Lady Vols 'hit in the mouth' in the second half by Notre Dame

saul young/news sentinel
Tennessee’s Meighan Simmons loses her footing after being fouled by Notre Dame’s Natalie Achonwa at Thompson-Boling Arena on Monday.

Photo by Saul Young, 2014 Knoxville News Sentinel

saul young/news sentinel Tennessee’s Meighan Simmons loses her footing after being fouled by Notre Dame’s Natalie Achonwa at Thompson-Boling Arena on Monday.

“We got hit in the mouth a couple of times and we just let them keep hitting us instead of pounding back,” Tennessee forward Cierra Burdick said.

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Comments » 25

WaitUntilNextYear writes:

Season going south fast with no clue by the players or coaches.
The most inept benign fundamental basketball I have ever seen by the Lady Vols in their history remains a constant.

snowpeapod#263184 writes:

How many turnovers can one player get before they are yanked from the floor? Seven by the same player is absolutely crazy. The best way to get them to be more careful with the ball is to have them sitting next to the coaches on the sideline. There is no way a team should collapse like they did last night. It really makes me wonder why I purchase season tickets.

nanny334#1419965 writes:

Is it time? These girls and fans deserve better than what we were forced to watch last night.
We felt obligated to keep Fulmer while our football program fell to the bottom of the SEC. It is obvious that our beloved Lady Vols have been on the decline for the past 5 yrs.. Are we going to be satisfied beating Troy, Tn. State, ect winning 22 games a yr and going to elite 8 or do we want to compete for championships has we have in the past. I like Holly and think she well deserved the opportunity to coach the LV, but it is apparent that being head coach is well over her head.

atnvol#283282 writes:

in response to nanny334#1419965:

Is it time? These girls and fans deserve better than what we were forced to watch last night.
We felt obligated to keep Fulmer while our football program fell to the bottom of the SEC. It is obvious that our beloved Lady Vols have been on the decline for the past 5 yrs.. Are we going to be satisfied beating Troy, Tn. State, ect winning 22 games a yr and going to elite 8 or do we want to compete for championships has we have in the past. I like Holly and think she well deserved the opportunity to coach the LV, but it is apparent that being head coach is well over her head.

Holly did deserve this opportunity....but unfortunately, it has not worked out. LSU has our coach....its time to bring her home.

MaxVolFan writes:

We abandon the high low once ND made adjustments and we had no answer for their bench. There's no way a elite team would allow 31 pts to be scored from a opposing teams bench .
Russell only played 17 mins . You can't let a future leader stay on the bench. You have to play her to get her better. I wonder how JT is coming along? Did you see how they used Cable last night? She came off the bench , she knew her role , she waited for her shot on the perimeter. Clutch! ND TANYa ted ,we didn't have an answer , we lose. We better have an answer for TAMUs great coach. We forget they won the SEC touney last year with no AA.

wigmeister writes:

Sad. So Sad. I agree with those above. Holly got her shot. A great assistant, but we need some new blood in here before it is too late.

ljlongtimevolfan writes:

“We got hit in the mouth a couple of times and we just let them keep hitting us instead of pounding back,” Tennessee forward Cierra Burdick said.

This team cannot or will not get physical with a team of equal or better players. All four teams that beat the Lady Vols played more physical and fundamental basketball than we are capable or willing to play. How many charges have the players taken this season? Very few because it’s too physical of play for them.

Somebody on this team has to step up and take the leadership role and hit our own players in the mouth and keep hitting until we play as team. All really good teams have a player or players with leadership abilities to inspire and carry their teammates.

Do we have these mentally tough type players on this team to take charge? We need a drill sergeant type player.

Too many turnovers all season. Eighteen turnovers to fifteen assist last night. Somebody needs to step up and lead!!!

We still have a lot of SEC games ahead us to improve on team chemistry and fundamental basketball. Team chemistry seems to be lacking on the court.

snowpeapod#263184 writes:

in response to ljlongtimevolfan:

“We got hit in the mouth a couple of times and we just let them keep hitting us instead of pounding back,” Tennessee forward Cierra Burdick said.

This team cannot or will not get physical with a team of equal or better players. All four teams that beat the Lady Vols played more physical and fundamental basketball than we are capable or willing to play. How many charges have the players taken this season? Very few because it’s too physical of play for them.

Somebody on this team has to step up and take the leadership role and hit our own players in the mouth and keep hitting until we play as team. All really good teams have a player or players with leadership abilities to inspire and carry their teammates.

Do we have these mentally tough type players on this team to take charge? We need a drill sergeant type player.

Too many turnovers all season. Eighteen turnovers to fifteen assist last night. Somebody needs to step up and lead!!!

We still have a lot of SEC games ahead us to improve on team chemistry and fundamental basketball. Team chemistry seems to be lacking on the court.

