when Chantelle Anderson was there. Anderson thought she was all that and a bag of chips when Vandy beat UT early in the season. But UT changed strategy the second time they played Vandy, clamping hard on the other 4 players and letting her run wild. A career game for her, but still a loss, and turn on the tears at the end from Chantelle. A thing of beauty.

Let's send Britney Griner and her Don Cornelius voice home.

You are definitely right!!!!!! Chantelle did her thing, and where did it get her. Let Britton do her thing and shut the rest of them down!!!!!! I think it is Britton instead of Brittany.

RLL59 writes:

in response to cdtnladyvols931#663910:

You are definitely right!!!!!! Chantelle did her thing, and where did it get her. Let Britton do her thing and shut the rest of them down!!!!!! I think it is Britton instead of Brittany.

Destiny Williams hit 9 out of 10 for Baylor yesterday, and she'll do it again...and Griner will still get her points, if the Lady Vols collapse on her. They're not a one person team. Not a good strategy.

By the way, do you think you and other Lady Vols fans commenting would be making those same gender remarks had she chosen to come to TN?

madrigal writes:

The other way to deal with a team like Baylor is to shut down everyone else. Griner can't do it alone. Running her into the ground won't work, she's far better conditioned than Delle Donne. So is the team.

SoddyVol writes:

in response to RLL59:

Destiny Williams hit 9 out of 10 for Baylor yesterday, and she'll do it again...and Griner will still get her points, if the Lady Vols collapse on her. They're not a one person team. Not a good strategy.

By the way, do you think you and other Lady Vols fans commenting would be making those same gender remarks had she chosen to come to TN?

I agree with both statements. However, about the last question, no, as a Vol fan I would not complain if she? played for Tn. but Baylor's coach probably would.

underthehill writes:

Only chance I see to beat Griner.. get up the court fast on offense and hit a high percentage of 3 pointers..Simmons best bet..Sticken and Massengale have to be hot..it could happen..not going to beat them with defense..have to do it on offense..

butch31 writes:

in response to NelsonKent:

I hate to see Pat go out losing to Baylor but better than to lose to UConn. If we are even in the game against Baylor it will be because Tim Tebow willed us to be. 'Go Vols !

I hate the fact that u think UT will lose...SAD! Alicia Manning has her WORST season ever at UT. I don't mind Briana starting though. The energy problem was Shekinna, Vicki and ALicia. I'll give passes to Shekinna, and Vicki, because they came back and competed in the 2nd half.
Taber & Alicia have been the HUGEST disappointments this season, Its why we have 8 losses. Everyone needs to do their part, and come with it. I believe Meighan should come off the bench, she just brings it off the bench. Plus it her a few minutes to observe what defense is doing, so she can exploit them. I was reviewing the stats, and this is definitely Alicia & Taber's worst season LOL...I sure hope they decide to bring their "A" game against Baylor. UT is sooooooo much better than Baylor, UT is more skilled. I just don't see Baylor beating us three times in a row. 3rd time is a charm. Sorry GRINER &CO. enjoy your off season, your going home for good after Monday night.

RLL59 writes:

in response to SoddyVol:

I agree with both statements. However, about the last question, no, as a Vol fan I would not complain if she? played for Tn. but Baylor's coach probably would.

I haven't heard of any opposing coach nor players make comments about her gender..and am absolutely sure that Coach Summitt wouldn't. Nor have I heard any comments from any of the players whom she teamed with over the years, nor their parents, whom I'm sure would have been concerned if their daughters were showering with a male. Maybe I don't listen to enough talk radio.

If I had problems distinguishing between men and women, I certainly wouldn't tell anyone via the internet. But apparently several here don't have that reluctance.

civilianvol_formerly_marinevol writes:

in response to RLL59:

I haven't heard of any opposing coach nor players make comments about her gender..and am absolutely sure that Coach Summitt wouldn't. Nor have I heard any comments from any of the players whom she teamed with over the years, nor their parents, whom I'm sure would have been concerned if their daughters were showering with a male. Maybe I don't listen to enough talk radio.

If I had problems distinguishing between men and women, I certainly wouldn't tell anyone via the internet. But apparently several here don't have that reluctance.

Don't you think you're taking these posts a little too seriously?

