Meighan Simmons' foul problems no problem for Lady Vols' scorers, 82-73

Tennessee head coach Holly Warlick yells out directions to her team during the SEC Tournament game against Florida at The Arena at Gwinnett Center in Duluth, GA. on Friday, March 8, 2013. Tennessee won against Florida, 82-73. 

(Saul Young/News Sentinel)

Photo by Saul Young, 2013 Knoxville News Sentinel

Tennessee head coach Holly Warlick yells out directions to her team during the SEC Tournament game against Florida at The Arena at Gwinnett Center in Duluth, GA. on Friday, March 8, 2013. Tennessee won against Florida, 82-73. (Saul Young/News Sentinel)

Ariel Massengale reviews victory over Florida

DULUTH, Ga. — Tennessee’s Meighan Simmons was playing the role of scorer better than spectator Friday afternoon.

So a role reversal wasn’t advisable until the junior guard picked up her fourth foul with 7:23 left against Florida.

Cue the other scorers.

Before a crowd of 4,819 at Gwinnett Arena, UT’s supporting cast sprang into action. They restocked a lead that had shriveled to seven points. They helped guide Tennessee past Florida 82-73 in an SEC women’s basketball tournament quarterfinal game.

The Lady Vols will face Texas A&M (22-9) in a semifinal today (TV: ESPNU, 4 p.m.). The fourth-seeded Aggies beat No. 5 South Carolina 61-52 in Friday afternoon’s second quarterfinal.

“We’ve had this all year, when somebody goes out with an injury or fouls, another person has to step up,” UT forward Taber Spani said. “It’s like a rotating door of who’s going to step up at any given time.”

Simmons returned with 2:39 left and topped off her team-high 20 points. But five other Lady Vols joined her in double figures.

Cierra Burdick came off the bench to score 14. Spani scored 13 and Kamiko Williams had 12. Bashaara Graves and Ariel Massengale scored 10 apiece.

Despite their thin ranks, the Lady Vols’ scorers overwhelmed Florida’s, who were led by Sydney Moss’ game-high 22 points.

No. 9 Tennessee (24-6) shot 48.2 percent from the floor (27-for-56). With Florida pressing and whittling the lead to six points inside the final minute, the Lady Vols hit six of eight free throws.

“We buckled down,” Burdick said. “We wanted to win. We continued to fight.”

Burdick, who grabbed a game-high eight rebounds, did some of her best work with Simmons watching. After grabbing an offensive rebound, Burdick saved a wayward possession by hooking a pass to Williams, setting up her baseline jumper for a 65-56 lead.

“One of my strengths is I see the floor well,” Burdick said, “and I kind of saw the play before it ever happened.”

Another offensive rebound led to her driving basket. Another great pass enabled Graves to beat the shot clock with a layup.

Burdick finally tipped a missed shot to Spani and finished the possession with a driving jumper. Her work added up to a 71-58 lead with 2:51 left.

“She was huge,” Spani said. “She just flies in there and uses her size. She’s just scrappy.”

Along with covering for Simmons’ foul trouble, the Lady Vols’ scorers also covered for the team’s suspect defense. UT’s 17-4 start was not a portent of the game to come. Florida (18-14) finished with three double-figure scorers and a 42-28 edge in paint points.

UT assistant coach Dean Lockwood grumbled afterward that the Lady Vols couldn’t guard his house.

“And my house doesn’t move,” he said.

Lockwood recalled at least three second-half possessions by the Gators that required less than 10 seconds to go from inbounds pass to two points.

UT coaches repeatedly reminded players of the teams’ regular-season meeting in Gainesville, Fla., on Jan. 13 won by Tennessee in overtime, 78-75.

“We tried the shootout in Gainesville and look where it got us, overtime,” Lockwood said.

Spani said that the ongoing issue involves mind-set more than anything.

“We can’t keep saying the same things over and over,” she said. “Our one-on-one defense has got to get better.

“… It’s not a fatigue thing. It’s a mentally tough thing. You just have to be mentally tough for 40 minutes and dig down and play defense.”

Dan Fleser covers Tennessee women’s basketball. Follow him at http://twitter.com/FleserKNS and http;//blogs.knoxnews.com/fleser.

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Comments » 38

jt45 writes:

Keep it up, it would be super to see this group get both the regular season and tournament championship. Only a few LVs teams have done that.

