Comments by Volinflan

Written on EXCLUSIVE: Holly Warlick receives $65,000 raise, one-year extension :

Can you imagine the intense pressure that is on Holly right now? Sure she is entering her second year as the coach, but the left over legacy is now less important and the "Holly the coach legacy" is forefront. I'm glad she is getting paid that much.

Everybody in the country (well most) think that Tennessee is one of the best teams in the country, maybe top five type team. The talent sure speaks of that rating. But it is the coach that is going to be losing sleep every night worrying about that. Lordy, lordy, the pressure must be almost unbearable.

And while those expectations are simmering, the recruiting season is in full swing. There's a bunch of future All Americans out there deciding where to play ball. Every blood sucking (just kidding) coach is swarming around them looking for that "commitment". Holly, and of course her assistants, have to compete with a lot of good coaches for those players. Which high school kid makes up their mind could (probably will) significantly affect the future of the coach. Intense pressure!!! Yea, they aren't overpaid.

Written on EXCLUSIVE: Holly Warlick receives $65,000 raise, one-year extension :

in response to cat54:

Once again an example of how our priorities are completely out of whack! As a former teacher, I didn't even make $65,000/year. My son is in the Army currently stationed in the big sandbox, and he definitely deserves much more than he is being paid. Service to our country and teaching are honorable jobs so it's difficult to understand why coaches make such a huge salary! Doesn't seem quite right...

Yea you are right. That is why us "watchers" pay A. Jolie $33 million last year although she has not made a movie in three years. Don't pick on the coaches. They are not the problem. At least they work, not walk around scantily clothed.

Written on Lady Vols to play Virginia in Bahamas:

in response to orangecountyvols:


Nice to have a little payback with these gals.
I was in Charlottesville last year..........and things were going okay until Taber went to the locker room.........and that injury plagued her for a long time. Virginia was playing over their heads and pulled it out. There were quite a few Lady Vol fans at that game.

Oh well, I'll settle for the other time I saw those 2 in C'ville........the year 1997, Tennessee lost 10.........and went on to win the NC. It was great hearing Rocky Top in that arena.

Tennessee is going to be pretty darned good this year........( Graves, Izzy, Mercedes, Reynolds, Carter, Burdick, Ariel, Simmons etc. )

etc. would be Jasmine Jones and Nia Moore. Don't be surprised to see Moore play 10 - 15 minutes per game this year. That girl can really jump and has a lot of athletic ability but she was just totally lost last year. Look for a year of teaching by coaches and players like Harrison to drastically improve her game. Go Lady Vols. It's time to start get exciting. But wait! we have football season first. Forgot about that.

Written on Lady Vols to play Virginia in Bahamas:

Jasmine Jones was (IMHO) a key to the success of the Vols last season. She played in almost every game and averaged about 16 min per game. She had 5 points per game and 4 rebounds. Not bad for an unheralded freshman. When, because of fouls or injury, the lady Vols desperately needed some help from a forward she came through very impressively. Plus she can play some good defense. Often she was put on the "big" wings from the other teams. As said above, a lot of teams are going to be surprised when JJ gets hold of them.

Written on Holly Warlick preparing for high expectations:

in response to Mama_Also_Calls_Me_Precious:

Good post. I totally agree. As far as recruiting for 2014 goes, I've done quite a bit of research and it seems our big targets are jatarie white, Jamie nared, gabby green, Kelsey Mitchell, Aja Wilson, Mackenzie Calvert, Bianca cuevas, and Serria Calhoun.

We were really high on Kelsey Mitchell's list, however ohio state hired her dad as assistant coach, so it's prolly a given she signs with them. Aja Wilson seems to be down to unc, South Carolina or Connecticut. I think Calhoun also narrowed her list down and we weren't included. Mackenzie Calvert had given a verbal to mulkey and Baylor, but recently reopened her recruitment. the rest We have a great shot with. It'll def be interesting to see who we end up signing in nov. it'd be awesome to see holly sign 4 or 5 of these top players for 2014.

White, Green, Nared and Shakayla Thompson (from Sylacauga Al) along with Alexa, whould put a rosey tint to our orange. The lady Vols would still have one more in case A'ja or Kelsey decide to join a multi championship group.

Written on Holly Warlick preparing for high expectations:

"Warlick now faces a different challenge. After thriving as an underdog last season, Warlick must help Tennessee deal with higher expectations."

I'm just really looking forward to the upcoming season and I think we'll do great. The Team has a lot of great talent and a good balance of that talent. Can't wait to see Russell and Reynolds, not to mention Carter back healthy. Adding that to Graves, Jones, Massengale, Burdick, Harrison, Moore and Simmons has all of us having "higher expectations".

The real "challenge" comes about November 13, Early Season signing day! I hope all those seniors don't give me ulcers by waiting until that late to Commit!. Has anybody seen anything; hints, newsclippings, rumors or the like to indicate who's been "leaning or considering"??