Probably the main reason we haven't taken as many charges as other teams could be because their players don't drive out of control to the basket as much as ours do. Just something to think about!!!

underthehill writes:

Anytime you have a team look so good the first half and so bad the 2nd half Vol fans are going to wonder..why..and there are many valid questions..the most obvious strength of the ND ladies was their poise and confidence..even when the Lady Vols were burning it up in the first half..there was no panic by ND.. Massengale was great the first 10 minutes and played so out of control the 2nd half I could not believe what I was seeing..charging down the lane and hoping the refs will bail you won't work..if the lane is open..go but have enough control to make a decent attempt to get the shot off or bring it back out..don't just throw it up and do a stupid flop..this is not going to impress a competent ref..Simmons ..need her offense and need her to give up the ball before she turns it over when she does not have an open look..the longer it is in her hands ..the more likely she is to throw it to the other team..unforced errors should not happen by talented players..this has gone on tooo long..and like Barney always says on Andy Griffith's Show..nip it in the bud...

slb1zellwood#1421797 writes:

Appears to me that the big wigs need to immediately address both the men's and women's BB programs and address the obvious issues we continue to see under the current leadership of both programs. Nice Guy's/Ladies do not always make good Leaders and most always finish last or near the bottom in what ever they are empowered to do. Sad but true in all occupations or situations.

MaxVolFan writes:

We are bring in another top recruiting class next year. Really this was the year we were suppose to have one of the most talented and deepest teams in the country yet we have been beaten by teams with maybe one or two stars on the team or barely winning against teams who had an average player go off on us. I think we have only about two more years to right this ship before recruits take notice if they haven't already. I know we have probably lost our most prized recruit who is holding out only to see how teams she is interested in play and is coached .

TNACBOY36 writes:

I know I am going to get bashed for saying this, but its is now apparent why no one came after Holly Warlick seriously to be their head coach in all the years she was an assistant to 'THE' program in women's basketball.That never made sense to me how Pat was able to keep her while Mickie Demoss and Nikki Caldwell among others were coveted by other schools to be their head coach. I see why now !

Allenfan writes:

in response to underthehill:

Anytime you have a team look so good the first half and so bad the 2nd half Vol fans are going to wonder..why..and there are many valid questions..the most obvious strength of the ND ladies was their poise and confidence..even when the Lady Vols were burning it up in the first half..there was no panic by ND.. Massengale was great the first 10 minutes and played so out of control the 2nd half I could not believe what I was seeing..charging down the lane and hoping the refs will bail you won't work..if the lane is open..go but have enough control to make a decent attempt to get the shot off or bring it back out..don't just throw it up and do a stupid flop..this is not going to impress a competent ref..Simmons ..need her offense and need her to give up the ball before she turns it over when she does not have an open look..the longer it is in her hands ..the more likely she is to throw it to the other team..unforced errors should not happen by talented players..this has gone on tooo long..and like Barney always says on Andy Griffith's Show..nip it in the bud...

I agree with most everything that you have said. I don't we played that good in the first half, as we hit shots that no team including UConn would make for an entire game. They had two starters on the bench, and still had uncontested shots from the outside at most any point of the shot clock. They also out hustled us for every loose ball, something you rarely ever saw when Pat was healthy.

MaxVolFan writes:

I thought about someone who would turn this program around on a dime. I know I'm gonna get bashed for this because she is like Saban at Bama. But I bet if given the right offer and the fact I don't think she wants to rebuild her program after her great point guard leaves. I think Kim Mulkey would be the hire to get us to the promise land again. Lol ok let me put on my riot gear

TNACBOY36 writes:

in response to MaxVolFan:

I thought about someone who would turn this program around on a dime. I know I'm gonna get bashed for this because she is like Saban at Bama. But I bet if given the right offer and the fact I don't think she wants to rebuild her program after her great point guard leaves. I think Kim Mulkey would be the hire to get us to the promise land again. Lol ok let me put on my riot gear

I think Kim Mulkey would win here. Do I like her? NO, but winning championships can change a person's mind! Besides, I like Holly and that ain't working to good for me!

ThirdCreek writes:

When even the Lady Vols are struggling you know UT sports are really in bad shape now.

snowpeapod#263184 writes:

in response to MaxVolFan:

I thought about someone who would turn this program around on a dime. I know I'm gonna get bashed for this because she is like Saban at Bama. But I bet if given the right offer and the fact I don't think she wants to rebuild her program after her great point guard leaves. I think Kim Mulkey would be the hire to get us to the promise land again. Lol ok let me put on my riot gear

You can't be serious about Kim Mulkey!!! For one, her success was built mainly around the 6"8" Griner and any coach who would only suspend a player one game for breaking another teams player nose with a deliberate punch is not the kind of coach we want running our program. Pat would dole out the same punishment for skipping a class.

