Comments by RLL59

Written on Top women's basketball recruit A'ja Wilson picks South Carolina:

I hope all these expectations of growth from this year to next aren't just wishful thinking. Player development needs to be combined with team strategies that complement the individual talents, and lead to team cohesiveness. If both occur, the Lady Vols should be competitive with the best in the country. In my opinion, the coaches are the only ones who can make this happen. Up to now, they've been satisfied to play a game that's neither effective, nor conducive to improving individual players. Based on the last 6 seasons, this year's or next year's or the next year's recruits aren't going to change the results on their own.

Written on New York Liberty rescues Meighan Simmons with 26th pick of WNBA draft:

in response to oldster:

I was replying to a comment which implied a condemnation of the Lady Vols' coaching staff being unable to win big enough with 12 McDonald's All Americans in the last 8 years. I was not referring to Simmons at all. I have no idea if the person to whom I was replying was or not.

Therefore, your insult showed an inability to comprehend. I.e. a lack of intelligence. This is much worse than ignorance as the latter can be overcome by education while the former is going to be with you forever.

In fact, Meighan was a McDonalds All American in 2010 and was the high scorer in the All Star game. The primary challenge to your statement should be that you think basketball experts believe there's little or no correlation between being chosen a McDonald's All American and the likelihood of success at the collegiate level? Yes, when statistical probabilities overwhelmingly are against the Lady Vols not meeting expectations for 6 straight years because of lack of player talent, I come to the logical conclusion that much of the responsibility must lie in the coaching...or lack of it. I haven't 'condemned' the coaches or called for their dismissal; I just ask that they address the real issues before it's too late.

Written on New York Liberty rescues Meighan Simmons with 26th pick of WNBA draft:

in response to oldster:

The pros probably looked at Simmons' stats against the best teams as they are not good. She simply has not shown that she can compete well against the best players and the WNBA is pretty much made up of just that type player.

This result shows what basketball experts think of the talent that the Lady Vols are playing with - especially since she was the team's "star." It should also show what a great job Holly has done winning with talent that is held in such low esteem by said basketball experts.

Or more likely those basketball experts are asking how a coaching staff could sign 12 McDonald's All Americans since 2008, and still not develop even for one year a team or players that can compete with the best.

Written on New York Liberty rescues Meighan Simmons with 26th pick of WNBA draft:

I agree with what both volnsc and Johnig said above about Meighan. Unfortunately, like so many other Lady Vols over the past 6 years, Meighan really didn't improve much beyond her freshman year, and her faults became more and more apparent. I hope she proves the WNBA teams wrong in their evaluation and selection.

Only 4 SEC players taken and then all in a row at the very end of the 2nd round and first 3 of the 3rd round. This draft doesn't say much for the reputation of the league nor the Lady Vols in particular. I don't know what, if any, impact the draft had on A'ja Wilson's decision on where to play, but it can't have helped the Lady Vols chances. ..or SC's for that matter.

Written on Tennessee's Meighan Simmons all dressed up for WNBA draft but no clue where she's going:

in response to johnlg00:

One thing that may make her look more efficient right out of the gate is that no WNBA team will let her stay out there for long at a time if she is firing blanks--she might miss three in a row, but she won't likely have the chance to miss ten in a row. Of course, as long as she is making them, she might get a ton of minutes. If she has no ball-handling responsibilities and works hard on defense, she could really help a team even if she isn't shooting well.

She was a bit calmer toward the end of the season, and at the end she was the only one not throwing those god-awful passes into a well defended post player. As you said earlier, I also hope she isn't still sitting there at the end of the first round, although if she goes in the first round, it'll be near the end.

Written on Meighan Simmons invited to WNBA draft:

Meighan carried the scoring load for most of her 4 years here. Best wishes to her in the draft and her pro career. She's a Lady Vol for life.

Written on Informal talks between Lady Vols and UConn about resuming series:

in response to nanny334#1419965:

Well Well once again Gino is going to need UT. First to establish his dynasty now to keep it, How long can He keep it up playing in that weak American Athletic Conference? He now is going to need any top team He can get to get a worthwhile RPI. I hope UT and every other power in the SEC, ACC, Big Ten, Big 12 ect. refuse to play him. He has acted like He is the King Kong of women's basketball. Now let him fall to the bottom of the barrel, Apologise, I don't think so..

So, you think that UConn will fall to the 'bottom of the barrel' because they can't keep up an RPI rating? There are plenty of arrogant coaches in basketball and I have yet to see one of them fail because they can't find enough quality opponents , nor because they can't find a league that will accept them. Being an ardent fan doesn't mean one has to live in a dream world.

Written on Informal talks between Lady Vols and UConn about resuming series:

UT should do what is in its best interests, and give only slight consideration to emotion. By that I mean don't do something outrageous like apologizing for the accusations, but don't worry about losing fans if the decision is to pursue playing them again. Face it, if you're virulent enough about Auriemma to post nasty things about him on this site, you're not going to abandon the Lady Vols because they play a basketball game against UConn. If playing them again helps recruiting, fan interest, prestige, rankings, etc...., from a logical viewpoint, why not?

