Cierra Burdick's 'settling' influence, career-high 21 points help Lady Vols turn the Tide

Tennessee's Cierra Burdick (11) thanks the fans after an NCAA college basketball game against Alabama, Sunday, Feb. 2, 2014, in Tuscaloosa, Ala. Tennessee defeated Alabama 64-54. (AP Photo/Butch Dill)

Photo by Butch Dill

Tennessee's Cierra Burdick (11) thanks the fans after an NCAA college basketball game against Alabama, Sunday, Feb. 2, 2014, in Tuscaloosa, Ala. Tennessee defeated Alabama 64-54. (AP Photo/Butch Dill)

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — The stat sheet didn’t do justice to Cierra Burdick.

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Comments » 21

oldster writes:

Cierra had some tough shooting luck in the early season, but her touch and selection have both remained steady. Therefore, it is no surprise that her shots are starting to fall. Glad for her.

Bandit2 writes:

Cierra finally finding her shot is just what the doctor ordered for this team. I never thought it was a lack of effort on her part. She was just struggling with her shot. I am glad to see her hard work and perserverence paying off.

MaxVolFan writes:

What this team has is what a lot of teams lack. It is a bunch of players that can score . Many teams has only one or two go to players they rely on to score and to lead . LSU doesn't win without their center.Vandy doesn't without Lister/Doggie. Etc etc. Tennessee has multiple players that can lead this team in some capacity . Ariel had her nights, Izzy, Simmons, now Burdick. This makes it challenging for opposing coaches to key on key players . I would love to see a game where the lady Vols all are feeling it and knocking down shots. If we can get all five players on the court play with the intensity Burdick had last night we will be a top 5 team. Keep winning and we will be there

RLL59 writes:

Congratulations to Cierra. Her confidence is clearly back, which is especially shown by her willingness to take the 3 point shot.

The Lady Vols, in the second half, contrary to my fellow poster's arguments for the zone defense, reaffirmed the commonly held opinion that the passed ball is faster than any opponent. The name of the game in women's basketball is the wide open shot....from anywhere. Dribbling doesn't often achieve that, but passing does.

With both Ariel and Meighan out of the game, Andraya can't be the savior. The policy of taking your impact player out of the game for the last 17 minutes of the half after picking up her second foul is absurd. I don't think any other team in men's or women's basketball does that, and against a good team it would have resulted in a loss. The coach and a very heralded senior should certainly get on a page where the player could be expected to avoid further fouls and play at least some of the remaining minutes of the half. Meighan ended up the game with just those two fouls, and played the entire second half. Surprised? I'm not.

Before anyone gets too excited about the second half, only one of Alabama's 12 losses was by less than the 10 points UT won by. This is a team having no players that would have been recruited by the Lady Vols. A win's a win, but this game, other than a bright spot for Cierra, wasn't a great achievement. But the Lady Vols control their destiny in the league being only one game behind South Carolina, with what should be a win against Ole Miss on Thursday.

johnlg00 writes:

Luckily for the LVs--and most of the rest of college basketball--teams are measured by whether they win or not, not by how they look doing it. Win and advance by any possible legal means, try to shore up your weak areas, pocket the win, and move on. While we all may quibble about this or that coaching move made or not made, the LVs are still right there for everything anybody expected of them from back before the season, and they surely do seem to have figured out a few things lately.

johnlg00 writes:

PS: I'm REALLY loving Burdick's emergence. I had heard a great deal about her before she went to UT. Folks in NC think she is one of the best female players the state has ever put out. She was a consistent stat-sheet stuffer for a team that won more than a hundred games and two state championships in her three-year HS career. When she came to UT, I thought she was perhaps too deferential to the older players and not showing the leadership her fans in NC continually credited her with. It seems to have finally dawned on her that she is one of the more-experienced players on the squad, has at least as good an idea as anybody else what she and the other players should be doing, and has now decided to be that leader. The team can only benefit from this and may be ready to gear up for a memorable stretch run.

rogatl2002#222395 writes:

in response to RLL59:

Congratulations to Cierra. Her confidence is clearly back, which is especially shown by her willingness to take the 3 point shot.

