John Adams: Tennessee turning into Team Topsy-Turvy

John Adams
Tennessee guard Ariel Massengale (5) celebrates with her teammates as she leaves the game in the fianl moments of the second half of an NCAA college basketball game  after the game against Georgia, Sunday, Jan. 5, 2014, in Athens, Ga. Tennessee  won 85-70. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)

Photo by John Bazemore

Tennessee guard Ariel Massengale (5) celebrates with her teammates as she leaves the game in the fianl moments of the second half of an NCAA college basketball game after the game against Georgia, Sunday, Jan. 5, 2014, in Athens, Ga. Tennessee won 85-70. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)

ATHENS, Ga. — Tennessee coach Holly Warlick didn’t wait until she reached the locker room before taking off her coat Sunday afternoon.

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Comments » 16

magicbyswh#221420 writes:

They are no longer a program to be feared. Their inconsistent play shows that any team they play can beat them at anytime , unless you are Lipscomb which is basically a high school team they beat 3 games ago. More Lipscombs and we might be National champs. Well of division 3 anyway.

volnsc writes:

Holly needs to start demanding a no let-up game. How can a national contender allow an opponent to go on a 20-0 run at mid-second half? The turn overs exploded when the lead reached 28 points, led by Simmons. This team needs some Summit stares no matter what the lead is. This game portends of serious problems for the season unless the coaches regain control.

rogatl2002#222395 writes:

15 point win on the road over a top 20 SEC team. Please people. DO UT a favor and become Connecticut fans. No one bothers to mention the opening loss at Illinois by the defending undefeated dream team. Pat Summitt was an amazing coach...the best ever...but her teams were NOT perfect either. We are lucky to have Holly...what other coach would have had the guts to follow Pat Summitt??

johnlg00 writes:

in response to rogatl2002#222395:

15 point win on the road over a top 20 SEC team. Please people. DO UT a favor and become Connecticut fans. No one bothers to mention the opening loss at Illinois by the defending undefeated dream team. Pat Summitt was an amazing coach...the best ever...but her teams were NOT perfect either. We are lucky to have Holly...what other coach would have had the guts to follow Pat Summitt??

I agree with your general sentiment, which I take to be that the LVs pretty much recovered nicely from a home embarassment at the hands of LSU with a win at another ranked opponent's place. So why is everybody so upset?

There never was a perfect team or a perfect coach. College basketball is an insane anarchy these days. Teams are up and down on every possession. Brilliant spells of confident, inspired individual and team play interspersed with periods of inexplicable lethargy and ineptitude.

Living just about an hour away from Chapel Hill, NC, I get a major dose of the Big Blue just about every day, not unlike following the Vols from the Tri-Cities. The Heels have epitomized the wild swings that will apparently characterize this era forever. They have beaten Michigan State at E. Lansing, Louisville on a neutral court, and Kentucky at home. They have also LOST to Belmont, UAB, and some other overachiever which escapes me at the moment. In the three games they lost, none by double-digits, they missed a total of FIFTY-SIX free throws! They have scored on twelve possessions in a row and gone six minutes without a point, often in the same game.

All of this is just to say that if you only want to follow a perfect team that never loses or struggles against any level of competition, indeed never struggles in any game, then good luck finding one. I follow the Lady Vols and the men's teams because I feel a sense that they are MY FOLKS. They may not always succeed but they are still people who I trust are doing their best, even if they aren't always doing what I would like them to do.

volnsc writes:

in response to rogatl2002#222395:

15 point win on the road over a top 20 SEC team. Please people. DO UT a favor and become Connecticut fans. No one bothers to mention the opening loss at Illinois by the defending undefeated dream team. Pat Summitt was an amazing coach...the best ever...but her teams were NOT perfect either. We are lucky to have Holly...what other coach would have had the guts to follow Pat Summitt??

I thought we were talking about this game. I'm not talking about perfection, I'm talking attitude. 20 second half turnovers with a big lead got them within 4 points of losing. This is a problem and deserves to be recognized. Some of those turnovers were high schoolish and the guilty parties would freely admit as much. And the truth is, whether you can admit it or not, that the Lady Vols came very close to losing a game that should never have gotten that close. GLV.

grumpyman writes:

I think the coach and the team like to play the game, but do not have a great desire to win.

murrayvol writes:

in response to grumpyman:

I think the coach and the team like to play the game, but do not have a great desire to win.

Yes, you are the "grumpyman".

UTANDNOBAMA writes:

in response to rogatl2002#222395:

15 point win on the road over a top 20 SEC team. Please people. DO UT a favor and become Connecticut fans. No one bothers to mention the opening loss at Illinois by the defending undefeated dream team. Pat Summitt was an amazing coach...the best ever...but her teams were NOT perfect either. We are lucky to have Holly...what other coach would have had the guts to follow Pat Summitt??

Jees - O - Pete! And I don't mean that in Positive way.

murrayvol writes:

When you're up 27 with under 8 minutes to play, it's really hard to lose. It's pretty difficult to even let it get close. But somehow the LVS managed to make a game of it with just over a minute to go.

All that's required is to run your offense on each possession and take a reasonably good shot under 10 seconds. That and force the opponent to work for a shot on the other end. Is it that difficult?? Maybe a TO in the heart of that 20 pt. run to remind the troops the game isn't quite over would've helped. Dunno.