PureOrange writes:

Always good to win, but the lazy, careless passes have got to stop. And the Lady Vol defense playing the "parting of the Red Sea" defense around the basket and allowing players to drive to the basket as Lady Vols stand back and watch will get us beat. We are better than that. We need to win this tournament, and we can if we play defense and make smart passes. We do not need to make it easier for other teams by simply not doing the basics.

Good win! We will have to do better to win next two.

Go Lady Vols!

johnlg00 writes:

Well, the game was the kind of struggle I was afraid it would be. The LVs had to rally to eke out an overtime win at Florida, so I didn't expect the Gators to be intimidated today. It was a good sign that the LVs had six in double figures and a very good sign that they kept and even extended their lead with Meighan on the bench a good deal of the time. Still, the regulars mostly had to grind to get the win and I'm afraid all these minutes and effort will get to them the longer they stay in this tournament. It should be a huge boost to the team's confidence if they can tough it out and get the trophy, but it's going to be a long, hard slog.

johnlg00 writes:

in response to PureOrange:

Always good to win, but the lazy, careless passes have got to stop. And the Lady Vol defense playing the "parting of the Red Sea" defense around the basket and allowing players to drive to the basket as Lady Vols stand back and watch will get us beat. We are better than that. We need to win this tournament, and we can if we play defense and make smart passes. We do not need to make it easier for other teams by simply not doing the basics.

Good win! We will have to do better to win next two.

Go Lady Vols!

True that! It seems like almost anybody can take it from way out on the arc all the way to the bucket with no resistance once they get past the initial defender. Probably due in part to Izzy's absence, but an Achilles heel nevertheless. And although Ariel's judgment has been better lately, the LVs generally don't always seem to give due regard to time and score in deciding what to do and when to do it. If you're going to play with such a short roster, you have to develop a sense for when to push it and when to throttle it back. In short, if you have the lead, there is no single instance in which you have to try to MAKE something happen; let the game come to you, use the whole shot clock if necessary, and get a GOOD shot rather than going for the quick-hitter all the time.

underthehill writes:

The Lady Vols seem to always get the other teams's best and this game was no exception..have to think if Fla played this way all season they would have a much better record..they have a future star in Moss..as for the Lady Vols..offense great..defense ..has to be better to win tournament..

wigmeister writes:

Just keep playing with intensity! Remember, the goal is to get to the final four. You don't do that without intensity, on both ends of the floor!

PollyAnna writes:

Way to go Lady Vols!!!!!

BeRealistic writes:

in response to johnlg00:

True that! It seems like almost anybody can take it from way out on the arc all the way to the bucket with no resistance once they get past the initial defender. Probably due in part to Izzy's absence, but an Achilles heel nevertheless. And although Ariel's judgment has been better lately, the LVs generally don't always seem to give due regard to time and score in deciding what to do and when to do it. If you're going to play with such a short roster, you have to develop a sense for when to push it and when to throttle it back. In short, if you have the lead, there is no single instance in which you have to try to MAKE something happen; let the game come to you, use the whole shot clock if necessary, and get a GOOD shot rather than going for the quick-hitter all the time.

Good comments COACH. Let's let the real coaching staff & players do this. From here on, lose one & go home until the big dance.

vol98champ writes:

I am extremely proud of this team. They have fought, improved, and battled adversity all year, but with only 6 productive players, winning against the physical teams in this league is quite a challenge. Graves seems to be less active without Izzy. Perhaps trying to stay out of foul trouble. My only complaint against them is I can almost sense a turnover coming a second or two before it happens. John's analysis is spot on, because the turnover usually occurs early in the shot clock, but I wonder if this team can play without the OH NOs. I sure do enjoy watching them.

volfan2002 writes:

I wish the defense were better but Izzy was the main player that stopped those layups so guess we'll have to live with the fact none of our players can guard a quick perimeter players. As long as were scoring in the 80's we should win and get to the final.

laraccoon writes:

in response to johnlg00:

Well, the game was the kind of struggle I was afraid it would be. The LVs had to rally to eke out an overtime win at Florida, so I didn't expect the Gators to be intimidated today. It was a good sign that the LVs had six in double figures and a very good sign that they kept and even extended their lead with Meighan on the bench a good deal of the time. Still, the regulars mostly had to grind to get the win and I'm afraid all these minutes and effort will get to them the longer they stay in this tournament. It should be a huge boost to the team's confidence if they can tough it out and get the trophy, but it's going to be a long, hard slog.

i did not get to watch the game but that 6 players in double figures was what stuck out the most when i read the article , indeed a good sign . 12 turnovers looks alot better then th Ky game but still a few too many .that idea you mentioned in another post about using the shot clock especially with the short bench makes alot of sense but this team just dont seemed geared towards half court , at least from what ive observed . if they win this tournament at the same speed they play with as short of bench as they have i will be impressed .p.s how was the B B Q wednesday night ?

springtx_vol writes:

Okay, not one else has said this, so i will.