The Lady Vols, in the second half, contrary to my fellow poster's arguments for the zone defense, reaffirmed the commonly held opinion that the passed ball is faster than any opponent. The name of the game in women's basketball is the wide open shot....from anywhere. Dribbling doesn't often achieve that, but passing does.

With both Ariel and Meighan out of the game, Andraya can't be the savior. The policy of taking your impact player out of the game for the last 17 minutes of the half after picking up her second foul is absurd. I don't think any other team in men's or women's basketball does that, and against a good team it would have resulted in a loss. The coach and a very heralded senior should certainly get on a page where the player could be expected to avoid further fouls and play at least some of the remaining minutes of the half. Meighan ended up the game with just those two fouls, and played the entire second half. Surprised? I'm not.

Before anyone gets too excited about the second half, only one of Alabama's 12 losses was by less than the 10 points UT won by. This is a team having no players that would have been recruited by the Lady Vols. A win's a win, but this game, other than a bright spot for Cierra, wasn't a great achievement. But the Lady Vols control their destiny in the league being only one game behind South Carolina, with what should be a win against Ole Miss on Thursday.

EVERY other team would take out a player with 2 fouls in the first half. Do you watch much basketball?

RLL59 writes:

in response to rogatl2002#222395:

EVERY other team would take out a player with 2 fouls in the first half. Do you watch much basketball?

Was the paragraph too long? Please go back and read that I said that she could 'play at least some of the remaining minutes of the half'. I never said she shouldn't be taken out at all.

This was the first game I've ever attended or watched.

MaxVolFan writes:

Well the lady Vols are bumped up to #8. Theres still a chance at us getting a strong 2 seed and even a #1 seed if we win out the rest of the season.

underthehill writes:

in response to johnlg00:

PS: I'm REALLY loving Burdick's emergence. I had heard a great deal about her before she went to UT. Folks in NC think she is one of the best female players the state has ever put out. She was a consistent stat-sheet stuffer for a team that won more than a hundred games and two state championships in her three-year HS career. When she came to UT, I thought she was perhaps too deferential to the older players and not showing the leadership her fans in NC continually credited her with. It seems to have finally dawned on her that she is one of the more-experienced players on the squad, has at least as good an idea as anybody else what she and the other players should be doing, and has now decided to be that leader. The team can only benefit from this and may be ready to gear up for a memorable stretch run.

Burdick seemed to me to be putting too much pressure on herself and it was causing her to be too tense..her knowledge of the game has been evident since she arrived at UT..she seems to see the entire floor which helps her anticipate what will happen before it does..this is common to all great rebounders and passers..Burdick is both..she is not the fastest player on the floor and she does benefit from playing zone..I love the way she is playing...

Allenfan writes:

When we play defense and force turnovers, it certainly makes our scoring opportunities much better. I continue to wonder, if our girls are smart enough to adjust at halftime, and stop most of the driving to the basket, why can't we do that from the start. It was a really great win on the road, after all they did beat Kentucky. I guess though since Kentucky can't hold on to the jersey of the opposing player from one of the floor to the other, a lot of teams are beating them. The one thing that I have complained about since game one is the timeouts, and the last few games she has used them wisely. Maybe she is going to make it after all.

ATL_VOL_FAN writes:

"Well the lady Vols are bumped up to #8. Theres still a chance at us getting a strong 2 seed and even a #1 seed if we win out the rest of the season."

Charlie Crème currently has the Lady Vols as a 2 Seed in the LINCOLN region with UCONN being the 1 seed. Previously over rated Duke was the 1 seed in the LINCOLN region, however, they've been replaced by Louisville who is the new 1 seed (Would have preferred Duke remaining the 1 seed as it was a very favorable bracket for the Lady Vols). If the Lady Vols can get revenge on Vanderbilt and LSU, the two remaining conference obstacles will be UK and South Carolina (Both home games). Hopefully the sun, moon and stars will align for a great finish!

johnlg00 writes:

in response to ATL_VOL_FAN:

"Well the lady Vols are bumped up to #8. Theres still a chance at us getting a strong 2 seed and even a #1 seed if we win out the rest of the season."

