Cierra Burdick named SEC player of the week

Tennessee forward Cierra Burdick (11) shoots past Texas A&M forward Kristi Bellock (5) in the second half of an NCAA college basketball game, Thursday, Feb. 28, 2013, in Knoxville, Tenn. Tennessee won 82-72 to clinch its 17th Southeastern Conference regular-season title outright. (AP Photo/Wade Payne)

Photo by Wade Payne

Tennessee forward Cierra Burdick (11) shoots past Texas A&M forward Kristi Bellock (5) in the second half of an NCAA college basketball game, Thursday, Feb. 28, 2013, in Knoxville, Tenn. Tennessee won 82-72 to clinch its 17th Southeastern Conference regular-season title outright. (AP Photo/Wade Payne)

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A pair of double-doubles for points and rebounds added up to an SEC first for Tennessee’s Cierra Burdick.

The 6-foot-2 sophomore forward was named conference women’s basketball player of the week after averaging 13 points and 12.5 rebounds in games against Texas A&M and Kentucky.

She came off the bench to score 15 points and grab a career-high 14 rebounds last Thursday to help the Lady Vols beat Texas A&M 82-72 at Thompson-Boling Arena and clinch the program’s 17th SEC regular season championship.

Against Kentucky, she had 11 points and 11 rebounds along with a career-high four blocks in the 78-65 loss. She also had a career-high seven turnovers, part of UT’s 31 against Kentucky’s pressure defense.

Burdick has recorded double-doubles in three of the last four games and five total this season.

For the week, Burdick shot 42.9 percent from the floor (8 for 19) and 90 percent from the free throw line (9 for 10). For the season, she is averaging 8.4 points and 7.1 rebounds per game. Burdick missed eight games in January after suffering a fractured right hand.

No. 9 Tennessee (23-6, 14-2) opens SEC tournament play at noon Friday in Duluth, Ga., against the Florida-Arkansas second round winner.

Injury Report: During a coaches teleconference on Monday, Tennessee coach Holly Warlick reiterated that she wasn’t sure whether Isabelle Harrison would be available for the SEC tournament. The Lady Vols sophomore center left last Thursday’s game with a right knee injury.

Warlick said guard Kamiko Williams, who suffered a sprained right ankle last month, now is dealing with a sprain of her left ankle.

Warlick also said point guard Ariel Massengale was sore after returning from a right knee injury last Thursday to play 34 minutes against Kentucky.

Spani Honored: Tennessee’s Taber Spani has been named to the SEC’s community service team for women’s basketball.

The senior forward has been active with Habitat for Humanity and made frequent appearances at the Knoxville Boys & Girls Club.

Poll Watch: While Tennessee dropped a spot to No. 9, Kentucky vaulted three places to No. 7 in the Associated Press’ Top 25 weekly poll.

With LSU returning at No. 22, six SEC teams are in the poll.

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Comments » 14

jt45 writes:

Injuries have really took a toll on this group. Its amazing what they have accomplished being such a young team and dealing with injuries on almost every key position. This says alot about coach Warlick and her staffs ability to motivate these young ladies to fight through adversity. I believe there are some future National Champions in this group if they can stay healthy for the next 2 or 3 seasons.

jt45 writes:

in response to jt45:

Injuries have really took a toll on this group. Its amazing what they have accomplished being such a young team and dealing with injuries on almost every key position. This says alot about coach Warlick and her staffs ability to motivate these young ladies to fight through adversity. I believe there are some future National Champions in this group if they can stay healthy for the next 2 or 3 seasons.

Also congrats to Burdick for the award and a great job bouncing back from that injury.

johnlg00 writes:

in response to jt45:

Injuries have really took a toll on this group. Its amazing what they have accomplished being such a young team and dealing with injuries on almost every key position. This says alot about coach Warlick and her staffs ability to motivate these young ladies to fight through adversity. I believe there are some future National Champions in this group if they can stay healthy for the next 2 or 3 seasons.

I agree, but that is another STRONG argument for the LVs to use their FULL complement of scholarships each year. I get the old argument that you can't expect to keep a whole roster of HS A-As happy or even keep them AT ALL if some of them never play. However, it wouldn't be a bad thing to have a defensive stopper, a strong rebounder, and/or a good outside shooting specialist who might not be heavily recruited because they aren't great all-around players. It also helps to have a full squad for practice. Sometimes when the LVs make long trips, especially over the holidays, they actually have regular practices during the layovers, but they can't take their male practice players, so why not have a full enough roster to have a full-scale practice?

johnlg00 writes:

Oh BTW, congrats to Cierra for the honor. She may not always play perfectly but she always plays hard, and she never stops trying to get better. She and Bashaara will be the "heart" of this squad going forward. Neither seems to be the type to tolerate slacking, in games or in practice, and they will leave an indelible mark on this program.

jt45 writes:

in response to johnlg00:

I agree, but that is another STRONG argument for the LVs to use their FULL complement of scholarships each year. I get the old argument that you can't expect to keep a whole roster of HS A-As happy or even keep them AT ALL if some of them never play. However, it wouldn't be a bad thing to have a defensive stopper, a strong rebounder, and/or a good outside shooting specialist who might not be heavily recruited because they aren't great all-around players. It also helps to have a full squad for practice. Sometimes when the LVs make long trips, especially over the holidays, they actually have regular practices during the layovers, but they can't take their male practice players, so why not have a full enough roster to have a full-scale practice?