Written on Holly Warlick and Lady Vols regroup after Jannah Tucker's decision:

in response to johnlg00:

Clever retort, but you know kazoo has a point. Pat was famous for under-recruiting and several of her teams suffered from personnel availability issues. This seems to be a bedrock principle of the program, passed down from Pat to Holly. The essence of it is, I think, that it is bad for team morale if everybody on the bench is a top-rated recruit. Some "stars", at least in their communities and/or in their own minds, think they deserve the ball and the spotlight. It was Pat's genius that she could usually get such players to accept roles within a team concept without losing their confidence or too much of their pizazz, but that is a balancing act that not every coach can carry off every season. She also minimized the problem by not signing too many of those players at a time. The thing is, an average player who is available is more useful than a "super-star" who is not. "Quantity has a quality all its own."

I remember a story about John Wooden ( I can't vouch for the truth of the story). Wooden said " I don't recruit, I take applications". I think that attitude may have crept into Knoxville. It seems like for several years in a row, Tennessee was hanging until the signing day waiting for one of the absolute best players. When they choose Duke (Williams) or Rutgers (Hollivay) etc.etc. etc., it was too late to fill that roster spot. When you need five players, recruit fifteen. Sign five and keep that one scholarship for the superstar!

Written on Jannah Tucker won't play for Lady Vols:

For several reasons Johnig is on target. Besides the possibility of injury so that the short bench changes the entire game strategy, what about practice. Sure, I know in Knoxville, they use men stand-ins. But on the road they cannot do that and as evidenced by Geno last year advertising for walk-ons, less than 10 players gets to be a problem. Just look at the problem that LSU had at the end of the season. I think Nikki was down to a roster of seven active players.

The Lady Vols have 6 available scholarships. I hope they sign at least five.

Of course, as I said several weeks ago, my favorites are Middleton, Nared, J. White and a couple of players to be named later. Hopefully, Wilson is really interested in Tennessee. I've seen publications that she does not want to play the "five" in college. Well Tennessee doesn't need a five. The need a 2-3.

Whatever turns out - the lack of a big 2-3 that can hit the three ball is going to hurt us this year. Being a totally optimist, I think Jasmine and Cierra will step up. Go Lady Vols!!

Written on Holly Warlick and Lady Vols regroup after Jannah Tucker's decision:

I thought M. Calvert had verbally committed to Baylor?

Written on Jannah Tucker won't play for Lady Vols:

It's the time of year that a lot of us fanatics watch, boards, twitters etc to catch news of developments in recruiting. This was not the kind we wanted to see. A good shooting guard was going to be much needed on this fall's team.

If there is a silver lining, maybe it will clear up the situation for some guards that are strongly considering Tennessee. Of course that could go bad also. For sure Tennessee will need to fill most of those 6 scholarships now available. It will be interesting as more news comes up about this. I think she'll sit out a year and go to Rutgers.

Written on Lady Vols to spend Thanksgiving in the Bahamas for basketball tournament:

I would hope that Florida won't be in the same bracket as Tenn. One would think that Oregon and Tennessee would be a good draw (TV) to watch the freshmen from Oregon playing against Oregon State. I'd love to see Tennessee and Penn State.

Written on Guard Jasmine Phillips not returning to Tennessee Lady Vols:

in response to vol4life1983:

You mistake me taking cracks with telling the truth. We are talking about UT not a subpar program. They may not get a top 10 team to fill that void but I highly doubt that they can't find a better team Mo State. You keep trying to throw these facts out like I know nothing about college basketball but to be young I actually know a lot. I love Kellie next to Shannon and Michele She's one of my all time favorite point guards for UT. And most of Duke and UNC top players are not even the top players out Of North Carolina, they get better players because of the facilities. That being said even at Mo State she might get players for her style of play but they will never be up to the standard of playing UT at that point in the season. I guarantee UT will pull some strings and bring in better competition for that void

I tend to agree with you. There are a lot of schools wanting to break into the "upper echelon". Playing UT, UCONN, Baylor, Notre Dame, Stanford etc on National TV is a good step in the right direction. Look for "cinderellas" from last years schedule for a starting point. A lot of good schools will, probably, be willing to do some schedule shuffling for a chance to play UT.

Of course, we are assuming that Holly wants to play a tough team. We don't know the completed schedule for next year, but can we find out what is already worked out? When was the Baylor game scheduled?

Written on Guard Jasmine Phillips not returning to Tennessee Lady Vols:

Wasn't any surprise here. Some good ideas on the schedule. We'd love to see Kelli Jolly back for a game. Strength of schedule would dramatically drop though. Was this Baylor change sudden? I hadn't heard a bit about it!

Written on Guard Alexa Middleton commits to Lady Vols :

in response to vol4life1983:

I don't think they have a shot with her but u never know turner is probably there main target with the post players and from my understanding turner is not considering ut at all.