What am I missing in the play, the two times Simmons went to the bench with foul trouble, the LV pushed the lead to double digits? Is Simmons on the bench like Rondo hurting his knee for the Celtics? A good, maybe great player that when not there allows the team to play better overall? The Celtics were 12-4 without Rondo, which was much better than their record with him.

While Simmons has improved her D this year, it still isn't really up to snuff and she can be a ball hog.

whatmeworry writes:

in response to springtx_vol:

Okay, not one else has said this, so i will.

What am I missing in the play, the two times Simmons went to the bench with foul trouble, the LV pushed the lead to double digits? Is Simmons on the bench like Rondo hurting his knee for the Celtics? A good, maybe great player that when not there allows the team to play better overall? The Celtics were 12-4 without Rondo, which was much better than their record with him.

While Simmons has improved her D this year, it still isn't really up to snuff and she can be a ball hog.

Spot on about Simmons being a ball hog.That's fine when she's hot,but she's never met a shot she didn't like and sometimes she puts the team in bad situations with her decisions. Co-player of the year so you can't really get on her too much,but some of her shots are a bit on the questionable side.

vol98champ writes:

in response to springtx_vol:

Okay, not one else has said this, so i will.

What am I missing in the play, the two times Simmons went to the bench with foul trouble, the LV pushed the lead to double digits? Is Simmons on the bench like Rondo hurting his knee for the Celtics? A good, maybe great player that when not there allows the team to play better overall? The Celtics were 12-4 without Rondo, which was much better than their record with him.

While Simmons has improved her D this year, it still isn't really up to snuff and she can be a ball hog.

We have 6 really good players. Credit CB with the success when MS went to the bench. CB basically took over. Thank God we have Simmons.

maxvolfan#217855 writes:

good win, great fan support. i felt at home . Obviously we dont have any problem scoring. Every player on our roster can score. I know Holly has them talking about how lazy they got on defense. Moss wasnt doing anything special to get her 22, she just outhustled everyone . Holly mentioned they get too comfortable on a lead and slack off on defense. they need a killer instint she said. We have to do better on D because A&M players sat in the stands and everyone of thier players were watching on the defensive side of the ball. I hope they lose.Go V

RLL59 writes:

in response to PureOrange:

Always good to win, but the lazy, careless passes have got to stop. And the Lady Vol defense playing the "parting of the Red Sea" defense around the basket and allowing players to drive to the basket as Lady Vols stand back and watch will get us beat. We are better than that. We need to win this tournament, and we can if we play defense and make smart passes. We do not need to make it easier for other teams by simply not doing the basics.

Good win! We will have to do better to win next two.

Go Lady Vols!

Overguarding led to easy drives to the basket and then there was no help underneath. The reason FL shot so few free throws is that the Lady Vols did not contest under the basket. No fouls, but a bunch of easy layups. Bashaara and Taber simply stand there with their arms up and don't even attempt to impede progress to the basket, or use their hands to defend. Perhaps they're playing that way because, playing only 7 players, they can't afford to get into foul trouble. But if that's the case, they'd be better off backing off a bit in the back court and playing a more conservative defense away from the basket. They won't win the tournament with the defense they displayed today.

bannervol writes:

in response to springtx_vol:

Okay, not one else has said this, so i will.

What am I missing in the play, the two times Simmons went to the bench with foul trouble, the LV pushed the lead to double digits? Is Simmons on the bench like Rondo hurting his knee for the Celtics? A good, maybe great player that when not there allows the team to play better overall? The Celtics were 12-4 without Rondo, which was much better than their record with him.

While Simmons has improved her D this year, it still isn't really up to snuff and she can be a ball hog.

Really? Simmons D not up to snuff? What game were you watching? Folks this girl is a baller and she will take shots no one else will and she is the reason we stayed in half our games this year, much less won them. I think Holly has proven her ability to coach; let her decide when Meaghan needs to come out. As for that little run we had when Meaghan was out kudo's to the rest of the team for stepping up.

jt45 writes:

in response to whatmeworry:

Spot on about Simmons being a ball hog.That's fine when she's hot,but she's never met a shot she didn't like and sometimes she puts the team in bad situations with her decisions. Co-player of the year so you can't really get on her too much,but some of her shots are a bit on the questionable side.

