Georgia brings balanced, deep team into Knoxville to face Lady Vols

Georgia's Jasmine James  makes a lay-up during the first half of an NCAA women's college basketball game against Lipscomb in Athens, Ga., Sunday, Dec. 16, 2012. (AP Photo/ AJ Reynolds)

Georgia's Jasmine James makes a lay-up during the first half of an NCAA women's college basketball game against Lipscomb in Athens, Ga., Sunday, Dec. 16, 2012. (AP Photo/ AJ Reynolds)

Previewing Lady Vols vs Georgia

Amazing how much more Jasmine James has done with less playing time.

The Georgia senior guard's field goal percentage (50.3) is vastly superior to her career accuracy of 35.2 percent. Her per-game scoring average (12.1) is slightly above her career mark (11.5). Her assist-to-turnover ratio is better, and she is on pace for a career high in steals.

A little extra rest apparently goes a long way.

No. 10 Georgia (13-1, 1-0 SEC) brings more of a pack mentality to No. 12 Tennessee (10-3, 1-0) today (TV: SportSouth, 1 p.m.) for an early season women's basketball showdown.

Last season, four Lady Bulldogs averaged more than 30 minutes per game and five combined to log 25 games of full 40-minute duty. This season, no player averages more than James' 25.4 minutes and eight others are averaging at least 14.8. A Lady Bulldog has played more than 30 minutes in a game just 11 times.

Among the reserves is former Webb School standout Marjorie Butler. Overall, the group has accounted for 38 percent of the Lady Bulldogs' scoring (391 points).

Georgia coach Andy Landers substituted five players at a time during the first half of Thursday's 77-46 victory over Missouri.

"As the game continues, with depth we have a chance to keep playing well," he said.

James averaged 35.4 minutes per game for her first three seasons. During that span, she surpassed her typical work shift of this season 85 times in 91 games.

Landers thinks that playing fewer minutes has enabled James, who already has All-SEC credentials, to stay fresh and be more effective.

"All her negatives are down," Landers said. "All the positives are up."

Butler thinks everyone benefits.

"Our depth makes us really difficult for people to play against," she said.

The Lady Bulldogs have had their difficul

ties against Tennessee, which has won four in a row in the series and 12 of the past 13 meetings. The Lady Vols' depth has been a contributing factor to the dominance.

This year, Georgia has six players averaging at least seven points per game, while UT has five who are available for duty. Furthermore, the Lady Vols can't spread the workload as evenly. The absence of Andraya Carter (shoulder surgery) and Cierra Burdick (fractured right hand) has trimmed the roster to nine available players. And center Nia Moore and guard Jasmine Phillips are playing limited roles.

Four starters logged at least 34 minutes in Thursday's 73-53 victory at South Carolina. Coach Holly Warlick adjusted Friday's practice accordingly. limiting time on the court.

"I haven't seen anybody visiting the training room more than usual," she said.

Warlick doesn't want to spread the playing time at the expense of UT's play. Thursday's game reflected her mind-set. The Lady Vols actually played better as the game wore on, outscoring South Carolina 35-7 during a 13-minute stretch in the second half.

"I want to get a win and want to get production," she said. "I think the other night we played people a lot of minutes because they were producing and doing what we wanted them to do.

"If we have to do that we'll understand our style and may have to back off some."

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Comments » 22

SoddyVol writes:

This may be every bit as tough a game as the Stanford game. I agree the Vols could have had more effort against Stanford but I also still believe Stanford played at an emotional high as opposed to their play at SC. They then went home and couldn't put forth the same effort against UConn. Seems to me there is very little difference in the talent at UConn, ND, or Stanford. Then Baylor has big BG and super Sims to compete against.

maxvolfan#217855 writes:

I like the shorter bench. Of course i don't like to see Draya and Burdick out but if the players are playing well and not winded let them play until some adjustment need to be made or someone is in foul trouble. This is not a time to experiment. Ga is going to play a lot of players but I don't think they've seen a good defense like ours so far.

AllforTenn writes:

in response to SoddyVol:

This may be every bit as tough a game as the Stanford game. I agree the Vols could have had more effort against Stanford but I also still believe Stanford played at an emotional high as opposed to their play at SC. They then went home and couldn't put forth the same effort against UConn. Seems to me there is very little difference in the talent at UConn, ND, or Stanford. Then Baylor has big BG and super Sims to compete against.

Agree. SC and history got Stanford pumped for us. They didn't play at their best against Uconn. Baylor is the best team again this year because of Griner. ND, UConn and Stanford in top 5. Duke hasn't played a tough schedule.
Until Georgia beats us I will think the Lady Vols are a better team. Still think Ky. is overrated. Too bad we only play them once this season and it will be on their home court.
Go Lady Vols!

emailnodata (Inactive) writes:

I thought I sorta knew ball....
UConn losing to ND, at home, when ND has very little in the post??