Written on Pat Summitt congratulates UConn on 9th title:

in response to tony15230:

as I have said before, love the program, love the lady vols, but our coaching needs to step up.
No one can erase what the Lady Vols have done/meant for the sport; but the program needs to keep its foot on pedal.

We have talent, and can get talent, but we need to get back to that team who would laugh and just wonder how many points they would win by in the first two games of the tournament, and not one nervous/tentative at that stage. That is what we lost, and need to regain quickly or we will become insignificant which would be a shame.

We don't have to win them all, but again, with our program/talent, we should be in the hunt more than the past few years.
No one dislikes UCONN more than I, but you have to be impressed and give them credit for what they have done, and at a time (last 15 years), when the sport has been more competetive than ever, in terms of more programs putting resources into the sport, etc.

Agree with everything you said. The question that needs to be answered is why we 'lost' it. In my opinion, it was poor game and individual results that caused the lack of confidence, not the other way around. If it's not understood that we're putting elite players on the court, but saddling them with ineffective tactics and strategies, the program will continue to deteriorate.

Written on Pat Summitt congratulates UConn on 9th title:

I hope for UConn to lose every game they play...just like most Lady Vol fans. But the basketball reality is that he gets the McDonald's All Americans, gets the most out of those players, the players improve year to year, his teams play a cohesive offense and defense, and the players like and respect him. The Lady Vols only have the first and the last of these. Since it doesn't seem like UConn's going to go downhill anytime soon, the Lady Vols can remain as also rans or they can take the steps needed to match UConn's coaching success. Anyone who thinks Auriemma only wins because he cheats at recruiting probably believes all the Lady Vols need to do is get players with more heart.

Written on Women's finalists reflect scope of Lady Vols' quest for improvement:

in response to Theo:

Think you are projecting assumptions here. I didn't see anything from Holly that was blaming the players for character flaws. That was Pat in her last couple of years. Not Holly. I think Holly is looking for ways to change coaching that will give the players the confidence they need.

I intentionally use the harsh phrase 'character flaws' because the accusations are being sugar coated to appear as something less than that. Unfocused, undisciplined, and unwilling to listen and take coaching direction are the accusations in the article. What would you call these charges? The coaching changes are mostly limited to correcting those characteristics in the players. Reread the article. The directive needs to be to figure out why the Lady Vols play such a different game than the elite programs, and make the changes to bring the Lady Vols into what the women's game is today, not 10 years ago. When I see repetitive articles that ignore the real issues and, beyond any probabilities, again look to the last 6 years' players' attitudes as the cause for the current state of the program, it diminishes the likelihood of turning the team around. I agree that Coach Holly is looking to raise player confidence, but changes to the game tactics are the first steps in accomplishing that goal... not stressing how unresponsive the players have been.

Written on Women's finalists reflect scope of Lady Vols' quest for improvement:

in response to oldster:

This team should not have Massengale next season. If she is as susceptible to head injuries as that tap in the face made it seem, then it would be almost criminal to allow her to play again (seems like the men refused to play a guy who wanted to and transferred because of it).

The team's issues are: 1) turnovers, 2) stopping dribble penetration, 3) turnovers, 4) getting dribble penetration, 5) turnovers, 6) outside shooting, 7) turnovers, 8) getting Harrison some help on the boards (e.g. getting Graves and Russell up to snuff), 9) turnovers, and 10) turnovers.

Crocodile tears, doctor? Why not simply state that in your opinion Ariel is just not tough enough, or is malingering, rather than the sham of real concern for her health? Or is your intent to be sarcastic, and poor me is just not picking up on it?

Regarding the real basketball issues you bring up, you're right on all of them. And there are more that you don't list. We differ only on why they are issues and how to solve them. You blame the players; I put most of the responsibility on the decisions of the coaches. Fair enough.

Written on Women's finalists reflect scope of Lady Vols' quest for improvement:

Another statement from the coach that says the attitude of the players is the problem. The coaches just need to change that poor attitude and have them keep on playing the same ineffective offense and defense...but play it better. Yeah, attitude of all the players over the last 6 years is what has led to the decline of the program! There is little hope for the future if the coaches don't observe the most successful teams and note how their style and approaches to the game differ from that of the Lady Vols...and stop blaming the problems on the character flaws of the players.

Written on Alexa Middleton wins 3-point shootout, skills contest:

Unless the tactic changes next year from what has been going on forever, TN will not emphasize picks to open up their 3 point shooters...or even 2 point shooters. When it occurs now, it's done halfheartedly and never in combinations. I didn't see the McDonalds game, but I am concerned about the observed lack of quickness of both recruits...and those comments. of course, are from Lady Vol fans, who are expected to be optimistic.

Written on No quick fixes for Lady Vols next year:

in response to Theo:

I think we unfairly assume that Holly will be the same coach tomorrow as she is today. I actually think she has done a good job and believe the team improved significantly through out the season and was actually a better team than the prior year, NCAA results aside.
Holly did not get where she is without looking for ways to improve. She, after all, was a star athlete for UT, national Assistant etc. so she knows how to breakdown performances, set goals and work to achieve them. Pat obviously felt she was up to the job.
Some on here are criticizing the "next year" talk but that is part of the fun of being a fan. Talking about the new recruits, what returning players should do to get better, new strategies that we would employ if we were coach for a day. I don't think this is pollyanish it all. It is just part of being a fan and we would be participating in it regardless of when the season ended.
One last thing, The Tennessean has a big article and picture about A. Middleton winning at the McD jam. I can't believe this paper has nothing.