Simmons is a scorer, thats what she does. Every team has their go to scorer and Simmons is no exception. The media and some fans have given her alot of bad raps based on a few out of control plays she has had, thats fine but I see this happening to other players throughout the league and you never see the media taking cheap shots at them, I just dont get the constant criticism of Simmons by some of you. We are fortunate to have her as a Lady Vol. There are no perfect players and if you remove her points scored this season I think you will find out just how valuable she has been to this team.

jt45 writes:

in response to bannervol:

Really? Simmons D not up to snuff? What game were you watching? Folks this girl is a baller and she will take shots no one else will and she is the reason we stayed in half our games this year, much less won them. I think Holly has proven her ability to coach; let her decide when Meaghan needs to come out. As for that little run we had when Meaghan was out kudo's to the rest of the team for stepping up.

Exactly, but you know there are always going to those types of post. It makes no sense that a player who has worked the hardest, played the most minutes and consistently fires up the offense and helps the team win games would continue to get bashed by her own teams fans. To me thats worse than the trolls from UK and FLa.

maxvolfan#217855 writes:

I agree . Simmons is a scorer! She's a baller who wants the ball in her hands . Why complain when we have about 5-6 players that are scorers too? Where would ND be without Diggins or UCONN without MKL ? Every team with they had scorers like Simmons . Come on guys and gals be happy.

johnlg00 writes:

in response to laraccoon:

i did not get to watch the game but that 6 players in double figures was what stuck out the most when i read the article , indeed a good sign . 12 turnovers looks alot better then th Ky game but still a few too many .that idea you mentioned in another post about using the shot clock especially with the short bench makes alot of sense but this team just dont seemed geared towards half court , at least from what ive observed . if they win this tournament at the same speed they play with as short of bench as they have i will be impressed .p.s how was the B B Q wednesday night ?

You are correct about cutting down the turnovers, though a few of the ones they did have were of the ugly, unforced variety. As for my other comment, I didn't necessarily mean that the LVs should play slow-down. I agree with you that they often seem to play better faster. Any time they have a good chance to score quickly, they should take it, but they don't need to FORCE it as much as they seem to try to do sometimes. If you are going to end a possession by throwing a pass into traffic, at least make sure you have explored a few other possibilities first. As John Wooden said, "Be quick but don't hurry."

The BBQ was fine on Wednesday, though the Vols gave me a few difficult swallows at times! I had some good Guiness Extra Stout to wash it down, though, so it was all good in the end, and that's all I cared about.

johnlg00 writes:

in response to springtx_vol:

Okay, not one else has said this, so i will.

What am I missing in the play, the two times Simmons went to the bench with foul trouble, the LV pushed the lead to double digits? Is Simmons on the bench like Rondo hurting his knee for the Celtics? A good, maybe great player that when not there allows the team to play better overall? The Celtics were 12-4 without Rondo, which was much better than their record with him.

While Simmons has improved her D this year, it still isn't really up to snuff and she can be a ball hog.

You have a few ponderable points here. Both situations just show that there is more to the game and how a team plays together than merely who is on the floor at a given time. It may be that in both cases, each member of the respective teams realized they had to raise their game a little to succeed without their star. However, both the Celtics and the LVs will have a better chance to win a championship with Rondo and Simmons than they would without them.

And I'm not sure I agree with your description of Simmons as a ball hog. She is a scorer and a unique one on this team. She is a talent that must be ridden, not muzzled. Her judgment about when to shoot and when not to has gotten MUCH better this year than it used to be, as has her defense. She can still make you cringe on occasion on both ends of the floor, but it is clear to me that she has really raised her whole game this year, and she has had a LOT to do with the success the team has had and yet WILL have.

SummittsCourt writes:

Simmons - SEC Co-MVP - enough said.

Way to go Lady Vols!

johnlg00 writes:

in response to RLL59:

Overguarding led to easy drives to the basket and then there was no help underneath. The reason FL shot so few free throws is that the Lady Vols did not contest under the basket. No fouls, but a bunch of easy layups. Bashaara and Taber simply stand there with their arms up and don't even attempt to impede progress to the basket, or use their hands to defend. Perhaps they're playing that way because, playing only 7 players, they can't afford to get into foul trouble. But if that's the case, they'd be better off backing off a bit in the back court and playing a more conservative defense away from the basket. They won't win the tournament with the defense they displayed today.