I would think that UT isn't concentrating a lot on Post Players. J. White was quoted as saying that if "they" wanted her to play the five she probably wouldn't be going there. As a big forward she would be a great fit to go with Harrison, Moore and Russell. I think part of the UT problem is that there will be 12 girls on the roster for 2014-2015 (counting Middleton). I'm still dreaming of a class of Middleton, White and Nared with that fifteenth scholarship held out for a superstar (meaning of course Mitchell, Wilson, Turner etc.)

Written on Guard Alexa Middleton commits to Lady Vols :

And she is correct; it is political. Notice the roster of the U19 team. Jefferson, Stewart and Tuck are from UCONN. Besides their goal of winning a Gold Medal it is to recruit A'ja Wilson. No other school has more than one "recruiter" on the team. Go Geno!!

Written on Guard Alexa Middleton commits to Lady Vols :

Great recruiting commitment. It's good to see the local talent join Izzy and Bashara. Ms. Middleton will be a big contribution to the 14-15 team. She'll get her 20 minutes a game her freshman year (I predict!).

Speaking of the 2014-2015 team. The Lady Vols will have JJ, JP, JT and JR. Why not add a JN and a JW.

Written on Bashaara Graves, Jordan Reynolds to take part in U19 trials :

Seems to me that we have had some good point guard players but the scoring input has been inconsistent. If we get someone that will help Simmons (existing or incoming) take the pressure off of the inside players we can be VERY good. Kamiko was good at slashing (sometimes). Spani was sometimes a deadly shooter. Sometimes not so good. If either Reynolds or Tucker can come and consistently hit from the wing and penetrate sometimes, we'll be a really good team. The Lady Vols already have a really great inside team for the next season. It may get better.

Written on Former Kentucky standout point guard Amber Smith joins Lady Vols as graduate assistant:

Really looking forward to finding out what "Amber Smith" brings to the Lady Vols as a Graduate Assistant that some aspiring Lady Vols graduate does not. What is a Graduate Assistant? Someone in Graduate school? As a Graduate School student Assistant I used to teach Nursing Microbiology, sort of. (graded a lot of papers for the professors also) If Amber applies to the school for a Masters maybe she gets a "graduate assistant" job. Bringing in new slants of the existing culture has to be a good thing.

Written on Bashaara Graves, Jordan Reynolds to take part in U19 trials :

OK - I found the list. Two from Tenn, two from GA, three from Conn, etc, etc, etc. Looks like 18 college freshmen and 16 HS players. Probably, Graves will make the team. Stewart most likely. Interesting that DeShields isn't on the list. It'll be fun to watch the trials and follow the games. Is it going to be on ESPN3 or anything?

I share the concerns of SummittsCourt about the injuries. When was a Tenn player or an incoming player "wounded" in the summer leagues and International tournaments? But then, the marvelous opportunity to play in places like Lithuania can be once in a lifetime experience for many of those young persons.

Where does the financing come for the the international competitions?

Written on Bashaara Graves, Jordan Reynolds to take part in U19 trials :

Yea, none of the articles I've seen listed the other ladies that are going to be in the trials.

Written on Tyler Summitt interviews for Chattanooga opening:

I don't know about Chattanooga yet, but Tyler will be a head coach somewhere pretty soon. Maybe a JUCO or a Division II team first. I'd hate to see him get involved over his head. Seems some things would be hard for him. Assistant coaches for one thing. I imagine that Wes Moore will take (did take) the better assistants to NC State with him. With a total lack of experience and his age, could Tyler attract help that can get the players to come to UTC instead of going to Georgia State or similar schools that recruit the same players?

Written on Holly Warlick, Brian Pensky recommended firing of strength coach Heather Mason:

in response to Benionsopinion:

As I follow some parts of the continuing conversation,all of which are interesting and thought provoking,some questions do come up.If Dave Hart is a Bama plant to destroy Tennessee's athletic program,why was he needed?Mike Hamilton put today's situation in motion.Why are very few people commenting on the status of the strength and conditioning for the Lady Vols? For the last several years,our basketball Lady Vols in particular have been outfought,out hustled,and outrun by many opponents as ,seemingly a result of poor conditioning.Also why should a coach not want a strength and conditioning coach that fits her wants? Personally speaking,it seems to me that a new strength and conditioning coach is needed.

I'm with you!

Written on Kamiko Williams graded high by Liberty :

in response to vol4life1983:

Yes J played wing some this season but just didn't have the tight handles to consistently play out there. I think Kyra will take her under her wings this summer. She reminds me of Kyra pre injuries and we all know how special of a player she could've been if it wasn't for injuries. And as pretty as jj shot is there is no reason she shouln't expand her range and do it consistently. I just feel she has the most upside of any player on the roster and if she maximize it then she will be special on both ends of the court. I think if everyone improve over the summer we will get a real shot at seeing them cut down nets. Jannah will be key as well cause before this injury this girl was a player who can flat out get buckets and that will be needed when simmons is having bad games due to nerves. I think alexis will be at Tennessee but Kelsey has shown a lot of interest with UT based on twitter conversations I have had with her on twitter but then again they all are teenagers so you just never know. I found a website last summer that gave great recruiting in site but I for got to save it to my homepage and for the life of me I can not find it now.

