John Adams: Lady Vols win but don't please their coach

John Adams

Holly Warlick’s body language seemed out of sync with the score as she walked off the court at halftime Thursday night at Thompson-Boling Arena.

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Comments » 12

Bandit2 writes:

Agreed! They are definitely underachieving.

WaitUntilNextYear writes:

Thank you Coach, it is about time. This team is painful to watch in TBA even when they win. I have watched the degradation for the last five years of basic skills and common sense.
Simmons, Graves, Jones, and Burdick have all regressed in their BB skills. Thank goodness the freshman have been solid and are getting better.
Moore has played much better when she gets a chance and is scrappy.
Harrison, Massengale and Carter are carrying this team on their backs. Harrison and Massengale are playing All-American basketball.
After the Stanford and LSU debacles the next litmus test will be Monday night on national tv when #2 Notre Dame comes to TBA.
Are there too many self proclaimed superstars on this team pouting over playing minutes? Are they spoiled with no hunger to truly excel for 40 minutes? Do they realize their four years will fly by and more than likely there won't be a paycheck playing basketball?
Whatever it is they need to figure it out as a team with leadership stepping up or this season will be a goal oriented failure.
Kentucky, Georgia and LSU losing is a gift. Let's hope the woman and men BB players bring back some winning pride to Rocky Top.

underthehill writes:

Megan started the 2nd half by taking a bad shot and having a couple of turnovers..blame Megan ..not the whole team..Carter is playing on the level of Massengale and Izzy..Russell is working hard and really could use a breakout game for her confidence..Warlick seems to know she is going to have to have this team play as well as possible to remain atop the SEC..Fla and S Car have stepped up their play and along with LSU,Ky and the Lady
Vols..this is going to be a real interesting race..

underthehill writes:

in response to WaitUntilNextYear:

Thank you Coach, it is about time. This team is painful to watch in TBA even when they win. I have watched the degradation for the last five years of basic skills and common sense.
Simmons, Graves, Jones, and Burdick have all regressed in their BB skills. Thank goodness the freshman have been solid and are getting better.
Moore has played much better when she gets a chance and is scrappy.
Harrison, Massengale and Carter are carrying this team on their backs. Harrison and Massengale are playing All-American basketball.
After the Stanford and LSU debacles the next litmus test will be Monday night on national tv when #2 Notre Dame comes to TBA.
Are there too many self proclaimed superstars on this team pouting over playing minutes? Are they spoiled with no hunger to truly excel for 40 minutes? Do they realize their four years will fly by and more than likely there won't be a paycheck playing basketball?
Whatever it is they need to figure it out as a team with leadership stepping up or this season will be a goal oriented failure.
Kentucky, Georgia and LSU losing is a gift. Let's hope the woman and men BB players bring back some winning pride to Rocky Top.

I don't agree this team is painful to watch..I think Holly and her staff are on the right path to make this team as good as their talent allows..their team strength is depth and in order to take advantage of this they have to force the opponent to play up tempo..not always easy to do..as you noted..Massengale, Izzy and Carter are playing at a level a bit above the others ..but I think it is a bit of over reaction to think the bb skills of those you mention have regressed..I think Burdick is simply putting too much pressure on herself.. Graves appears to have been slowed by an injury..Simmons has never been a consistent player but can light it up when she is hot..when she is not the coaching staff has to get her off the floor..I never thought Massengale would become a player who could play on the level she is playing.. hopefully some of the others will so the same..

nanny334#1419965 writes:

Playing in spurts will continue as long as Holly insist on substituting as she does. Every Time they start hitting on all cylinders she will substitute players, most often the ones who have just gotten hot. I will never understand this. It seems her only thought in her substitutions is equal playing time. Maybe she is trying to keep her best players fresh for tournament time, however if she truly wants to stop this playing in spurts, she should pick a starting five and then start her rotation based on game flow and player performance.

johnlg00 writes:

in response to WaitUntilNextYear:

Thank you Coach, it is about time. This team is painful to watch in TBA even when they win. I have watched the degradation for the last five years of basic skills and common sense.
Simmons, Graves, Jones, and Burdick have all regressed in their BB skills. Thank goodness the freshman have been solid and are getting better.
Moore has played much better when she gets a chance and is scrappy.
Harrison, Massengale and Carter are carrying this team on their backs. Harrison and Massengale are playing All-American basketball.
After the Stanford and LSU debacles the next litmus test will be Monday night on national tv when #2 Notre Dame comes to TBA.
Are there too many self proclaimed superstars on this team pouting over playing minutes? Are they spoiled with no hunger to truly excel for 40 minutes? Do they realize their four years will fly by and more than likely there won't be a paycheck playing basketball?
Whatever it is they need to figure it out as a team with leadership stepping up or this season will be a goal oriented failure.
Kentucky, Georgia and LSU losing is a gift. Let's hope the woman and men BB players bring back some winning pride to Rocky Top.