Any Idea why they dont have a full roster ? Are they holding back for next years class ?

Also just watched ND beat Uconn in 3 OTs ! I cant say I didnt enjoy watching Geno let one slip away, Uconn had 34 turnovers,wich goes to show that even the best teams can get rattled.
Diggens may be the best guard Ive seen in many many years.

Dont feel nearly so bad about the LVs 31 TOs now.

SummittsCourt writes:

She deserves the award. Go Lady Vols!

Theo writes:

in response to johnlg00:

Oh BTW, congrats to Cierra for the honor. She may not always play perfectly but she always plays hard, and she never stops trying to get better. She and Bashaara will be the "heart" of this squad going forward. Neither seems to be the type to tolerate slacking, in games or in practice, and they will leave an indelible mark on this program.

Howdy John,
you took the words out of my mouth... or the letters off of my fingertips...whatever. But Bashaara and Cierra are leaders. They have great physical talent but their leadership may be more important. Cierra is well spoken and thoughtful and Bashaara at this point just leads by example. Quite a feat for a freshman.
I feel great about this group. Their joy when they gathered at mid-court after beating A&M will make me smile for quite a while.
Congrats Cierra, you deserve it, you make all LV fans proud.

KennyGVolsFan writes:

in response to jt45:

Any Idea why they dont have a full roster ? Are they holding back for next years class ?

Also just watched ND beat Uconn in 3 OTs ! I cant say I didnt enjoy watching Geno let one slip away, Uconn had 34 turnovers,wich goes to show that even the best teams can get rattled.
Diggens may be the best guard Ive seen in many many years.

Dont feel nearly so bad about the LVs 31 TOs now.

There are many reasons for not having a full roster. I think the main reason this team doesn't keep a full roster is to prevent unhappy players.

We have 11 players on this team and 2 have done nothing but sit the bench. I think had they been given the opportunity at least one of them would/could have been spectacular. Like someone else mentioned you can't have All Americans riding the bench when they can go somewhere else and get significant playing time.

Also, CPS had recruited somtimes up to 7 players in one class. This resulted in lack of available scholarships to rollover to other years. Now that they have available scholarships they will use them properly in getting the right amount of players each year.

There were several scholarships offered but those offers were declined to go to other schools. They are holding these scholarships for those ALLSTAR players!!

CIERRA IS THE REAL DEAL!!! Glad to see what she is capable of doing. If she does these kinds of things consistently we will be almost unstoppable next year. Gosh, I don't even know who I would start!!!

Point Guards-

Andraya Carter
Ariel Massengale

Guards -

Jannah Tucker
Jordan Reynolds
Meighan Simmons
Jasmine Phillips

Forwards -

Jasmine Jones
Bashaara Graves
Cierra Burdick

Post -

Isabelle Harrison
Mercedes Russell
Nia Moore

I am excited about the bench we will have next year. We could even run the defense like Kentucky does next year and be 10xs better than them!!! 5 out, 5 in and it doesn't change the game for us!!! We are going to be a BEAST next year! Watch out Baylor, Uconn, ND and Stanford we are getting ready to take our rightful place at the top AGAIN!!

WE ARE TENNESSEE

Volinflan writes:

in response to KennyGVolsFan:

There are many reasons for not having a full roster. I think the main reason this team doesn't keep a full roster is to prevent unhappy players.

We have 11 players on this team and 2 have done nothing but sit the bench. I think had they been given the opportunity at least one of them would/could have been spectacular. Like someone else mentioned you can't have All Americans riding the bench when they can go somewhere else and get significant playing time.

Also, CPS had recruited somtimes up to 7 players in one class. This resulted in lack of available scholarships to rollover to other years. Now that they have available scholarships they will use them properly in getting the right amount of players each year.

There were several scholarships offered but those offers were declined to go to other schools. They are holding these scholarships for those ALLSTAR players!!

CIERRA IS THE REAL DEAL!!! Glad to see what she is capable of doing. If she does these kinds of things consistently we will be almost unstoppable next year. Gosh, I don't even know who I would start!!!

Point Guards-

Andraya Carter
Ariel Massengale

Guards -

Jannah Tucker
Jordan Reynolds
Meighan Simmons
Jasmine Phillips

Forwards -

Jasmine Jones
Bashaara Graves
Cierra Burdick

Post -

Isabelle Harrison
Mercedes Russell
Nia Moore

I am excited about the bench we will have next year. We could even run the defense like Kentucky does next year and be 10xs better than them!!! 5 out, 5 in and it doesn't change the game for us!!! We are going to be a BEAST next year! Watch out Baylor, Uconn, ND and Stanford we are getting ready to take our rightful place at the top AGAIN!!