Theo, I'm not one of those who thinks Holly will not adjust nor improve. I hope she does. But it's been 6 years with the approach and the results remaining about the same. What makes any somewhat objective fan think the progress you speak of is anywhere near what's needed to make the Lady Vols competitive against the better teams? Unless changes are made to the approach to the game, and not just changing lineups, we'll continue to lose ground to the elite teams.

There's nothing wrong with optimism about 'next year'. It's the illogical and year after year repetitive statements that departing players were the problem and recruits will be the solution that I challenge. We had all five starters back this year and the #1 recruit. We didn't do any better than the year before, and we didn't lose due to bad luck.

Written on No quick fixes for Lady Vols next year:

in response to Allenfan:

It is certainly differently now than when Pat started the program. Holly was left with a bench full of All Americans, and she has done very little in helping them get better. We have no choice but to wait until the next season, and yes we can dream, but it will only be a dream if she doesn't change a number of things. It would be nice to see where we would have been without Simmons, I personally don't think it would be pretty. Until this team learns to play defense, not much will change. She was asked in the post interview about trying to stop Thomas, she responded with I don't know. She is the one who needs confidence in herself, as she admits in interviews, that she is nervous before big games. The players sense that, and that needs to stop. I can dream too about National Championships, but I also have to face reality, as average teams are catching up fast to us, just look at this years first, and this is not in a good way. I will be a Lady Vol fan until the day I die, and hope for the best.

There are fans that are satisfied blaming inadequacies on departing seniors and rally around the cry of 'wait til next year', and project messianic attributes on the coming year's recruit(s). It's been repeated every year since 2009. For those of us that don't believe most of the problems lie in the attitudes or skills of the players, those are unreasonable conclusions and expectations. And, as you imply, time is running out on maintaining the Lady Vol's dominant reputation and with it, the ability to attract the very best high school players. Since it's quite clear that Holly will be the head coach for the foreseeable future, we have to hope that she recognizes the game has changed and that 5 years ignoring or denying those changes has resulted in a regression of many aspects of the program.

Written on No quick fixes for Lady Vols next year:

in response to johnlg00:

I'm not sure the headline accurately portrayed the sense of the article. Dan said, correctly enough, that the LVs have more than one thing to improve on to get back to the program's historic level. However, it almost defies common sense to think they won't be better with all but ONE key player back--one who hurt the team almost as often as she helped--and a raft of highly-rated replacements coming in that could help at Meighan's position. It is not nearly as hard to make significant strategic/tactical changes in basketball as it in football, for example, especially with a whole roster of experienced players.

John, the problem is that you could have been saying just about the same thing for most years since 2009. How many of the players since that time or before have developed much beyond their freshman year, and how much team development have we seen? Different players haven't made a difference. Teams like ND, UConn, and Baylor simply reload and contend almost immediately. I hope you're right and I'm wrong.

Written on Lady Vols' season ends before Final Four again:

in response to nanny334#1419965:

I love the Lady Vols, however when you know a team is going to try and go inside EVERY TIME down the court, it is not very hard to defend. We have got to have more point production and a better shooting percentage from our two guard and all so from our small forward position. It would be beneficial if we had a point guard who could score as well as distribute the ball. I would not expect these players to shoot 55/60% like our post players did, however they should be able to shoot better than 40% at all three positions. I would agree with CaptainPicard on her substitution pattern..

The discouraging aspect of the problems on offense is that they are not new or unique to our current players. The philosophy of static post players crowding the lane and using the guards mainly to get the ball inside hasn't worked for years against even average opponents. The most successful teams today use a spread offense and repeated picks, disrupting the defense and finding open shots both inside and outside. Until the coaching staff recognizes that it's not good enough to have 4 and 5 star players become adequate at executing an offense that is inherently no longer effective, the Lady Vols will continue to lose all games in which the opponent has equal or better talent, and some games where they are the clear favorite. Cierra, Mercedes, and Ariel were all rated #1 at their position coming out of high school. Of the non point guards in her class, only Kayla McBride of Notre Dame accomplished more than Meighan. Bashaara was rated the #8 overall player in her class. It's easy in hindsight to say these Lady Vol players are not reaching their potential, but is it just recruiting bad luck, or are other factors the cause, such as obsolete strategies, lack of innovation, and an unwillingness to adapt to a game where opposing players are bigger, faster and more talented? Surely, it's worth reconsidering, so that next year we don't have to suffer through another season of blaming losses on the attitudes and lack of talent of the players.