DenverCOVol writes:

Weather in Denver, BIG Orange Country West, is great, mid 70's, no humidity. You can ski or play golf, if you are not at the game. Denver Post today has a section on all the Final Four activities. Just get here!

RLL59 writes:

in response to civilianvol_formerly_marinevol:

Don't you think you're taking these posts a little too seriously?

Maybe. If I thought all of it was just said in fun and with innocent intent, I'd agree with you. Good point though.

Volborn writes:

They should start Jarnell Stokes to offset Griner. Stokes has bigger feet, Griner has a bigger adams apple, a deeper voice and a better right hook.(ahem)

hcjournals#206623 writes:

Brittany. Play her close and out rebound her and we will do ok...

rdberry#654521 writes:

All the degrading and gender specific comments about Griner serve no purpose. She is the reason the Americans will win Gold in the next 3 Olympics. Her physical ability and her athleticism are to be commended. We as UT fans would laud her as we did Candace if she wore Orange. This doesn't mean that a clever game plan well executed by players who are wearing Orange can't defeat her and her team. Wilt Chamberlain wasn't undefeated and if Griner wants it, I think, I really hope the Lady Vols force her to see if there is a level to which she has not been forced to take her game. All you can ask of our Lady Vol team is to leave it all out on the court: all your heart, all your intelligence, all your ability, and all your dedication to a program in Tennesse that is the reason everyone else has a program in women's basketball. Bring the goods, don't thnks about pressure, it's all house money now if you look at it that way. Tennesse has to win the majority of the 50-50 hustle plays. Do all this and you'll be winners regardless of the score. You'll be able to exit the arena and board the plane for Denver or Knoxville with your heads held high knowing you gave blood, sweat & tears.

SoddyVol writes:

in response to rdberry#654521:

All the degrading and gender specific comments about Griner serve no purpose. She is the reason the Americans will win Gold in the next 3 Olympics. Her physical ability and her athleticism are to be commended. We as UT fans would laud her as we did Candace if she wore Orange. This doesn't mean that a clever game plan well executed by players who are wearing Orange can't defeat her and her team. Wilt Chamberlain wasn't undefeated and if Griner wants it, I think, I really hope the Lady Vols force her to see if there is a level to which she has not been forced to take her game. All you can ask of our Lady Vol team is to leave it all out on the court: all your heart, all your intelligence, all your ability, and all your dedication to a program in Tennesse that is the reason everyone else has a program in women's basketball. Bring the goods, don't thnks about pressure, it's all house money now if you look at it that way. Tennesse has to win the majority of the 50-50 hustle plays. Do all this and you'll be winners regardless of the score. You'll be able to exit the arena and board the plane for Denver or Knoxville with your heads held high knowing you gave blood, sweat & tears.

Don't be too sure that she will be the reason Americans will win Gold in the next 3 Olympics. If she is a MVP in the 1st one of the three, there may be a country that insists on a doctors checking her before another year. In the USA it is not "Politically Correct" to do so.

BigRMan writes:

in response to cdtnladyvols931#663910:

You are definitely right!!!!!! Chantelle did her thing, and where did it get her. Let Britton do her thing and shut the rest of them down!!!!!! I think it is Britton instead of Brittany.

In no way confuse or make an analogy between Chantelle Anderson & Brittany Griner. Anderson washed out in the WNBA. She couldn't cut it. Griner right now is as good as the best WNBA center currently active.

BigRMan writes:

in response to SoddyVol:

Don't be too sure that she will be the reason Americans will win Gold in the next 3 Olympics. If she is a MVP in the 1st one of the three, there may be a country that insists on a doctors checking her before another year. In the USA it is not "Politically Correct" to do so.

Soddy: The gender remark so beneath you, or should be.Griner will be the cornerstone of the WNBA. She will be the saviour of women's pro hoops in the USA.

ljlongtimevolfan writes:

Tweaking the starting lineup and throwing the seniors under the bus will disrupt the chemistry and teamwork before the biggest game of the year for the Lady Vols and may led to humiliation tonight!! This would be a vote of no confidence for the senior class by the coaching staff and may hurt recruiting by their decision.

Volinflan writes:

in response to jt45:

Strickland,Baugh,Simmons,Johnson,Massengale all need to have a great game Monday night in order to beat Baylor, it would really help if Kamika and Burdick could bring some offense off the bench as well. Get Griner in early foul trouble if possible.

Has Griner fouled out of any games this year?

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