I have just been visiting the comments on the news about Pat Summitt's developments and I just can't hardly stand all the quibbling that goes on. I doubt if this tread will be revisited but it gives me something to talk about that is less controversial (of course all the "controversing" commentators are persons who rarely visit the Lady Vols side of GoVols). So let's just talk basketball. As Volforlife says JJ may be that jewel that occasionally shows up in recruiting classes. Add some range to her beautiful shot, and maybe a little improved dribbling ability and she will be scary good. Not many coaches are looking forward to playing against Harrison, Jones, Burdick and Graves. And, oh by the way, there is going to be a couple of more presences in there. Besides M. Russell let's not forget Nia Moore. From what I saw of her this year she has a lot of athletic ability but sometimes just didn't know what to do. Look forward to a year of teaching/coaching by the Lady Vol staff and expect a huge improvement. A few more pounds of muscle will give her the ability to bang it inside. This past year we just didn't have enough "inside bangers" to be able to play physical against some teams. One girl gets three fouls and we had to go into defensive mode.

You said "Jannah will be the key". For sure guard play will be the key. Simmons and Massengale are proven. But their backups are the totally unknown. Carter showed us what she could do at the beginning of last season. We just hope that shoulder comes all the way back. There is a lot of hype about Reynolds and Tucker but it's scary to have to count on a freshman. Some come in and sit on the bench for four years. Then again, how many years in a row has a freshman started the season for the Lady Vols. Seems like every year I think they have a "Pat" hand and am surprised by a freshman starting. (Simmons, Carter, Massengale). Ya just never know!

Written on Kamiko Williams graded high by Liberty :

in response to vol4life1983:

Like UConn though if we sign a blockbuster class next season we will be able to have a down year in recruiting. I don't think we have a shot at Wilson though with mercedes already there. Following Mitchell on twitter gives me reason to believe UT has a real shot at getting her. With graves and company being juniors I think we should only look at maybe the best player available for 14-15 recruiting class. Also I have seen jannah play on espn3 as a junior she is the real deal. Jones will be on the wing next season and not the post, I am expecting big things from her next season. I don't totally disagree with the three players you listed I just feel if we get Mitchell then we won't need alexis.

Wouldn't it be fun to know who the Lady Vol staff is really recruiting? I saw where A. Freeman had committed to Louisville. But from the article, UT was in attendance but not very serious in recruiting her. I was in corporate sales and when those big pieces of business came by you always took a swing at them. But you had to know the difference from "pie in the sky" stuff to what you had a good chance of bringing home. Or you went hungry. I think the same is true for recruiting and the staff has to know when they have a real chance of signing a star. I mean, about half of them list Tenn, UConn, Baylor, ND and Stanford as choices but they have to know if this is real of just BS.

One of the reason I listed Middleton is because they "offered her". If she accepts that offer and commits then Tennessee will stick to that. Probably they would also like to sign another guard so they would/could have a year of experience for the 2015-2016 season. And, you just can never have enough forwards. Besides J. White I don't know who they are recruiting.

So you think Jones will play on the wing next year? A 6'2" player that can dribble drive, shoot the short jumper and get rebounds could take us to the final four. We know she can play defense and has the short jumper. Maybe she'll spend a lot of time this summer dribbling.

Written on Heather Mason relieved of duties as UT's associate strength and conditioning coach:

in response to volfan2002:

First off we don't even know if Hart fired her Holly might have let her go. The reason could have been the conditioning of the team. Still a lot of information needed before we land on one side or the other.

Good for you!

Written on Kamiko Williams graded high by Liberty :

in response to vol4life1983:

I think it depend on the player because I really feel she can come in and take someone's starting spot. I think draya will eventually be our starting point guard and Reynolds backup at the 2 spot. I just like the fact that UT is now recruiting athletes instead of a specialist. If players look at who UT has then we would be in trouble because we are loaded next season if everyone get better and the freshmen come in and produce as expected. I just hope it works out. If I was on the staff I would only recruit three unless it's a cant miss recruit. The class of 2015 is loaded as well. 2 perimeter players and a post. If they recruit a specialist then it should be on the defensive side with offensive capabilities.

I also believe that, by the end of next season, Andraya will be the point guard with the most minutes. She just plays good defense and distributes the ball well with a lot of energy. Of course we haven't seen Reynolds. She's "discussed" as a combo guard that can fill it up.