Written on Lady Vols can't recover from slow start, fall to Maryland, 73-62:

I think we all knew that the players and team did not make consistent progress over the season, but were hoping, rather than really expecting, for some miracle to occur during the tournament. The sad fact is that neither players nor teamwork are developed in the Lady Vol program, and haven't for a long time. Sure, sometimes when talent is somewhat dormant, like in Izzy's case, a player improves on her own, but in most cases Lady Vol players as freshmen are the best they'll be. Unless you believe that you're a better evaluator of talent than the people who do it for a living, the problem isn't in the talent level of the young women who choose UT. They all have 4 and mostly 5 star credentials. Most opponents have no one even considered as a UT recruit. They continue to win most of their games only because their talent is so much better than their opponents. The game was passing the Lady Vols by before Coach Holly took over, and, regrettably, the gap is growing. Either the Lady Vol approach to the game or the coaching staff, and maybe both, have to change or they'll become an Old Dominion or Louisiana Tech, once powerhouses in the women's game but now alsorans at best. Time is running out on getting recruits from all over the country. What incentive does A'ja Wilson have to choose UT? How many years have we heard fans say, 'we'll be better next year' or 'this prize recruit will take us to the Final Four'? Change of some nature better occur, and it's not in the talent, attitude, heart, or desire of the young women that grow up realizing their dream of playing for the Lady Vols.

Written on Lady Vols hope playing 'inside out' has far-reaching impact:

Is there anyone who believes that Md is not going to pack the middle waiting for those inevitable forced passes into the paint? Turnovers early because our forwards and post players get the ball at the top of the key and insist on passing it in further regardless of the defense, will get the Lady Vols playing catch up from the first few minutes. It's good to see the coaches state that they should pass only if it's open, but I can't believe they haven't said that no avail. And the person receiving the pass must come to the ball rather than waiting for it to come to her. Hopefully the passer and the receiver have learned from previous mistakes. Cutting down on turnovers is the way to beat Maryland.

Written on After slow starts, locker room becoming study hall for Lady Vols:

in response to tony15230:

You are probably more accurate, well taken.
My daughter who worked as student trainer before she graduated last year, claims Im wrong about Holly too.

I just feel with the talent, they should be playing better, and this first half stuff makes me crazy.

As I said, hope Im wrong, probably more critical, and I agree with your comment of them not playing well those seasons prior.

Maybe Ill become a believer, I would love for them to get to the final four...

Coach Holly is still deciding what to keep and what to change going forward with the program. There were tactics that were no longer working after Candace left, and, except for the ultra exceptional talent on that team, would have been ineffective earlier. Geno recognized that he and his program were #2 and made changes to take the #1 spot. Some will say that included unethical behavior but that's water over the dam and I'm not going into that here. Coach Holly needs to make similar tough decisions that alter the approaches of the coach who more than anyone else elevated the women's game. It's a tough act to follow, but those decisions have to be made before the Lady Vols find themselves knocked off the upper tier in the recruiting wars. You're right that the talent is there and is still coming. Developing that talent both from an individual and a team perspective is the challenge. She's making some of those changes now, and only time will tell if she's making the right ones.

Written on After slow starts, locker room becoming study hall for Lady Vols:

Uconn plays basically 6 players and they run the entire game. At the end, the other team is tired. They are in such good shape, and stay out of foul trouble, that there's no need to save players for the second half. Izzy still gets tired and I think that's why she's taken out even without foul problems. Just an opinion.

Written on Lady Vols make the most of second half in Meighan Simmons' final game at home:

For those of you who are fixated on Meighan's missed shots, and wanted her to play less, you got your wish. She still didn't shoot that well and she sat out nearly 15 minutes with foul trouble. Four Lady Vol players played as many or more minutes than she. But here are the results. The Lady Vols scored 15 points during the 15 minutes she was not on the court, and 52 points in the 25 minutes she played. There are, of course, other factors involved, but it's quite clear her contributions are more than just made FG's. Jordan, whom some have been touting as already better than Meighan, had an atypical poor game scoring 2 points on 1-4 shooting in 23 minutes of play. It happens.

Written on Lady Vols make the most of second half in Meighan Simmons' final game at home:

in response to underthehill:

Russell also seems to be in better position to defend in the zone and take advantage of her shot blocking ability..Russell seems to me to get better every game...she is running the floor better and her agility overall is improving..if she continues to work hard..I can see her becoming an All American player..

Agree on the defensive contributions of Mercedes. They are needed as it's clear that Izzy is too afraid of foul trouble to contribute much on defense. That's OK because we need Izzy's offense and rebounding. Does Mercedes have chronic leg problems? She won't reach her potential if she can't improve her movement.

Written on Lady Vols make the most of second half in Meighan Simmons' final game at home:

in response to underthehill:

The coaching staff preparing this team to play a good zone defense won this ball game..anytime the opponent isolates Simmons in a man defense she is likely to foul or they shoot a lay this game she got in foul trouble when the Lady Vols were in man defense..the zone and a great game by Burdick kept the Lady Vols on Simmons with a strong 2nd half and the coaching staff for staying in the zone with good pressure on the ball..

The difference in the effectiveness of the zone from the 1st half to the second was the presence and help out defense of Bashaara Graves. She played very little until the second half because of foul trouble. Having a post player waiting to defend discourages drives to the basket. Unfortunately, it seems to take a half before the Lady Vols figure that out.