Everybody who loves basketball and has a favorite team wants to see them play well. And goodness knows, there are plenty of areas in which the Lady Vols do not play well. But you somewhat buried your lead by saying that "Kentucky, Georgia and LSU losing is a gift". The Lady Vols are not nearly the only ones snatching defeat from the jaws of victory these days.

There just IS a lack of steady, purposeful, disciplined, effective, efficient play in basketball these days. And when you think about it, any mental idea of how you think the game should be played can only occasionally be observed in the real world. In short, ALL teams play in spurts. The only difference is which ones' spurts are longer, the intervals between them shorter, and the lethargic periods shorter and not so damaging.

Great bench coaches know how to massage the pulse of a game in their favor. This is a subtle art that many emulate but few master. Think about an Al McGuire or a Jim Valvano. Other coaches rely on recruiting, training, and preparation. They see themselves getting most of their work done before arriving at the game site, then are inclined to let the players play as they have been instructed. Obviously, these are not distinct categories and all coaches try to do these things, more or less well, to a greater or lesser extent.

I thought it was encouraging that Holly stepped out of what many of us have seen as her comfort zone by quickly and visibly correcting players for sloppy play. It clearly had the desired effect. Changes in personnel and tactics produced a dominating win. Maybe she will do that again if the situation arises, maybe as soon as the Notre Dame game.

MaxVolFan writes:

Do not look over Vanderbilt. You better believe they will play like they are in a championship game against us so we have to take care of business.

johnlg00 writes:

in response to MaxVolFan:

Do not look over Vanderbilt. You better believe they will play like they are in a championship game against us so we have to take care of business.

Not gonna be any gimmes for this team this year. If they don't come prepared to earn it, they won't get many wins this year. A somewhat broader look around would show that, as usual, only one or two teams around the country consistently come close to showing a nearly ideal style of play. A good dozen or more are fighting ultimately for two Final Four spots where they might have a puncher's chance. The LVs are in as good a shape as any of those.

Tennman78 writes:

The biggest improvements would be to stop the sloppy play (keep turnovers to 10 per game Max!) and to hit layups when they get the ball to the rim. Hitting 75% plus on free throws would also help, but stop giving the ball away and hit layups!

Fast tempo is one thing, but fast tempo under control is better.

WaitUntilNextYear writes:

This year like the last few seasons the three most glaring weaknesses for the Lady Vols have been been unforced turnovers, missed layups and opposing teams with unimpeded scoring plays, or said another way virtually no defensive effort to stop a layup or wide option shot.
They have improved their free throw shooting but the nightly wild passes and running out of control on a fast break causing an offensive foul or missed shot is a mainstay of this team.
Improving those three areas and this team wins 30+ and probably some hardware.
When I said they are difficult to watch it is because great teams don't materially commit the three areas of mistakes consistently.
This team has too much talent to check out or play with chaos. They should be undefeated and have ND sweating for Monday nights game in TBA.
On paper, only UConn should be favored to beat the LV's.

MaxVolFan writes:

I agree with the above comment. We have had very talented teams and no sense of direction for a long time. If every player played as hard and smart as Ariel, Harrison, and Carter we would be unstoppable. I like how Izzy matured and doesn't foul as much and can take contact, Ariel is driving and shooting . A true leader now, Carter is all defense. We cut down on the turnover by knowing your dribbling strengths and pass the ball or shorten your shot selection if your 3 ball is failing you. Then we will have some success. All and all I still feel we are the best deep team in the country behind Uconn. The team has to mature a lot more.

RoadTrip writes:

Well done, Coach. Enough talk. The team has played together long enough to know how to focus and play their roles for 40 minutes. The UGA game was an embarrassment in the second half and she saw the same stuff starting again. End it now.

As for anybody defending Simmons, the ring leader of inconsistency and meltdowns during tough games, please find another thing to whine about. Knowledgeable LV basketball fans know Simmons' good and bad points all too well.

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