Everyone expects us to be loaded in the upcoming season and the same will be for the 2014-2015 season with four seniors, 3 juniors, four sophomores and whatever freshmen sign this November. It's the 2015-2016 season where the gap could be if they do not sign several (four?) girls this fall. Counting the freshmen coming in this fall there will only be seven on the team with experience for 2015-2016 season. Two or three good sophomores would be nice and of course there will be freshmen on that team. That of course is the situation with out those "killers" - injuries and transfers. Looks like we'll start next season with a roster of 12 (six "bigs" and six guards - good balance) four of which are freshmen. I'd gamble that, of that four, not all four will finish out their careers. Something always happens.

Finally, as you mentioned having such a senior team in 2014-2015 may have some of the girls not wanting to be part of a 15 person roster. Watching other teams (UCONN for example, with only one incoming freshman) seems there are seasons that you're so loaded it's hard to get the top players signed. Anyway, I'm still pulling for White, Middleton and Nared with a super player if possible. (Mitchell, Wison etc.) Guess well find out in November.

Written on Kamiko Williams graded high by Liberty :

in response to vol4life1983:

Anyone who do not have K. Mitchell on their wish list is crazy she's easily could be the number one player. I think she is being slighted because of her declines to US hoops. But I got a chance to see her play and I don't see any guard being better than her in this class. But I agree with white and nared. But Kelsey is a better point guard than middleton.

For sure Kelsey Mitchell is probably on everyone's wish list (included mine) but since her freshman year at Tennessee she would have Massengale (senior), Carter (sophomore) and Jordan Reynolds (sophomore) already on the team. But then again, I don't know how much attention high school seniors pay to that sort of thing.

It's sort of like the thing with two very good point guards, Jordin Canada (#2) and Recee Caldwell (#6) committed to UCLA. Seems to me that they both won't sign with UCLA. Since Middleton is a "local" I thought she might want to stay in Tennessee.

I really don't know anything about such things, but it gives me something to think about for the next five months. I'd like to see some Tennessee commitments show up on the ole HoopGrulz list.

Written on Kamiko Williams graded high by Liberty :

Unfortunately, for us Lady Vols addicts, the reply's and responses will be few and far between for the next several months. I'll be here and see all of you in the fall. Or we could start a recruiting fantasy recruiting league. Three of my "dream recruit" class right now is White, Middleton and Nared. Of course, everybody wants Wilson. I believe the Lady Vols can (and really need to) sign four next November.

And of course we will be carefully watching Kamiko'S progress in the WNBA.

Written on Auriemma ties Summitt with 8th title as UConn crushes Louisville, 93-60:

in response to UTFAN1993:

Being ranked # 228 of 343 sounds bad, BUT...when a team yields 77.0 per game it will put a team very close to last on scoring defense.
Troy Univ last place @ 343 @ 77.4 pts per game.
thank goodness for our offense

3pt FG defense during the 8 losses;35.9%
Providence @ # 340 of 343 @ 35.6%

Of our 8 losses,5 were against teams in the top 15 of the nation in win/lost %.

Each loss had at least one reason why we lost.
Chattanooga = 18.8% 3pt shooting for the game.

Baylor= 7 of 39_17.9%__1st half shooting

Stanford= 10 of 39__25.6%_1st half shooting & 31.9% for the game

No. Dame= They shot 53.6% shooting 2nd half

Missouri= 2 words= Morgan Eye

Kentucky= 31 turnovers

Tx A/M = we were outrebounded 42-31 and A/M had 18 OFFENSIVE rebs

Louisville= Down by 15 pts @ the half, in large part b/c UT was 0-7 1st half 3pt FG shooting. 11 of 19 inside the arc.57.9%

2nd half still tried the 3 ball @ 5 of 17 , which was 29.4% for that half.

{Total of 5 of 24__3 pt shooting; 20.8 % for the game}.

That leaves 24 of 41 inside. Why go away from the inside game when it got you back IN THE GAME?

That is my only opinion on this post, I think. Everything else is fact/stats.

I hope this will create a little positive conversation among the TRUE LV fans, no trolls please.

Great season,already looking forward to the next one which will end in Nashville

Thanks for all your hard work digging out these stats. While we're talking about stats, do coaching staffs have graduate assistants to dig through those stats. For instance, if a person has a season average of 343X can they go deep enough into those stats to tell how much of that 343 was against lower ranking teams versus against teams with good defenses? The past season if over and let us let it pass. But sometimes is seams to me that just a glance at the overall statistics doesn't always tell it all. I want one that'll bat .100 against the bottom rung and bat .800 against Notre Dame and UConn. Semper Fi!

Written on Holly Warlick receives Maggie Dixon award for rookie coaches:

in response to volfan2002:

She did a great job with the team she had this season but now comes the big test for her. JMO she will have as much talent as anyone in the country next season so I think we really need to be thinking National title. In order to get there were gonna have to get tougher on defense and the intensity of our play. We had good and bad reviews this year. The low being Chattanooga and the high being the SEC regular season title. Next season is gonna bring a lot of excitement as I think were back at the top and in the hunt for the National title.

volfan... I hope you're right about the National title next year but, methinks, there may be a little to much in the way. We'll only have one senior although we will have experienced juniors (and of course Graves). UCONN, Duke and a few others will be loaded with seniors and experience. The Lady Vols have shown they will be strong favorites for a Final Four. In 2014-2015 season we'll have four seniors backed up by a lot of talent. (hopefully some to be recruited yet that are good enough to break the starting lineup). Again in 2015-2016 the Vols will have 3 seniors, four juniors and players to be named later. I know that just being a "senior or junior" doesn't mean anything, but these are Good Seniors with a lot of playing time.