Written on John Adams: Meighan Simmons' shooting raises UT tournament fear factor:

Playing one less minute, Meighan had more rebounds and steals, the same number of assists, and less turnovers than Jordan in the first tournament game. This is not to take anything away from Jordan, who may become an outstanding player, nor excuse Meighan for poor shooting, but the reality is that although the Lady Vols may not be able to win with her playing much of the game, they can't win against the better opponents without her either. As I said in an earlier post, someone has to step up and take open shots when they are available...and that means Andraya (4 shots last game), Cierra (6) and Jordan (6). And for those of you who are so adamant about the ball getting into the post, watch the first half of the last game. Turnover after turnover occurred because of attempted passes into a post player against a sagging zone defense. If they would make a few outside shots, the middle would open up, but not before, because every opponent prepares for the inevitable, ill-conceived passes into the middle.

Written on Lady Vols pull away from Northwestern St. in first round of NCAA tournament, 70-46:

It was clear as it is every Lady Vol game that the coach's instruction that is heard by all is to pass the ball into the center...regardless if there are 5 opponents and a ref or two standing in there. Bashaara, Cierra and Izzy should be told that they are not to pass the ball inside from the top of the key. Just don't do it. And if everyone wants to see Meighan take fewer shots, then someone else has to stand up and take the open three. So far, no one wants to shoot, and no one wants to take the ball into the paint and disrupt the defense. The clearest point made in this game today is that the Lady Vols are not anywhere near UConn or ND's class. 22-20 at the half against a team that had no, that's zero, players who would have made the Lady Vol team. They may win only one more game if they don't take care of the ball and take what the defense gives them...not what they want the defense to give them.

Written on Ariel Massengale uncertain whether she will return this season from 'head injury':

What?? Now we have one admittedly unqualified person drawing long term medical conclusions and offering life advice, and one person who agrees with the first and wants to turn directly to divine intervention, but only those whom God listens to should join the petition. MichaelL, you're not alone in your opinion.

Written on Obama predicts UConn in his women's NCAA bracket :

in response to snowpeapod#263184:

Here's a shocking response for you but yes I was outraged. Along with that fiasco I was also outraged with his starting the bailouts of big business and excessive spending that took place during his administration. I have been taught over my 73 years that right is right and wrong is wrong. Fortunately I am intelligent to know the difference.It's still 2-2.

Life is miserable, isn't it? Getting up before 6am to find there's no new outrageous posts to the Letters to the Editor, and deciding that each day should start with political animosity to whichever administration is in power. If you had just waited for an hour or so, there would have been plenty of new unsubstantiated political posts on the Opinion which you could have added your experienced enlightened views.

Written on Lady Vols to be watchful for foul play in NCAA tournament:

in response to underthehill:

It's tourney aggressive on defense or go home..tourney officials let teams play more in these games as the Lady Vols will find..the strength of this team is the team depth..Russell is ready..Reynolds may be the most talented player on the team..even Moore is ready to help..Jones is a strong rebounder and aggressive..take advantage of your strength...block shots and the risk of getting fouls is less than throwing up your arms and letting the opponent jump into you...example ..the little Oneil actor from Ky...

You're just not going to get aggressive defense out of players who know that the first foul puts them on the bench for a good share of the half. It won't matter in this first game, but if Izzy is not on the floor except to give her a rest, this team has shown they aren't going to do well against the better teams...and she's not going to play aggressive defense without getting fouls..tourney or not. I'd rather see her give up a few easy baskets.

Written on Lady Vols to be watchful for foul play in NCAA tournament:

Bashaara's and Izzy's reaction to the way the game is being called in the paint was to remain motionless with their hands raised once the ball got into an opponents post player. That worked to keep them out of foul trouble but led to easy baskets. It appears to be a necessary trade off to keep them in the game, particularly Izzy. It's a shame but that's the way it is. Hope the tactic remains effective enough for them to keep winning.

Written on Associated Press names Tennessee's Meighan Simmons SEC player of the year:

Congratulations, Meighan. Well deserved.

Written on Lady Vols earn 'respect' with No. 1 seed for Louisville Regional:

Preseason polls both had Lady Vols #4 and winning the SEC regular season. They finished the last polls before the NCAA tournament at #3 and finished second in the SEC, but won the SEC tournament. It took a while to get there, but the team is meeting everyone's expectations with a chance to excel. It's where they wanted to get to when the season began. It seems to me that the progress was made by both the players and the coaches.

Written on Lady Vols head to SEC final thanks to another big game from Isabelle Harrison:

in response to avolman:

LV basketball must be your life (500 or so posts). It is not mine. I was not even responding to your post to begin with,(see above), but you began to attack me; saying I had a "memory problem" and should be "talking to myself" and gave a site to google. It is not my thing, I am just a casual observer and made a comment and my opinion (remember, I do have freedom of speech, dont I? before you assailed me.

Well this is probably only my 10th comment and I seldom read these threads and you reminded me why. Get a life. It is you that should remain calm but remember: you got off first. Do not read my 1 or 2 comments a year and I wont read few hundred or so.

Life is good.

I thought my last reply was conciliatory, but sometimes the written word doesn't come off the same as real conversation. Truce, my fellow Vol fan.