WE ARE TENNESSEE

I like your lineup but I would like to see one more (good) forward. Also we should put an asterisk next to the players that will come down with a dislocated shoulder or torn ACL or that just won't come back next year. That is the scary thing about a short roster. KENNYG's lineup looks great but so did the lineup of Cain, Brewer, Baugh, Johnson, Strickland, Manning, Spani, Avant, Dupree, Williams, Bass, Burdick, Harrison, Simmons and Massengale. Even with Griner in the way, a probable NC group. Except Cain, Depree, Brewer and Avant weren't there!

But then, as someone has pointed out we have a couple of players that haven't even got into the last two games. And as UT has now learned they aren't automatically going to get all the great players like they did when their competition was LaTech and VaCommonwealth.

johnlg00 writes:

in response to jt45:

Any Idea why they dont have a full roster ? Are they holding back for next years class ?

Also just watched ND beat Uconn in 3 OTs ! I cant say I didnt enjoy watching Geno let one slip away, Uconn had 34 turnovers,wich goes to show that even the best teams can get rattled.
Diggens may be the best guard Ive seen in many many years.

Dont feel nearly so bad about the LVs 31 TOs now.

As I understand it, the LVs haven't carried a full roster for several years now. For a time, one heard the argument about having too many stars on the roster to keep everybody happy. I'm really not sure if that is true or ever was, and I surely don't know what the reason is now.

And thanks for your point about the UConn-ND game. It was a thriller, no doubt, but if, as you say, a team noted for its crisp ball-handling like the Huskies can lose the ball that much, the LVs don't have that much to be ashamed about. That's still WAY too many TOs for any team that aspires to elite status.

Volinflan writes:

"As I understand it, the LVs haven't carried a full roster for several years now. For a time, one heard the argument about having too many stars on the roster to keep everybody happy. I'm really not sure if that is true or ever was, and I surely don't know what the reason is now."

When Dupree left for Chattanooga it opened up a scolarship that was used to sign Simmons. The barn was full of some really good players and a few great players. Seem's since then it's been several near misses where it came down to Tenn or "Them". Williams (Duke), Hollivay (Rutgers), Scaife (Rutgers) to name a few. Those last day announcements can kill a recruiting group (or make someone's day).

johnlg00 writes:

in response to Volinflan:

"As I understand it, the LVs haven't carried a full roster for several years now. For a time, one heard the argument about having too many stars on the roster to keep everybody happy. I'm really not sure if that is true or ever was, and I surely don't know what the reason is now."

When Dupree left for Chattanooga it opened up a scolarship that was used to sign Simmons. The barn was full of some really good players and a few great players. Seem's since then it's been several near misses where it came down to Tenn or "Them". Williams (Duke), Hollivay (Rutgers), Scaife (Rutgers) to name a few. Those last day announcements can kill a recruiting group (or make someone's day).

Of course you are right that there are nearly always surprises on NSD, some good and some bad. The thing is, if you have scholarships left after everybody you REALLY wanted is accounted for, either because you signed them or somebody else did, you ought to use them. There are always players who fall through the cracks for some reason, or who might take an offer from UT compared to a prior "commitment" to Belmont or somebody. I know some people consider it at least mildly uncivil to mess with somebody else's commitments, but college basketball is a tough business. You have to think first about your own team's needs. Everybody else is mostly concerned about THEIR own teams after all.

maxvolfan#217855 writes:

First congrats to CHW and our outstanding players Simmons andGraves! Well deserved! I must say im a little shocked that we won the SEC but not surprised . we are still Tennessee. I look for this team and program to do big things . Will it be easy ? No. There are more than just 4 horses in this race. Sure Griner and Diggins will be gone but that will give teams like Uconn and Duke a clear shot at the NC. So we have work to do. There's no doubt that sharpshooting Mosqueda Lewis will be the best player in the country and can't forget about Williams and Gray for Duke. Besides Baylors senior laden team and NDs Diggins every top 10 team will still have their skill players back. Well besides UK kitties.

Teams to watch out for.
Us-#stillTenn
Uconn- only loss Faris /Doty
UNC- IMO Diamond Deshields will be their Maya Moore
Duke- no dropoff
ND- who will replace Diggins? McBride?
Stanford- Chiney

The Vols will sweep through the SEC with ease for years to come. But the landscape of women's basketball is changing and I'm afraid the coaches has to change with it for this team to be competitive against the top tier teams. The past 4 years to me has been the Griner years where teams has come up with better game plans to stop Baylor .
Man I.would have love to see Candace Parker and Nicky Anoski go against Griner and the Bears.

butch31 writes:

Cierra is awesome, its good to see her get this accolade. Keep up the great work.

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