1volk-nowi-tall writes:

Turnovers, turnovers, turnovers seem to be the biggest problem for recent Lady Vol teams. They have little feel for making passes, running a two-on-one or three-on-one break. They are just a split second late in seeing the open player who becomes covered as the defender has that split second to defend the late pass. As good as Ariel is she failed to use more than 10 seconds with less than two minutes left in the game when she drove to the bakset and shot with 20 seconds left on the shot clock. Why did Issy not score a point in the second half? We became one demensional during the second half. We need to quit talking about the paint or the three ball and work the ball around with several passes most of the time. The kick-out three seems to be a better shot for everyone. Often when the ball gets to a post that post has no sense of what other players are open and tries to shoot while being guarded by 3 or even 4 defenders. We are lacking there. We must learn to defend the three better. Our zone showed real promise early in the season in covering the three but we have gone backwards lately in allowing too many open threes. Our tipical zone has had this flaw for the past 7-8 years. As disciplined as we need to be, we must also find that feel for pushing the ball, making that special pass or using screens more effectively to get the lay-up. For most of us who have played the game it is more touch and feel than it is hard discipline. When you watch a great team you see such a smooth rythm for the game. When these girls get that rythm the sky is the limit.

MaxVolFan writes:

players can't take plays off . The coaches has to keep the players in the game. I guarantee you this that if a elite team allows a team to score 6-10 straight points on them there will be a TO called. Turnovers will get you beat. Especially the turnovers that gets the opposing team a easy fastbreak to the basket. Keep Draya and Amass at guard and let Simmons come off the bench for Select shots .

atnvol#283282 writes:

It is just a different era in LV basketball....and we better get used to it. It took Alabama 30 years to find another Bear Bryant type coach and the LV's are not going to replace Pat instantly.

Allenfan writes:

in response to MaxVolFan:

players can't take plays off . The coaches has to keep the players in the game. I guarantee you this that if a elite team allows a team to score 6-10 straight points on them there will be a TO called. Turnovers will get you beat. Especially the turnovers that gets the opposing team a easy fastbreak to the basket. Keep Draya and Amass at guard and let Simmons come off the bench for Select shots .

I do agree with most everything that you have written. All of the people with the above post that think Holly is doing a good job, look at the top ten teams and their coaches. She is not even close, and shows no signs of getting better. A junior high coach would have used a timeout and been in those girls faces when that lead started to dwindle. Watch the game with your eyes and not your heart, and you will see that she is not one of the top coaches. I hope recruiting doesn't suffer to much, but eventually the recruits will figure it out.

martinvol34 writes:

in response to 1volk-nowi-tall:

Turnovers, turnovers, turnovers seem to be the biggest problem for recent Lady Vol teams. They have little feel for making passes, running a two-on-one or three-on-one break. They are just a split second late in seeing the open player who becomes covered as the defender has that split second to defend the late pass. As good as Ariel is she failed to use more than 10 seconds with less than two minutes left in the game when she drove to the bakset and shot with 20 seconds left on the shot clock. Why did Issy not score a point in the second half? We became one demensional during the second half. We need to quit talking about the paint or the three ball and work the ball around with several passes most of the time. The kick-out three seems to be a better shot for everyone. Often when the ball gets to a post that post has no sense of what other players are open and tries to shoot while being guarded by 3 or even 4 defenders. We are lacking there. We must learn to defend the three better. Our zone showed real promise early in the season in covering the three but we have gone backwards lately in allowing too many open threes. Our tipical zone has had this flaw for the past 7-8 years. As disciplined as we need to be, we must also find that feel for pushing the ball, making that special pass or using screens more effectively to get the lay-up. For most of us who have played the game it is more touch and feel than it is hard discipline. When you watch a great team you see such a smooth rythm for the game. When these girls get that rythm the sky is the limit.

And they are young. :-)

Theo writes:

in response to Allenfan:

I do agree with most everything that you have written. All of the people with the above post that think Holly is doing a good job, look at the top ten teams and their coaches. She is not even close, and shows no signs of getting better. A junior high coach would have used a timeout and been in those girls faces when that lead started to dwindle. Watch the game with your eyes and not your heart, and you will see that she is not one of the top coaches. I hope recruiting doesn't suffer to much, but eventually the recruits will figure it out.

You sound more like someone who hopes recruits have a negative opinion.
We were picked fifth in the SEC last year and ended up winning. Was that an example of holly's "bad" coaching?
This team is going to be a handful by March! And in April I look forward to seeing another top three recruiting class. Go Lady Vols!

johnlg00 writes:

It seems both UT basketball teams need a serious sense of "take CHARGE!" They know how to play, for the most part. Very few teams can match their talent and potential up and down the roster. People are going to have their opinion of coaches, and after all, the right and power of partially-informed fans to nitpick coaches is the internet's raison d'etre. A good many of us may have more or less valid analyses and prescriptions to offer. As long as it is in a spirit of good fun, a bit of back-and-forth banter can be enjoyable.

As for this Lady Vol team this season, they have an opportunity to hoist the big trophy if they play up to their skill level in the fundamentals and rise to the occasion in big games. The men's upside potential may not be as high, but again their altitude will be determined by their attitude. If they will not let themselves be denied, they have enough of everything else to win perhaps even more than they themselves might have thought.

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