MaxVolFan writes:

in response to snowpeapod#263184:

You can't be serious about Kim Mulkey!!! For one, her success was built mainly around the 6"8" Griner and any coach who would only suspend a player one game for breaking another teams player nose with a deliberate punch is not the kind of coach we want running our program. Pat would dole out the same punishment for skipping a class.

So why can't she build another national contender with a 6'6 center and arguably one of the most talented players in the country? Coaches and players make mistakes. Its up to people to forgive. I'm all for coaches with character and I believe she loves Pat and our tradition and if the opportunity comes up in the future would be a good fit. Just a thought. I would prefer Nikki Caldwell . But I will back Holly as long as she's our coach. I'm just worried about her abilities to lead. I know she has it in her or her jersey wouldnt be in the rafters

snowpeapod#263184 writes:

in response to MaxVolFan:

So why can't she build another national contender with a 6'6 center and arguably one of the most talented players in the country? Coaches and players make mistakes. Its up to people to forgive. I'm all for coaches with character and I believe she loves Pat and our tradition and if the opportunity comes up in the future would be a good fit. Just a thought. I would prefer Nikki Caldwell . But I will back Holly as long as she's our coach. I'm just worried about her abilities to lead. I know she has it in her or her jersey wouldnt be in the rafters

Based on this years performance, exactly who is arguably one of the most talented players in the country? As for Holly, if she decides to step aside or is pushed aside, there is no one I would prefer more to relace her than Nikki. It would be great seeing her back in Big Orange Country to lead our program.

RoadTrip writes:

All of this started back with Pat and her recruiting as well as player development. The game has changed and they did not keep up. Holly is changing to a more current style of play, but not recruiting differently to match it. Sorry, but I see several in the first 8 players to hit the floor that are not Final Four material. They lack conditioning, focus and ability.

There has to be a change in S&C as well as players. The LV's are gassed at about 15 minutes of up tempo play. There are very few good shooters, most everything has to be done in the paint and with rebounding. They have poor defense on the ball. Holly knows this and goes zone, which will never work against a good 3 point shooting team like ND. She subs too much as well. Neither her or Zo know how to sub effectively.

Roster talent, player conditioning, turnovers. Either she can recruit and develop the right roster or she can't. This will not go on forever or they will lose the support.

MaxVolFan writes:

I don't think we lack ability. I believe all of our players can play and even some start on the top tier teams in the league. Strength and conditioning physical and mental should be the coaches top priority. We are lacking . Every team has players that has a weakness its up to the coach to improve or use the player for their strengths in certain situations . Again look at ND bench players that came off the bench. I'm sure had some weaknesses but Muffet used their strengths to score when needed and then sat them back down. They played their role and did it well

RLL59 writes:

in response to MaxVolFan:

I don't think we lack ability. I believe all of our players can play and even some start on the top tier teams in the league. Strength and conditioning physical and mental should be the coaches top priority. We are lacking . Every team has players that has a weakness its up to the coach to improve or use the player for their strengths in certain situations . Again look at ND bench players that came off the bench. I'm sure had some weaknesses but Muffet used their strengths to score when needed and then sat them back down. They played their role and did it well

Agreed. One of the problems is that players don't know their roles. Meighan shouldn't be expected to be a rebounder or assist leader. She's a 2 guard whose role is score and play adequate defense. Ariel has to dribble around the perimeter looking for someone to screen for her. Slower players, like Cierra, cannot be expected to overplay a quicker opponent who hasn't picked up her dribble. Not everyone has the physical tools to perform well at all aspects of the game. Unfortunately, that wasn't accepted by Coach Summitt and Holly has not had the courage to recognize it and make the changes necessary to deal with the changing game.

CaptainPicard writes:

in response to RLL59:

Agreed. One of the problems is that players don't know their roles. Meighan shouldn't be expected to be a rebounder or assist leader. She's a 2 guard whose role is score and play adequate defense. Ariel has to dribble around the perimeter looking for someone to screen for her. Slower players, like Cierra, cannot be expected to overplay a quicker opponent who hasn't picked up her dribble. Not everyone has the physical tools to perform well at all aspects of the game. Unfortunately, that wasn't accepted by Coach Summitt and Holly has not had the courage to recognize it and make the changes necessary to deal with the changing game.

I agree with MaxVolFan also, RLL59. Holly either will not or can not accept the fact that Pat, even in her greatness, had some dubious coaching procedures. She has chosen to imitate Pat in these same procedures. Although, as one commenter stated; what else would you expect from an assistant coach of 25 plus years.

Vol1968 writes:

Time to hire Tyler

CaptainPicard writes:

I believe the decision to hire Holly to succeed Pat as head coach was a sound decision. She deserved a chance to prove she could continue Pat's winning ways. Unfortunately, she is proving that she cannot be a winner after the tradition of Pat. I believe the AD should give Holly one more year before hiring a lesser known head coach with a winning record of 80 percent or more over a minimum of five years

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