Okay, I saw that Diggins was given her customary 200 free throw attempts, but, still....

I think I give up. UConn had the horses to win by 30, yet lose.

Something ain't right, and maybe it's me.

golfman1975 writes:

Geno could have zoned ND and probably had 2 or 3 more possessions but was too hard headed to do it. He should have drove the ball to the basket at the end of the game since they were in the double bonus but took low percentage shots from the outside. Once again he choked on the big one. He has the horses to win it all but it takes game management to win the tough games. PS did it against him in 1996 with a 10 loss team against an undefeated and highly favored UConn team. Geno is a great recruiter but should have at least 10 NC teams. PS had great players but used pre-conference games to toughen the team and learn where they needed to improve.

This year the LV's will be over-matched and will lose some games but will win their share. No one thought they would beat SC but they did it. If it weren't for injuries this team had the potential to go far but the cards didn't fall their way. A good poker player can win with a bad hand however...Geno takes and great hand and loses at times.

The Lady Vols have a shot at beating UGa if they play the way they are capable of playing. Landers said teams will have a tough time with them but you still have to play the game.

emailnodata (Inactive) writes:

in response to golfman1975:

Geno could have zoned ND and probably had 2 or 3 more possessions but was too hard headed to do it. He should have drove the ball to the basket at the end of the game since they were in the double bonus but took low percentage shots from the outside. Once again he choked on the big one. He has the horses to win it all but it takes game management to win the tough games. PS did it against him in 1996 with a 10 loss team against an undefeated and highly favored UConn team. Geno is a great recruiter but should have at least 10 NC teams. PS had great players but used pre-conference games to toughen the team and learn where they needed to improve.

This year the LV's will be over-matched and will lose some games but will win their share. No one thought they would beat SC but they did it. If it weren't for injuries this team had the potential to go far but the cards didn't fall their way. A good poker player can win with a bad hand however...Geno takes and great hand and loses at times.

The Lady Vols have a shot at beating UGa if they play the way they are capable of playing. Landers said teams will have a tough time with them but you still have to play the game.

Superb analysis and well-presented. You said a lot of what was on my mind.....especially on Geno, who really does have that knack for blowing it.

I think Diana T was tougher than he was, and saved his bacon (damn it!!) against us.

jt45 writes:

Hope to see the Lady Vols come out playing great defense, that seems to be the key to their transition offense wich has kept most teams on their heels.

I was glad to see ND get the win against Uconn today, surprising considering how many calls went Uconns way on their final posession, I think they had 2 or 3 shots at winning that game.

ND looked very impressive against a tough uconn defense with bigger post players. Its always good to see Geno get a loss.ND seems to have Uconns number every year during the regular season.

Theo writes:

Thought it was interesting that Geno has declined to play ND once ND leaves the Big East. I believe Muffet's got his number. Didn't today make four of the last five for ND?
Anyway, entertaining game.
Lander's may have a good team but he also likes to play mind games. He may be whistling in the dark a bit regarding this game. Think the Lady Vols can win if they bring the same effort they had against Rutgers and SC.
Go Lady Vols!

LadyVolsFan71 writes:

Should be a great game today. Anyone know where to get one of 2013 Lady Vols calendars they are giving away today at the game? Can not make it to Knoxville for the game.

voloffaith writes:

in response to I_OWN_MANY:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Ahh see mister un-blue sky is up..no actually down for the day....you are so sad that you can only spew the same ole drivel day after day. Take a moment and reflect back...hmmm...can you remember recently saying something nice/positive to some one? Oh BTW, we are still deciphering your coded message using CAPS only on FADE and GOOD. We are using the Journal paper in New York state as they might be a GOOD partner for you...journalistcally speaking...

On topic, Lady Vols have a chance every time they take the court...execute the game plan and a W will be there for the taking.

maxvolfan#217855 writes:

in response to I_OWN_MANY:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Let the cards fall where they may, but I'm betting on my Vols today.
UGA only played a ranked bumblebee, so sit back in that ol lazyboy cause its gonna be all Tennessee! GBO

orangecountyvols writes:

Vols,

Is the game still going to be played? Since the troll, "I own many screen names", has already declared the winner, there's no suspense left. ( Except for what the next screen name of "many" will be for this troll.

johnlg00 writes:

in response to I_OWN_MANY:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

You are such a turkey! You have been told several times now that Izzy was OUT for the Baylor game and still HURT for the Stanford game, yet you seem to blame their losses on her. You would have noticed this if you knew anything at ALL about this team and its games, but NOOOO, all you can do is make cheap, phony, uninformed, unsubstantiated gibes about a team, a game, and fans that you claim to care nothing about! Why are you on here anyway, jerk?

chuckfromwoodberry writes:

in response to I_OWN_MANY:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

How sweet. Your screen name refers to your Barbie collection.

johnlg00 writes:

On topic, the tests just keep coming for this thin, young team. This game will tell us a lot about how this season goes, at least until they get their wounded ones back. On the other hand, UGA usually brings a strong, talented team into TBA but seldom win. The confluence of the LVs' youth and missing players and an unusually deep, hungry UGA team spell "upset", if that is even the word, unless the LVs can really dig down deep and pull out an inspired performance.

cdtnladyvols931#663910 writes:

in response to maxvolfan#217855:

I like the shorter bench. Of course i don't like to see Draya and Burdick out but if the players are playing well and not winded let them play until some adjustment need to be made or someone is in foul trouble. This is not a time to experiment. Ga is going to play a lot of players but I don't think they've seen a good defense like ours so far.