Written on Lady Vols head to SEC final thanks to another big game from Isabelle Harrison:

in response to avolman:

"I hope Meighan's shot comes back. That's essential for the NCAA tournament, if not today."


What games did you watch? 1/11 to start the Texas AM game and a total of 40 misses in 54 shots in SEC tourney and now they go to the NCAA tourney.

Now, now, don't get your blood pressure up. I was referring to the premise of your post 'since she gets up so well for big games'. I didn't say anything about that. And my quote you show above also was unrelated to your post or the one you replied to. It was an earlier acknowledgement that she wasn't shooting well, and had to improve if the Lady Vols expected to go far into the tournament. Not too controversial as I see it, and likely a statement with which you would agree.

Life is good....and too short to get angry and call names over a basketball issue in which you and I are only spectators. Let's both just pull for all the Lady Vols.

Written on Lady Vols head to SEC final thanks to another big game from Isabelle Harrison:

in response to avolman:

Since she gets up so well for the big games, I guess we will see her knocking down 3's behind set screens in the WNBA with those stats. Who wouldn't want her on their team?

She can't take 18 shots when she's only making 5 or 6 of them (ala 25%). She needs to drive more, but wait, she missed 3 layups(KY game), well then maybe she will get drafted as a free throw specialist. Plays too hyper for my taste.

If you're going to attribute to me things I didn't say and then proceed to tear down the 'straw man' which you created, wouldn't it be much simpler and amenable to have a conversation with yourself?

Written on Simmons, Lady Vols top Kentucky 71-70 in final:

in response to johnlg00:

Great post, RLL59! All of life is about tradeoffs and making tough decisions in critical situations. As for Meighan's shooting, when she is off it is usually because she is flipping her shots up. She has a rather abbreviated stroke most of the time, but when she is really in the groove, she has a little bit longer follow-through, as is usually the case on her free throws. This is easily diagnosed on tape, and I'm sure it has been, but it is hard for an emotional player like Meighan to keep that tip in mind in the middle of a game. For all her great athleticism, she is still a bit short compared to many opponents, so she no doubt developed that quick release to compensate. It might have been better if she had instead developed a little bit better sense about when to try shots in the first place. Unless you are pretty close to the basket, if you have to jump over a defender to get off a shot, maybe you shouldn't have taken that shot. Still, we all have to recognize her value to the team over the years and just take the good with the bad and hope the former wins out when it counts.

Thanks, John. I think you have the Meighan shooting issue just right. Hope she can clear it up.

One additional comment. There are so many players in the women's game that never leave their feet, shooting or rebounding, that I don't find much fault with someone who has a quicker than optimal release but actually has the strength to get off her feet and still get it to the basket from just about any distance. But your point in this regard is well made.

Written on SEC Champs: Lady Vols top Kentucky, 71-70:

in response to snowpeapod#263184:

I hope the fact that the Lady Vols softball team won a double header on the same day isn't lost upon you. As far as others comments regarding the commentators, their comments are based on two facts, who they WANT to win or riding the bandwagon of who they think will win. Carolyn Peck has shown that to be the case on several cases, but then what would you expect from a Vanderbilt graduate.

Though both commentators seemed to incorrectly think the call on the Jordan lay up should have been a charging call, Ms Peck didn't seem top be biased against the Lady Vols. In fact, she was encouraging Izzy by first name on one play across the middle. Everyone sees things from their own perspective I guess. But we all seem to agree on the poor officiating in the women's game. And congratulations to the women's softball team...which also is near or at the top of the ratings.

Written on Lady Vols head to SEC final thanks to another big game from Isabelle Harrison:

in response to avolman:

Simmons hits 14 for 54 (25%) in the last four games and gets the headlines: "Simmons provides relief for 17th title". She leads in turnovers for the season, misses 3 lay-ups (championship game) and somewhat soft guarding.

This happened on the men's side, when Jarnel Stokes went 6 for 7 (forget the game) and never touched the ball the last 14 minutes of the game and fans and press asked why when the team could not buy a long shot, but Stokes wasn't getting the ball more? In my opinion this same thing is happening on the women's side. It might have led to Martins firing if a change wasn't made, (rehire Bruce petitions were swirling), but he made the change and the ball went to Stokes more and they began winning. Stokes improves the team with scoring and assists. This is the same with Simmons; she is throwing up bricks 14 for 54 last 4 games and acting like the queen vol, pleading for the ball almost every time down the floor, when the ball should go to Graves, Burdick, Harrison and Russell underneath. And in my opinion; Reynolds, Massengale and Carter are better at stage than Simmons ever was. Why take 30 footers at 25% when they can get 5 footers?

This is not new, it has been going on her entire career. She can score on weaker teams but folds in the big games. Am I missing something? This strategy will not work in the NCAA.

Yes, you're missing something, but it's a memory issue. You might consider more than just the last week. Simmons shot 36% on 3 pointers and 42% overall, along with 81% free throw shooting over the 2013-14 season. Here's a site that tells the real story over 4 years rather than 4 games.

