Lady Vols 'would be lucky' to have Williams against LSU

Tennessee's Kamiko Williams walks off the court with crutches after her team was upset 80-63 in an NCAA college basketball game against Missouri, Sunday, Feb. 3, 2013, in Columbia, Mo. Williams injured her ankle early in the second half and never returned to the game. (AP Photo/L.G. Patterson)

Tennessee's Kamiko Williams walks off the court with crutches after her team was upset 80-63 in an NCAA college basketball game against Missouri, Sunday, Feb. 3, 2013, in Columbia, Mo. Williams injured her ankle early in the second half and never returned to the game. (AP Photo/L.G. Patterson)

Pratt Pavilion resembled an auxiliary training room Tuesday as Tennessee began preparation for its women's basketball game at LSU.

Center Isabelle Harrison stretched out on a table and slowly lifted her left leg again and again as she continued her rehabilitation from last week's knee surgery. Coach Holly Warlick said "the knee looks good" but still has no idea when Harrison might return.

Asked if there were a chance Harrison would be back this season, Warlick said, "I think she has that chance — more yes, than no — but that could be wishful thinking."

Guard Kamiko Williams sat next to Harrison on the bench. Her right ankle, which she injured in last Sunday's loss to Missouri, was in a boot; her crutches were propped against the wall.

"She's day to day," Warlick said. "It would be very lucky if she played Thursday (against LSU). I'm not planning on having her there."

Freshman guard Andraya Carter demonstrated a nice left-handed shooting touch for a right-hander as the Lady Vols warmed up before practice. Carter is out for the season after undergoing shoulder surgery in mid-December.

Forward Cierra Burdick showed improved shooting range but is still bothered somewhat by a broken right hand that cost her eight games. She estimated her shooting hand as being "80 percent," and still had her middle and ring fingers taped together.

On a more upbeat medical note, forward Jasmine Jones showed no ill effects from the knee injury she sustained in the final minutes Sunday. No. 12 Tennessee (17-5, 8-1 SEC) can count on her Thursday (TV: CSS, 9 p.m.) at LSU (13-8, 4-4) as it tries to maintain a share of the conference lead with Texas A&M.

"I know it's part of the game but when you have three starters out with injuries at one time, I don't have an answer," Warlick said. "Then, when we had Jasmine and Kamiko get hurt, I was hoping to have five people to compete.

"We're just going to have to deal with it. But we will kind of walk on egg shells in practice."

The injuries could place an increased burden on point guard Ariel Massengale. With Carter out for the season and Williams probably unavailable against LSU, Warlick said off-ball guard Meighan Simmons would be her first alternative at the point if Massengale is in foul trouble or needs rest.

There's rest ahead for everybody after Sunday's game against Ole Miss at Thompson-Boling Arena. The Lady Vols will then have a week off before playing Vanderbilt the following Sunday.

"It would be great to get some rest," Warlick said. "I wish it was this week."

Russell An All-Star: Tennessee signee Mercedes Russell was among 20 players announced as WBCA All-Americans.

The 6-foot-5 center from Springfield, Ore., will play in the All-Star game sponsored by the coaches association April 6 in New Orleans.

Fellow UT signee Jordan Reynolds, a 5-10 guard from Portland, Ore., was named an honorable mention All-American by the WBCA.

John Adams is a senior columnist. Follow him at http://twitter.com/johnadamskns.

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Comments » 6

lstbodeanvol writes:

really hate the injury bug..wish the lady vols signed more players ...seem to always sign less than other SEC teams most of the others have between 12-16 players available to accomodate injuries and foul trouble also give starters some rest...GOOD LUCK GO LADY VOLS !!!!!

maxvolfan#217855 writes:

http://www.wbca.org/blog/index.cfm/20...

Looking at this list and I see some surprises.
UNC is going to be really tough next year. I've seen DDshields play and she's the truth.
Also surprised to see the Uconn signee make the list. Their one signee apparently will be a good signee.
Surprised NOT to see Jannah Tucker.

maxvolfan#217855 writes:

Well since Jannah didn't make the AA team, here her Bio I found on Hoopgurlz.com

USAB Trials-May 12: The 6-foot Tucker was one of the best pure scorers at the trials. She has shown the ability to consistently knock down the 3, whether it's contested or not. Her strength and size allow her to take advantage of any mismatch and capitalize on a quick pull-up jumper or an aggressive drive to the basket. Tucker has impressive footwork when she sets herself up on offense, and it is equally notable when she fights for position on defense. Her ability to defend the perimeter and body people up in the lane enables her to guard just about anyone on the court. She brings a lot of the intangibles that you cannot teach, and her leadership is invaluable

Things I found positive about her. 3 point shooter. Spani is the only player on the team that can shoot the 3 on a consistent bases . We will need her to come in and become a shooter. I know our program focuses on defence but we need a dependable shooter to score besides Simmons.

maxvolfan#217855 writes:

i just remembered why JT is not on the list. ...Injury. havent had mu coffee yet this morning

RLL59 writes:

in response to lstbodeanvol:

really hate the injury bug..wish the lady vols signed more players ...seem to always sign less than other SEC teams most of the others have between 12-16 players available to accomodate injuries and foul trouble also give starters some rest...GOOD LUCK GO LADY VOLS !!!!!

Note that in the Missouri loss, the Lady Vols didn't even play 2 of the uninjured players they have. There's a downside in most years to having players that only get in at the end of already settled games.

johnlg00 writes:

in response to RLL59:

Note that in the Missouri loss, the Lady Vols didn't even play 2 of the uninjured players they have. There's a downside in most years to having players that only get in at the end of already settled games.

There are usually reasons why certain players don't get in games early in their careers, but the only way they can develop is to play enough that the coaches can show them on the game tape why they aren't playing more. College-level practices can seem like mere drudgery to players who are used to being HS stars but aren't seeing any action now. If they can see for themselves where they are deficient and have some hope of seeing the floor at game time, their practice will hopefully be more focused and intense. And as others have said, if they are healthy and you can't find a way to get them on the floor when you're getting killed anyway, why are they on the squad?

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