Tennessee's play on the court this season will put more demands on the Lady Vols off the court.
"It does take some getting used to," sophomore forward Cierra Burdick said Wednesday about playing up-tempo basketball. "Our lungs have to get used to it. It's not easy at all to play 30 seconds of great defense, get a steal and a fast break."
In advance of Friday's season opener at Chattanooga, Burdick emphasized "ice bathing a lot" along with getting proper rest, nutrition and hydration. After Friday's 7 p.m. tipoff, the Lady Vols have a relatively quick turnaround, playing at Georgia Tech on Sunday afternoon.
Burdick also stressed the importance of getting proper treatment.
"Just as a team, we are spending a lot of time in the training room," Burdick said, "just trying to get our bodies back to where they need to be."
To The Point: Tennessee's Ariel Massengale practiced Wednesday and coach Holly Warlick expects the sophomore point guard to play against Chattanooga. She sat out UT's two exhibition games as a precaution while recovering from a case of tendinitis in her left Achilles' tendon.
"That was the plan, to rest her for the last week and a half," Warlick said, "and every day she's gotten better."
Massengale had one of her best games last season against Chattanooga, making all six of her field-goal attempts (including four 3-pointers) in a 90-47 victory in Knoxville on Jan. 3.
Sophomore guard Jasmine Phillips, meanwhile, continues to be sidelined with a strained left quadriceps. Phillips has shed her crutches and was riding a stationary bike. She's still listed as day to day.
UT's injury report was better than that of its
last exhibition opponent. Coker College point guard Heidrun Kristmundsdottir suffered a chipped left elbow during the second half of Sunday's 118-44 loss to Tennessee. The injury won't require surgery at this time but she will be out six to eight weeks.
Dupree Update: Chattanooga post Faith Dupree, a former Webb School standout who transferred from UT, scored a game-high 14 points in the Lady Mocs' 61-42 exhibition victory over Lee University last Thursday.
Dupree's health continues to be a relevant to her play. Chattanooga coach Wes Moore said that the 6-foot-3 redshirt junior missed a week during the preseason with back problems, a condition that sidelined Dupree during her freshman season at UT.
"We do have a little bit of depth (at her position)," Moore said. "I think that will help her."
Notebook: Two other preseason polls — the USA Today Coaches' poll and an ESPN.com poll — both have Tennessee ranked No. 16. ... Advance tickets sales for Friday's game at McKenzie Arena were at 3,500. ... Forward Kendall Cooper, who visited UT last month, is expected to announce her college choice today. The 6-foot-3 Cooper, ranked No. 12 in the Class of 2013 by ESPN HoopGurlz, also visited Duke, UCLA, Arizona State and Texas A&M. ... Burdick had a funny tweet after President Obama was re-elected Tuesday night, saying: "IM KEEPING MY PELL GRANT HALLEUJAH!"