John Adams: Not at their best, Lady Vols still too much for Texas

John Adams
Tennessee's Bashaara Graves looks for an opportunity to shoot while defended by Texas' Nneka Enemkpali at Thompson-Boling Arena on Sunday, December 8, 2013. 
  
 (SAUL YOUNG/NEWS SENTINEL)

Photo by Saul Young, 2013 Knoxville News Sentinel

Tennessee's Bashaara Graves looks for an opportunity to shoot while defended by Texas' Nneka Enemkpali at Thompson-Boling Arena on Sunday, December 8, 2013. (SAUL YOUNG/NEWS SENTINEL)

Bashaara Graves, Tennessee’s All-SEC forward, practiced her way out of the starting lineup.

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Comments » 6

Allenfan writes:

Bench coaching as well as teaching during the game, is a very large part of the game of basketball. Winning eight games in a row is great, but we have to be better or we will lose to several teams in the SEC. Just Saying Coaching Staff, better wake up.

johnlg00 writes:

Certainly not a performance that any LV fan, player, or coach should ever want to see again. It speaks volumes for the talent, depth, and experience of the team that they could overcome such a lackluster performance, but Bashaara's continuing issues, whatever they are, Mercedes' slow adjustment to the college game, Simmons' recent inconsistency, and Massengale's lapses into the kind of indifferent ball-handling that hampered her earlier in her career do not bode well for a good showing against Stanford. I hope they can get all this fixed, but lately it seems they have more and more to BE fixed before they can be compared to the nation's best, which they certainly ought to be.

RLL59 writes:

Players and seasons come and go, but the Lady Vols continue to underachieve. The sad fact is there is little player or team development. There's lack of cohesion at the onset of the season and it doesn't really improve much by the end of the year. Players routinely are inconsistent and rarely play much better as seniors than they did as freshmen. Is Mercedes contributing like the best player in high school last year? Does Cierra look like the second most highly rated player in her class? The coaching staff and philosophies are the constant in the equation. Perhaps the coaching staff should stop treating players like middle schoolers, and stop making decisions about players' roles and progress based on a game by game, or 'practice' experience. I don't pretend to be an expert on the details of what should be done, but clearly the status quo isn't working and hasn't for years. UConn continues to win big with a team that consists of a super star or two and a supporting cast. Much as we want them to lose, one has to admit they get more out of their talent and maintain a cohesive team game year to year. They don't lose to lesser teams and they upset their superiors on occasion. If the Lady Vols expect to catch up with the UConn program, someone better start making some adjustments, and I don't mean the players.

Theo writes:

Interesting about B. G. Sophomore slump? Too much play in the summer? Heavy class load? She'll be okay. I'd rather have her on fire in Feb/mar than Nov/dec.

Allenfan writes:

in response to RLL59:

Players and seasons come and go, but the Lady Vols continue to underachieve. The sad fact is there is little player or team development. There's lack of cohesion at the onset of the season and it doesn't really improve much by the end of the year. Players routinely are inconsistent and rarely play much better as seniors than they did as freshmen. Is Mercedes contributing like the best player in high school last year? Does Cierra look like the second most highly rated player in her class? The coaching staff and philosophies are the constant in the equation. Perhaps the coaching staff should stop treating players like middle schoolers, and stop making decisions about players' roles and progress based on a game by game, or 'practice' experience. I don't pretend to be an expert on the details of what should be done, but clearly the status quo isn't working and hasn't for years. UConn continues to win big with a team that consists of a super star or two and a supporting cast. Much as we want them to lose, one has to admit they get more out of their talent and maintain a cohesive team game year to year. They don't lose to lesser teams and they upset their superiors on occasion. If the Lady Vols expect to catch up with the UConn program, someone better start making some adjustments, and I don't mean the players.

I agree with everything you have said. We get the best players in the country and there is little change from year to year. There are a number of teams that are better coached than we are, and certainly better prepaired.

ModelMaker writes:

I don't think you can beat any real good team with your best players sitting on the bench for half the game. Seems to me the coaches don't utilize the players in a game to the fullest. You will never see Lewis, Dolson, or Stewart playing half the game for Connecticut. If they do that against Stanford, Oqwumike will have her way. UConn can go nine deep just like us. In my opinion Carter, Harrison and Russell need to be playing a lot more minutes than they have been.

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