Written on Lady Vols approach offseason with urgency, use time as season in itself:

in response to UTFAN1993:

I am a very optimistic person in sports, but I am realistic also.I think that the LV will have a good chance @ a reg season title or tourney title, but will really have to work harder next yr than they did this season, because...
Kentucky returns 6 & 4, sr/jr and has an inbound # 5 nation recruit class.
Vandy returns 3 & 4 sr/jr with a # 8 ranked freshman class.They also had a Top 25 recruiting class last yr.
They will be absolutely loaded w/ experience in the '14-'15 season with 4 srs and 6 jrs, plus the freshmen that are in this class will have a year of experience(#16,#21,#62)

Gonna be a fun time for Melanie in a couple of years, replacing 6 players. I remember when Pat had a bunch of freshmen to tame.

last year Gary B @ TX a/m signed 7 in his #2 ranked class.

Fla_ A.Butler signed 6 that year and has 2 r/s fr to total 8 that will be in a sr class a few yrs from now.

I know UT is loaded and will be bringing in a highly ranked class, but I would like to know what anybody else thinks will be the top 4 teams in the conference next year and why.......
Remember Bone and Pratcher are gone, but Gilbert is still there. Mathies gone too, but we can't forget, these teams reload with big time players too.

My USWAG (unscientific wild A-- guess) is Tennessee, Georgia, South Carolina and LSU. Because it is off season I will address your question as to why, but it'll take me a couple of days. I don't thing Georgia graduated much of what we saw in the tournament. South Carolina the same. LSU had a couple of their stars out for the season. The same with Vandy. But I think the Vandy star that missed the whole season was a senior. Like I said It'll take me a couple of days - or you can just take my word for it. I wouldn't, but it is a long off season and we've nothing else to do.

Written on Lady Vols signee Mercedes Russell named MVP of McDonald's All-American game:

From season to season some of the "regulars" go away. What happened to "PinkChamphange". Besides being an informative person, a lot of their comments were fun. And I'll be honest Mike in Corrs came back with some classy and knowledgeable comments. Mike, next year we'll see you in the final four. Looking forward to seeing Stewart and Russel play against each other down under.

"Sorry if I have offended anybody. I would hope we are all seekers of "truth" on here, we just need to remember that not all of what we think or feel can be rightly included in the category of things that CAN be judged in such absolute terms. ---Johnig00

Not me, some of them are just trolls and an insult or two occasionally are approprirate.

Written on Lady Vols signee Mercedes Russell named MVP of McDonald's All-American game:

in response to johnlg00:

What I see as the biggest plus with Russell coming in next year is that whether she starts right away or not, if we lose a post for an extended period like we lost Izzy this year, there should be a quality replacement for her. When Izzy was out, Bashaara had to be careful not to get in foul trouble and they couldn't afford to rest her when necessary, or the LVs would have had essentially NO posts. I love what Bashaara and Izzy have done and think they should be even better next year as long as they can stay healthy. If Mercedes is good enough to push one of them for starting time, so much the better; if not, she can still be a vital cog in a reborn LV machine!

Yes I agree with you that the Lady Vols were harmfully thin at Posts this year. Graves spent most of the season playing post when she is a forward. How good could she have been if she could have played her position all season? With Harrison, Russell and Moore in the center, maybe we'll see Graves, Burdick and Jones playing aggressively with, as you pointed out, not having the fear of picking up a foul.

I've watched every minute of every game (2-3 times when possible) but my memory is clouded. Can Bashaara drive from the top of the Key effectively? Seems to me most of her points was hard fought baskets down under.

Written on Lady Vols signee Mercedes Russell named MVP of McDonald's All-American game:

in response to reg_mza#219136:

Liked what I saw in the McDonalds AA game. I can see where the staff will really need to get her up to speed on the footwork, positioning, and what it takes to fight at the upper echelon women's game level in order for her to be successful.

I think Russell had it easy compared to what is to come and she didn't always have to scrap for constant position, didn't have to be more measured in her approach, and didn't have to shift accordingly as things just fell to her as she towered over girls far smaller than her.

I think she'll be a better shooting, softer touch version of Nicki Anosike when she gets well grounded in what is expected of her.

For sure in the MacDonalds's game there isn't much defense. Seems like Russell was shooting uncontested shots way above the rest of the court. Won't be that way in college. With someone her height, experience and a few years in the weight room, pushing her around she'll probably have to adjust. Looking forward to seeing it though.