Very perceptive comment. In Taber's case, I just don't think she has the foot-speed to guard closely on the perimeter. With Bashaara, it may well be that she is trying to avoid fouls. For almost any player, too much use of hands and not enough moving of feet usually results in fouls. And every time I think the team would be better off backing off a bit on defense, I remember the steals and run-outs they get from them. I agree with Bob Knight on fouling; commit a foul to stop a score--anything else is giving your opponent an advantage. And by all means, if you do get beat on a drive or post-up, either chop them or let them go--none of these pansy touch fouls that just give them the "and-1" along WITH the wide-open layup.

johnlg00 writes:

in response to collegegrovebilly:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

A number of the great men's coaches have said much the same thing. I love the athleticism of the modern men's game as much as anybody, but the fundamental level of the women's game is much higher, and many male players could stand to take a lesson or two from their sisters.

Volinflan writes:

in response to whatmeworry:

Spot on about Simmons being a ball hog.That's fine when she's hot,but she's never met a shot she didn't like and sometimes she puts the team in bad situations with her decisions. Co-player of the year so you can't really get on her too much,but some of her shots are a bit on the questionable side.

You'll are crazy. Without Simmons the Lady Vols are probably 18 - 12, not 24 and 6.

ACWLY writes:

Thanks for the WIN and all the hard work you put in to get this victory. Florida's not slouch team and would have beaten us if you guys hadn't been ready to play, great job by players and coaches. A win like this makes your real fans SMILE!

dwolfcreek#397971 writes:

in response to springtx_vol:

Okay, not one else has said this, so i will.

What am I missing in the play, the two times Simmons went to the bench with foul trouble, the LV pushed the lead to double digits? Is Simmons on the bench like Rondo hurting his knee for the Celtics? A good, maybe great player that when not there allows the team to play better overall? The Celtics were 12-4 without Rondo, which was much better than their record with him.

While Simmons has improved her D this year, it still isn't really up to snuff and she can be a ball hog.

Where this team be without Simmons DA ,she's the oil thats keeps the motor running .

laraccoon writes:

in response to collegegrovebilly:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

i think alot of people/probably mostly males under appreciate the athletic ability of women . For me when the light went off in my head i was playing in a softball tournament and between mens games i sat and watched a womens game and not only were they more attractive i was in awe at how much better they were from a fundamental standpoint .

oldster writes:

Massengale is a defensive liability. She seems to forget that rule one of any defense is to stop the ball. She consistently leaves the ball to go cover a potential pass recipient. The help side defenders are frequently unaware of the ball and, as a result, either do not get over in time or at all to stop layups. Then, to top all of that they gave up the baseline to drives at least twice and that should never, ever,ever (as Taylor Swift would say) happen. Finally, they failed to keep floor balance which is why the runouts occured to which Lockwood was referring in the article. Defensive lapses in a game are going to happen; however, these many do not compose lapses, they indicate very real and very large problems. Since the girls know what they are doing wrong and continue to do it, the root of these problems is with concentration, focus and effort. You can teach a problem what to do, but you cannot make them do it.

oldster writes:

in response to jt45:

Simmons is a scorer, thats what she does. Every team has their go to scorer and Simmons is no exception. The media and some fans have given her alot of bad raps based on a few out of control plays she has had, thats fine but I see this happening to other players throughout the league and you never see the media taking cheap shots at them, I just dont get the constant criticism of Simmons by some of you. We are fortunate to have her as a Lady Vol. There are no perfect players and if you remove her points scored this season I think you will find out just how valuable she has been to this team.

I am one of those who criticized Simmons. She was a ball hog. As you say,she takes shots that no one else will take. That is because she takes some shots that no one should take. That all being said, she has cut back on these problems. She does not shoot every single time she gets the ball within 30 feet of the basket any more and, in fact, has cut down her number of "what in the heck were you thinking" shots down from about 10 per game to 2 or 3. With that kind of improvement and her defensive improvement she has earned that co-player of the year and, frankly, had there been a most improved player, she probably should have won that. Hopefully, she will continue to improve on figuring out what is a good shot and what is not. If she does, then she could end up being up there with the Holdsclaws, Catchings, and Parkers in LV lore. She has a long, long way to go - and is certainly a different kind of player - but it could happen.

vol98champ writes:

in response to oldster:

Massengale is a defensive liability. She seems to forget that rule one of any defense is to stop the ball. She consistently leaves the ball to go cover a potential pass recipient. The help side defenders are frequently unaware of the ball and, as a result, either do not get over in time or at all to stop layups. Then, to top all of that they gave up the baseline to drives at least twice and that should never, ever,ever (as Taylor Swift would say) happen. Finally, they failed to keep floor balance which is why the runouts occured to which Lockwood was referring in the article. Defensive lapses in a game are going to happen; however, these many do not compose lapses, they indicate very real and very large problems. Since the girls know what they are doing wrong and continue to do it, the root of these problems is with concentration, focus and effort. You can teach a problem what to do, but you cannot make them do it.