You are SO-SO-RIGHT!!!!!! If the Lady Vols keep up their Defense like they did against SC & Rutgers; mark up another conference win! Go Lady Vols!!!!!

kazoo writes:

McGraw is the best coach in women's basketball. Watched a bit of UConn-ND and was impressed by both teams. Uconn plays two big girls and has a lot of talent. But McGraw's teams are smart and tough--and she's now getting some serious talent. The guard play of this Irish team is good.

UT fell off because PS lost her edge over the last decade. Recruiting Parker and Anosike earned us a couple of titles, but generally the recruiting and coaching fell off pretty signficantly. Heck, we played without a true point guard for two years! This year's team is good--much better than last year's--but our players need to be better in big games and show more mental toughness. Massengale could be the best point guard in the country, but is she? Simmons has improved, is steadier, but still too unpredictable. It's too bad Carter got hurt, and I would have liked to have seen us play Baylor and Stanford with a healthy Harrison--that definitely hurt. Still, when you fall behind by 17-0 to Baylor (or whatever it was), you're clearly having confidence/composure/mental issues, and we saw the same thing next game against Stanford. This team is close to a top five team IMO, might be, but needs to get tougher.

jt45 writes:

in response to kazoo:

McGraw is the best coach in women's basketball. Watched a bit of UConn-ND and was impressed by both teams. Uconn plays two big girls and has a lot of talent. But McGraw's teams are smart and tough--and she's now getting some serious talent. The guard play of this Irish team is good.

UT fell off because PS lost her edge over the last decade. Recruiting Parker and Anosike earned us a couple of titles, but generally the recruiting and coaching fell off pretty signficantly. Heck, we played without a true point guard for two years! This year's team is good--much better than last year's--but our players need to be better in big games and show more mental toughness. Massengale could be the best point guard in the country, but is she? Simmons has improved, is steadier, but still too unpredictable. It's too bad Carter got hurt, and I would have liked to have seen us play Baylor and Stanford with a healthy Harrison--that definitely hurt. Still, when you fall behind by 17-0 to Baylor (or whatever it was), you're clearly having confidence/composure/mental issues, and we saw the same thing next game against Stanford. This team is close to a top five team IMO, might be, but needs to get tougher.

They are just young,give them a year of stability and growth before we start comparing their losses to the likes of Baylor, Stanford or Uconn. Given all the changes with Pat leaving plus all five starters I think they are well ahead of schedule to become the next group to get a NC. When you look at how they have improved so far you start to see a team that is growing by leaps and bounds. With the exception of their first game against the Lady Mocs they have had an exceptional season so far for a team that is rebuilding and also settling into Holly,s coaching style. Win or lose today LVs fans should be proud of how this bunch has played this year. I have to agree with you about McGraw, ND has had IMO the best passing team every year and consistently executes plays that
make them very effective on offense, thats good coaching. Geno relies more on talent and gets more than his share IMO.

I think the Lady Vols are on their way back to the Top, it may take a year or two but it will happen.

underthehill writes:

Young talented team matured some today..Jones showed great promise..passing and running set plays was best I have seen from a Lady Vol team since..I don't know when..Graves, Harrison, Jones, ..very strong inside..

golfman1975 writes:

in response to I_OWN_MANY:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Look who got smoked...look who got out coached. You own nothing but a bad attitude.

golfman1975 writes:

in response to voloffaith:

Ahh see mister un-blue sky is up..no actually down for the day....you are so sad that you can only spew the same ole drivel day after day. Take a moment and reflect back...hmmm...can you remember recently saying something nice/positive to some one? Oh BTW, we are still deciphering your coded message using CAPS only on FADE and GOOD. We are using the Journal paper in New York state as they might be a GOOD partner for you...journalistcally speaking...

On topic, Lady Vols have a chance every time they take the court...execute the game plan and a W will be there for the taking.

vol4gzus...do you think I_OWN_MANY could be John Adams?

ps11824 writes:

I really don't see the need to continue commenting about how our HC declined over the past decade, kazoo. What good does it do you to continue such? Do you see any benefit in it? Please stop. It's like you get a rush out of it. I would venture to say most of us do not like reading it.

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