Speaking of that, it's going to be a long summer. Soon, we'll get down to a Lady Vols announcement every few days about things not directly related to the players on "this". I guess it'll pick back up about October. What are us die hard people gonna do? Search all the web sites looking for news about "comittments" coming from somebody for somewhere? Doing our own "fantasy" recruiting league? I personally am going to miss it.

Written on End to Lady Vols' season doesn't feel good:

in response to Theo:

Evidently the UT recruits had great showings in the McDees AA game. Mercedes MVP and Reynolds reported as "fast" and had a double/double as well.
I put this on another thread but I'm going to repeat here because I'm interested in what some of our friends who are BB savvy think.
Can JJ at 6'2" play shooting guard if she develops a face the basket shot? Her defense is going to be amazing and I don't think you can keep her off the court when her skills catch up to her athleticism.
Also, can't believe Kelsey Bone declared early for the WNBA. Big loss for A&M, really for the SEC. I liked to watch her. This definitely means our front line will be the class of the SEC and top 2 or 3 in the country.
Haven't heard from EMNoD this week.

Theo, most of the persons on this Blog aren't ready yet to talk about the future. They're still bashing each other about what cannot be changed. No matter how much we wish, the Lady Vols still aren't gonna be in the final four. Move on!

So what are they going to do with JJ. She played 16 minutes a game this year as a freshman. If she and Nia Moore develop as much as Izzy did this past off season there is going to be some serious competition for playing time down inside. I guess we are all expecting Russell to get a good bit of that time, but even without her there's a lot of "big" girls down there. JJ is so good defensively, she demands playing time. But where? Do you think she can play further out? She has a really good short range jumper and I saw her make a couple of good moves off of short drives, but like you said, "can she shoot"?

You're right, where is "No Data"?

Written on Lady Vols signee Mercedes Russell named MVP of McDonald's All-American game:

in response to maxvolfan#217855:

I believe all three frosh will make a impact. Scheduling will be a key factor as how well we play in post season because we will rip through the SEC. I bet we beat SEC teams by an average of 15-20pts . But to compete on the elite level I would like Russell to develop fast to be as good or better than the top bigs in the league . Just because Griner is gone doesn't mean there isn't good teams out there. Out the gate I have our girls ranked #2 behind Uconn followed by Duke,UNC , and Stanford. I think Draya will be the scrappy player we need to be extremely tough on defense

The Schimmel sisters have proven that Louisville needs to be in that group you mentioned.

Written on Lady Vols signee Mercedes Russell named MVP of McDonald's All-American game:

in response to REVOLUTION:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

I agree with almost everything you said in your post. Especially, the part about being a freshman. M-Lewis didn't dominate as a freshman the way she did this year. At the beginning of the year, B Stewart didn't really start to show the brilliance she has showed the last couple of games. On the good part, by tournament time next year, Russell will probably be a big factor in all games. I too look forward (expect) to see a first game starting lineup (barring injuries or defections)of Graves, Izzy, Carter, Burdick and Simmons. Those shoulder operations can do bad things to ROM (range of motion, )been there, done that)). Hopefully Carter can return to the form she showed at the beginning of this season. As for Reynolds and Tucker, the first one that can shoot 40% of threes and 50% from the field will be getting a lot of playing time. (I put more importance to playing time than I do on Starting Lineup.) Counting Carter, we'll have three freshman guards next season. Hopefully, we'll get a good defensive point and a more reliable two guard out of the three-some.

Written on Louisville stops Lady Vols' run to Final Four, 86-78:

in response to r2d2:

I agree 100% with your comments. The team and coach Warlick deserve a applause for a great season given the adversities they had to deal with. They lost to Louisville because of the weak side of their game which was defense. They have had this problem all season. I believe they will be stronger defensively next season and finished the regular season with a won-loss record of 27-2. I predict they will contend for a national championship.

Who's the 2 gonna be?

Written on Louisville stops Lady Vols' run to Final Four, 86-78:

in response to SummittsCourt:

Have you seen Mercedes Russell play? Don't worry, she is the difference maker. She will be the next big star in women's basketball.

As far as point guards go, we haven't had a great one since Kara Lawson, but that's not to say we have been bad at the point. They can't fix everything at once, but we do have a PG coming in next season named Jordon Reynolds and she will take over if Ariel can't grow her game. Not to mention #8 recruite Jannah Tucker is a guard too.

Spani and Williams were not big contributors for most of their careers, so it's not like we are losing Candace Parker and Nikki Anosike.

The Lady Vols will be fine, just you wait.

Ms. Russell will have a lot of competition for being the next big star. B. Stewart will be great. What we should be looking forward to is watching Stewart and Russell go at it. Point Guards - she's already on the team and will officially be a freshman next year but we've already seen what she can do. I'm of course talking about Andraya Carter. Barring injury she would have have been the No 1 Point Guard this season. She's fast, she can play defense and she can shoot.