Charlie Crème currently has the Lady Vols as a 2 Seed in the LINCOLN region with UCONN being the 1 seed. Previously over rated Duke was the 1 seed in the LINCOLN region, however, they've been replaced by Louisville who is the new 1 seed (Would have preferred Duke remaining the 1 seed as it was a very favorable bracket for the Lady Vols). If the Lady Vols can get revenge on Vanderbilt and LSU, the two remaining conference obstacles will be UK and South Carolina (Both home games). Hopefully the sun, moon and stars will align for a great finish!

Good info. Gotta say, all that talk of seedings and such with so much more of the season to play just doesn't really grab my attention right now. I confess I don't pay that much attention to all of women's college ball, though I will make a point of at least checking in on games involving teams I care about in some way, but it seems that most of the usual top 10-12 suspects over the past five seasons or so are somewhere in the mix for the top rankings, seedings, etc., with perhaps another 30 or so competing for upper-half selections. All I'm worried about now is how the LVs get through the next game and the next and.... However, I do join you in your hopes for that great finish!

CaptainPicard writes:

I believe that the LVs would have a won-loss record of 21-1 if Kaela Davis had honored her commitment to Tenn. I estimated this record using some crude data analysis. However, you cannot do anything about spilled milk.

johnlg00 writes:

in response to CaptainPicard:

I believe that the LVs would have a won-loss record of 21-1 if Kaela Davis had honored her commitment to Tenn. I estimated this record using some crude data analysis. However, you cannot do anything about spilled milk.

An interesting "what-if" proposition. However, life goes on, and it seems that the LVs are shaking themselves out into a real contender. Who knows what the team chemistry would have been like with another top-drawer talent thrown into the mix? FWIW, I am enjoying watching the way this team is evolving and can only feel bad for Kaela that she will likely never experience anything like the team success she could have been a part of at UT.

MaxVolFan writes:

in response to CaptainPicard:

I believe that the LVs would have a won-loss record of 21-1 if Kaela Davis had honored her commitment to Tenn. I estimated this record using some crude data analysis. However, you cannot do anything about spilled milk.

Things happen and we can't live in the past. I believe KD decision was more of a medical concern than her not wanting to come to UT. You can say the same about Jannah who I know would have loved to contribute but needs time to heal . Things just happen but look at it this way Jannah will be a freshman next year so will Carter and we will have arguably one of the best fresh/sophmore class in the country. Not to mention a very experience senior junior class

CaptainPicard writes:

in response to johnlg00:

An interesting "what-if" proposition. However, life goes on, and it seems that the LVs are shaking themselves out into a real contender. Who knows what the team chemistry would have been like with another top-drawer talent thrown into the mix? FWIW, I am enjoying watching the way this team is evolving and can only feel bad for Kaela that she will likely never experience anything like the team success she could have been a part of at UT.

I agree with your comment. More than likely, Kaela's decision hurt the LVs in the short run. However, she is the one who will be hurt in the long run by not coming to a perennial power like Tenn. I am not belittling GA Tech, but telling the truth as is.

johnlg00 writes:

in response to CaptainPicard:

I agree with your comment. More than likely, Kaela's decision hurt the LVs in the short run. However, she is the one who will be hurt in the long run by not coming to a perennial power like Tenn. I am not belittling GA Tech, but telling the truth as is.

No reason at all to belittle either GA Tech or Kaela. I understand that Kaela is very close with her mother, and that the mother didn't want both Kaela and her brother AJ of the men's team to both move out of their home area. If the decision to stay in the area helped morale in the home and everybody is happy otherwise, it's all good to me. At least the family gave us AJ, who I believe will be a key player for the Vols for years to come.

johnlg00 writes:

PS: Someone above alluded to a medical issue with Kaela as a reason for her not coming to UT. I'm pretty sure I read something sometime ago about the family angle, but my memory is a bit fuzzy about the "medical issue". Perhaps someone can enlighten me.

johnlg00 writes:

Thanks for the info. I think I remember hearing something about that, but it had been awhile and the details had escaped me. Makes sense that she and the family would want to be near each other as long as there is any anxiety about her condition. Hope everything works out for her.

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