I'm afraid there is only one way to solve the blow byes this year. A healthy Izzy! Maybe next year Izzy, Graves, and Russell will really solve that problem.

vol98champ writes:

in response to oldster:

I am one of those who criticized Simmons. She was a ball hog. As you say,she takes shots that no one else will take. That is because she takes some shots that no one should take. That all being said, she has cut back on these problems. She does not shoot every single time she gets the ball within 30 feet of the basket any more and, in fact, has cut down her number of "what in the heck were you thinking" shots down from about 10 per game to 2 or 3. With that kind of improvement and her defensive improvement she has earned that co-player of the year and, frankly, had there been a most improved player, she probably should have won that. Hopefully, she will continue to improve on figuring out what is a good shot and what is not. If she does, then she could end up being up there with the Holdsclaws, Catchings, and Parkers in LV lore. She has a long, long way to go - and is certainly a different kind of player - but it could happen.

I could not have said it better if I had written a book.

ps11824 writes:

KY looked unbeatable last night. They are bullies, BUT, they know how to knock you down and get away with it. They looked to intimidate and that's what they did yesterday. The 5-man, 4-minute substitution kept fresh legs on the court, and every player looked as eager to get it done as the one they subbed for. Matthew has a darn good ball team which looks to win this tournament.

They were absolutely in-your-shorts-ready to rule, and they did. Vandy had no answer.

I look to see a very hungry Gary Blair coached team tonight looking to impose its will on the SEC as if to say, "I'M BAAACK..." Lady Vols will bring the real A-game tonight, not like yesterday, the one that says "Move over Gary, we have unfinished business with the cats."

ps11824 writes:

Anyone know what's up with Nia Moore and J Phillips??? Why are they nailed permanently to the bench? Are they so far behind the rest that there's no possibility they might be able to spell someone? Just curious...

RLL59 writes:

in response to oldster:

Massengale is a defensive liability. She seems to forget that rule one of any defense is to stop the ball. She consistently leaves the ball to go cover a potential pass recipient. The help side defenders are frequently unaware of the ball and, as a result, either do not get over in time or at all to stop layups. Then, to top all of that they gave up the baseline to drives at least twice and that should never, ever,ever (as Taylor Swift would say) happen. Finally, they failed to keep floor balance which is why the runouts occured to which Lockwood was referring in the article. Defensive lapses in a game are going to happen; however, these many do not compose lapses, they indicate very real and very large problems. Since the girls know what they are doing wrong and continue to do it, the root of these problems is with concentration, focus and effort. You can teach a problem what to do, but you cannot make them do it.

So, we're back to the answers of lack of concentration, poor effort, and in this case, outright refusal to learn. But the defensive woes have been going on for several years and with most of the Lady Vol players. It's a statistical improbability that all those recruits over all those years have these same character flaws. Is there any reason to believe that the same things won't be being said about Carter or the 2013 recruits next year? And, although Bashaara is being given a pass, perhaps because she's had such an overall good year, her defense is no better than the others. The logical thing to do is to consider other factors, such as technique, strategy, and/or physical strengths and weaknesses of individual players. The coaching staff needs to consider whether their defensive approach is still relevant in a game where the gap between the Lady Vols and opponent players is becoming smaller and smaller.

madrigal writes:

Idiots calling Simmons a ball hog don't sit in the huddle. Obviously she has the green light from the coaches, so what you think just doesn't matter. And she didn't get SEC Co-Player of the Year for nothing. I guess some of you just aren't happy unless you're complaining.

r2d2 writes:

in response to ps11824:

Anyone know what's up with Nia Moore and J Phillips??? Why are they nailed permanently to the bench? Are they so far behind the rest that there's no possibility they might be able to spell someone? Just curious...

I believe Holly is committed to play only 7 or 8 players. I agree strongly with her commitment to a consistent starting lineup. However, I would not let a potentially good player rot on the bench. I believe Holly should have allowed more playing time for Nia with Izzy being injured a lot.

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