Written on Louisville stops Lady Vols' run to Final Four, 86-78:

in response to SummittsCourt:

Despite all of the critics and bashers on here, which wouldn't be normal without them, I know I am proud of this team this year. They over achieved big time because of Coach Holly Warlick! She took a young, inexperienced, injury riddled team to the elite 8 and fell short of the final four in her first year of coaching.

They will only get better. The Lady Vols only lose Spani and Williams but are getting 3 great players coming in including the best player in the country in High School. The next 3-4 years UT should be making the final fours instead of falling short.

This year, UT ran into a buzz saw, next season UT will be the buzz saw!

Well said.

Written on Louisville stops Lady Vols' run to Final Four, 86-78:

in response to r2d2:

TN lost to Louisville because of poor paint defense and lack of an offensive takeover player. I believe Ms. Russell will help with the paint defense. I am not sure who will develop into a offensive takeover player like Skylar Diggins of ND.

Vol Point guard - 27 minutes, 3 assists, 1 point, 2 rebounds, 2 steals

Notre Dame PG -24 min, 9 assists, 24 points, 5 rebounds, 5 steals

Louisville PG 24 min, 3 assists, 24 points, 2 rebounds, 1 steal

And there you have it Ladies and Gentlemen!

Written on Louisville stops Lady Vols' run to Final Four, 86-78:

in response to PureOrange:

If you go into the game not sure you can win, you probably won't. We played two thirds of the game convinced we could not beat Louisville. It is a forty minute game. Until we are willing to give it all for the full forty, then we will continue to come up short.

Hate to go out like this. We just helped the Big East to bragging rights for the next year. Play hard or go home!

Doesn't that have something to do with the coaching?

Written on Meighan Simmons named third-team All-American:

in response to tomkats3242:

Who cares what team she is on. She did not help UT in the dance but pouted. UT needs to recruit some big girls who can play defense and who can hustle and someone that can shoot free throws. The girls were out played and lacked the UT spirit that we are use too. WHO IS COACHING DEFENSE. It was certain no one at UT is. Poor effort, they must be reading adams articles about themselves in the KNS.

It wasn't Simmons that ended their season it was Massengale. Good teams have a Schimmel or a Diggens, we have a ______?

Written on Meighan Simmons named third-team All-American:

They all played horrible during the first half. I mean, did anyone have a good 20 min?

Written on Lady Vols feeling at home in regional, advance to play Louisville:

Go SEC. Doesn't that mean we have three of the "elite 8 teams" remaining?

Written on Lady Vols feeling at home in regional, advance to play Louisville:

in response to CrankE:

Oh, and Kim Mulkey was a riot. All her hysterics, trying to strip her jacket (then someone helpfully remembering how little she had on under the jacket), hollering at whomever was closest, crowding the floor (uh, hello, sideline warning much?), and no technical.

Good luck without Mr. Griner.

I thought she was going to pull her thong of and throw it on the court to stop play.

Written on Even after limiting Creighton, Lady Vols want more on defense :

in response to golfman1975:

There are 3 SEC teams in the sweet 16 and all the coaches have Lady Vol (of course Holly)ties...interesting.

Don't forget Georgia. The SEC has 1/4th of the teams in the sweet sixteen.

Written on Even after limiting Creighton, Lady Vols want more on defense :

in response to kazoo:

Williams is a pretty good man defender, but Spani and Massengale are not, and Simmons is inconsistent. Harrison helps the defense a lot because she can block some shots; when she is not playing one can see how truly mediocre to weak UT is defensively. Jones is a pretty good player who ought to improve, but I doubt she's quick enough to guard/play more than 15 feet from the basket.

True, true, true. I think defense was the reason JJ played as much as she did. As far as Guard/play and speed, she's faster than Spani. I was encouraged by the fact that all three of her baskets were made off of dribbles (albeit short dribbles mind you). When I said Wing, I was thinking about a "small" forward that can shoot from from 15 feet. I think we can say that she ain't gonna scare anyone with her 3 point shooting.

Written on Even after limiting Creighton, Lady Vols want more on defense :

Oh, and by the way - I thought the Creighton game was their best defense game of the year.

Written on Even after limiting Creighton, Lady Vols want more on defense :

in response to Theo:

I was really impressed with the defensive improvement I see in JJ. She did what the coaches asked in using her feet to defend. You could tell she was taking pride in her defense. Great to see. She could be so special for us in many ways. What a freshman class, BG, JJ and Andraya. Wow, the future is bright.

You forgot Nia Moore. I expect to see major contributions from her. She seems lost when she is in the game but that will improve with a few more months of working with the other posts. I just don't know about Phillips. She came in with the reputation of a "shooter" but we sure haven't seen much shooting going on around here. JJ is just flat out going to be a player. The TV commentators have mentioned more that once that she is learning to play on the perimeter. Can she become that 6 - 2 wing that we need?