Written on Meighan Simmons helps Lady Vols 'seal the deal' for SEC title:

in response to ProudVol:

Does the headline bother anyone else? I thought we won in spite of Simmons. True she made the clutch free throws and the lay-up, but she missed an easy shot inside the last minute (that Graves saved by getting the rebound and passing to Reynolds) and missed several other easy shots through the game. I am not a hater, but as Tellico said earlier, "her head is just too busy." A lot of our slow starts are due to Simmons refusing to allow the game to come to her.

I thought the entire story was Reynolds. She put the team on her back when we were down 5 with less than 5 to play - she was not going to let the LVs lose. The fact that as a freshman she wanted the ball with the championship on the line, and delivered, speaks volumes. Have you checked out her free throw routine? I had watched earlier and suspected it would be bullet proof at crunch time and she proved it yesterday.

The NCAAs will be fun this year, but next year we should be in the hunt for the title.

I agree that the headline (and it was not just the NS) implied Meighan was more responsible for the victory than she actually was. But with all the trashing of one of the top scorers in Lady Vol history, and one responsible for many of the victories over the past 4 years, maybe getting a bit of unwarranted praise is simply payback. I like it that people other than Lady Vol fans are given a good impression of our only senior. Jordan's time will come.

Written on SEC Champs: Lady Vols top Kentucky, 71-70:

in response to CaptainPicard:

I agree with you, Johnlg00, once again. Holly should have sternly warned her players not to foul or try to block a 3-point shooter. That play could have cost the LVs the championship.

Two things the coaches should have and probably told the players during the timeouts near the end of the game was to make sure that no one got even close to fouling a three point shooter, and that the Lady Vols had no more time outs. I was more afraid that they'd call a timeout and get a technical than one of the players fouling with less than a second on the clock. But I was wrong. Really bad move by Cierra regardless of whether it was a real foul or not.

Written on Simmons, Lady Vols top Kentucky 71-70 in final:

in response to MaxVolFan:

Tennessee is a match up nightmare for opposing teams. We basically have two starting teams. Every substitute is a scorer a rebounder and a defender. There is no drop off. We have at least 5 players that can go on a scoring frenzy any given night. We have about 4 that are close to averaging in double digits in scoring. This is a very scary team going into the tournament if we cut down on the turnovers. We are buying into that now too. I'm going to take back what I said earlier in the yr about subbing. Holly has done an awesome job in player development. Now subbing is not a problem if everyone is on the same page. Me personally would like to have Izzy on the floor the whole game (well like 35+) but Russell is a good sub, its working for the Vols so it works for me

Agreed on all points, plus I have some comments about tactics that are indirectly related to your post.

Basketball tactics almost always have a downside as well as the upside. By giving so many players so many minutes, she has decided to trade the cohesion gained by the same 5 or 6 playing together for the experience gained by multiple players. That certainly has proven it's value in the last games of the season and the SEC tournament.

They have also decided to trade Izzy's playing aggressive defense for keeping her out of foul trouble. That's led to a lot of easy shots for the opponent once the ball gets in to the center, but it has enabled Izzy to play as much as Coach Holly would like on the offensive end. Even though I hate to see her simply hold her hands up and stand motionless, experience has shown that to do otherwise is going to her get in foul trouble the way the women's game is called. It's working as well.

The Lady Vols on offense crowd the center which produces rebounds but inhibits our own guards from paths to the basket, and disrupting the defense. Coach Holly has decided which is more important and it's working for the best in recent games.

I don't like the zone defense because it opens up too many players for open shots both from the free throw area and the 3 point line, but it does protect against fouls, and prevents some of the penetration to the basket. If the Lady Vols won't help out on under the basket, the zone sometimes works better than man to man. I'd rather see them play man to man and help guard the ball under the basket.

Nearly everything is going right now except for Meighan's shooting. The coaches and she should look at the film to see what's changed. Remember that she had some problems early in the year as well. The clutch drive and free throws at the end of the game should have quieted those who say she can't operate under pressure.

Written on Simmons, Lady Vols top Kentucky 71-70 in final:

in response to underthehill:

I'm sure Holly is being nice re: Ariel..but she cannot help this team..Reynolds and Carter are both far better basketball players than every phase of the game..Reynolds proved she is a go to player in crucial situations and I hope the coaching staff considers starting Reynolds and letting Simmons come off the bench..but if they start Simmons ..I hope they don't wait till they get way down to get her out..coming back was difficult in the 3 SEC games will be much harder in the big show..

So, the 5th leading scorer all time for the Lady Vols should be benched because of recent poor shooting, and a freshman, whom I agree has all the potential for greatness, has 'proven' by one great game that she should replace her in the starting line-up? And Meighan was responsible for them getting behind by double digits in all 3 games? And, by implication Ariel and Meighan , should see limited playing time behind Andraya and Jordan? Interesting piece of sarcasm...or is it just because the most recent games are the ones in memory?

Written on Lady Vols head to SEC final thanks to another big game from Isabelle Harrison:

A win today just about guarantees the Lady Vols will get a #1 seed in the NCAA tournament....unless Louisville upsets UConn in their tournament. Even then, with Stanford's loss to USC in their tournament, it's hard to see the Lady Vols not getting there. The most important thing about a #1 seed is that they're guaranteed not to be in the same regional as UConn. Just have to beat KY today.

I hope Meighan's shot comes back. That's essential for the NCAA tournament, if not today.

Written on Lady Vols climb off the deck for SEC tournament victory over LSU:

This was a good win and an outstanding comeback. But it was a bit of a fluke. Rarely does a team win without a 3, and almost never would a team be able to come back from 15 points down without a 3. It could only occur against a team with such a weak inside game. If Meighan is not making them, we need Andraya, Jordan or Cierra to step up. The ball needs to go back outside quickly to set up the open three point shots against better teams like A&M and SC.

What's with coming out of a timeout in a zone defense after catching up and tying the game by playing an aggressive man to man? No surprise that they immediately hit a 3. At least they had the good sense to go back to man defense against a team that could only shoot from outside.

Surprised that Jasmine only played 5 minutes after having such a great game against SC. She had 4 rebounds in those 5 minutes, but must have been doing something wrong.

Having such a deep experienced bench paid off in this game. LSU was totally gassed in the late second half. In this game at least, Coach Holly giving players more playing time during the year offset the cohesion that playing only 6 or 7 players develops. Without Jordan and the experience she gained during the year, we don't win this game.

I watched NC barely beat Maryland after leading by 7 or more most of the game. I may criticize the Lady Vol coaching at times, but NC basically plays a street game. No coaching required. They wouldn't even slow the game down with 2 minutes to go to protect the lead, and it nearly cost them the game.

Written on Lady Vols have role-playing blueprint for SEC tournament:

Unless Louisville plays a lot better against UConn than they have in the first 2 games, if either SC or the Lady Vols win the SEC tournament, they should be a #1 seed in the Louisville region.

Each player and the coaches have to play to strengths rather than expect everyone to excel at every aspect of the game. The recent improvement of Meighan and Jasmine are especially good examples of doing just that.

I noticed that both Uconn and ND use crisp quick passes both inside and outside, as well as the guards penetrating the key area, to disrupt the defense. Andraya has been initiating that in recent games for the Lady Vols, and it has been working. More of the same is needed.

Written on No. 6 Lady Vols could wear gray in SEC final:

in response to johnlg00:

Well, if THEY think it is motivation and it works, they can wear those pink uniforms we have seen a lot this year on various teams, for all I care. I assume they will still have "Tennessee" on them somewhere, and on all the trophies and in the record books, for that matter.

John, as you know from previous posts, I'm opposed to articles, whether true or not, that imply that college age women are likely to be motivated by condescending rewards or punishments...this time a change in wardrobe. Each player may prefer a different style or color uniform, but it's not going to make them more likely to try harder. Just my opinion....but I hope I'm right.

Written on Holly Warlick not counting on Ariel Massengale for SEC tournament:

in response to CaptainPicard:

UConn starting 5 players will play for almost 40 minutes because Geno demands that they do so. Whether good or bad, Holly does not demand this from her starting 5. She relies on player substitution for a 40 minutes performance at each position. Also, I agree the Stewart is a great player but I think you need to look at some other players as to the best in the college game. Namely, Chiney Ogwumike of Stanford, Odyssey Sims of Baylor, Alyssa Thomas of Maryland and little known players like Dearica Hamby of Wake Forest and Jessica Kuster of Rice.

You and I are in agreement most of the time, but we're different on these two issues. Geno plays the best players and doesn't worry about making everyone happy. The result is that some players transfer, but he develops a cohesive team in every aspect and one that can run all night. In some ways it helped him to be considered #2 behind Coach Summitt because he needed to adjust and find ways to become #1. Coach Holly needs to do that now.

I admit that I have not seen Ms Forest or Ms Kuster play, but Stewart as a sophomore is the quickest, most versatile and complete 6-4 player I have seen to date...and UConn players tend to improve season over season. As you know from my posts, I am all Lady Vols, but this #1 recruit in the country has already proven to be the real thing....and I wish she hadn't. (If UConn was playing the Russian national team, I'd probably pull for both teams to lose)

Written on No. 6 Lady Vols could wear gray in SEC final:

Really?? Is the opportunity to wear a grey uniform rather than white or orange something that will add to the Lady Vol's incentive to get to the final?

Written on Lady Vols go big-game hunting and get big win over South Carolina:

in response to johnlg00:

I have noticed that as well. The style of post defense that you described is the reason why I have said that the LVs' individual post defense has been lacking lately. All of the posts and most other defenders in the paint are strictly limited in how physical they can be unless they don't care about fouls, so this makes them vulnerable to the "duck-under" moves that opponents have been using lately. The only solution I can see is to improve the help defense in the paint, though that risks leaving outside shooters open. Since all the LV posts seem to be playing that way lately, it may well be a calculation on Holly's part that it is better to give up an occasional easy layup than for the posts to get in early foul trouble or to give up easy shots on the perimeter.

I agree with you, John. But if our center is going to play behind the opponent as they did in the SC game, passes inside are easier to make, and the opportunities for easy baskets increases. A quick double team is an answer with our other forward watching for the inside pass and the two guards protecting against the long pass for the open 3. Double teaming always leaves some one open, but if it's a forward away from the basket, the risk is reduced.