"Vols working on extension with Holly Warlick"

#1

CTVolsfan14

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#1
Per Jimmy Hyams twitter account. This should go over well here..

I for one am happy. With the PruCrew coaching staff turning around the football program, the mens hoops team trending up .. we as a fan base need something to bi#$% and moan about! :hi:
 
#3

esarmstrong

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#3
Per Jimmy Hyams twitter account. This should go over well here..

I for one am happy. With the PruCrew coaching staff turning around the football program, the mens hoops team trending up .. we as a fan base need something to bi#$% and moan about! :hi:
Agreed. For all who love underachieving programs, coach Warlick's teams should be a stark diversion from all of the success UT sports will enjoy in the future. I can hardly wait to begin the b!tch!n'!

I just hope they don't fire her too soon...
 
#7

orangeluvr

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#7
Richt won9/10 games during this tenure at ga, but didn't win may championships so he wasn't a championship coach. CHW has a great W/L percentage but it doesn't appear she is a championship coach either. One thing for sure is if you fire a coach you need to have one ready or a list of proven one that would potentially accept the job.
 
#10

cwbytruckers

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#10
I gave up on the Lady Vols when i heard CHW say for the 100th time in a post game interview or halftime interview, I dont have the answer. Who the heck says that as a head coach? She is clueless.
 
#11

glv98

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#11
Spoken or implied, CHW will be on the hottest of hot seats next year. Which really makes me nervous since neither she nor her six previous teams have shown much ability to handle pressure like she will be under.

Hey I hope she surprises (shocks) me, comes back brimming with mental toughness next fall with a brilliantly conceived, thoroughly modern offense showing off great development and improvement of the young players. Crazy I know but if she's it, I have to blindly hope for the best. At least thru the cupcake portion of the schedule.
 
#13
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#13
#15

Franklin Pierce

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#15
Per Jimmy Hyams twitter account. This should go over well here..

I for one am happy. With the PruCrew coaching staff turning around the football program, the mens hoops team trending up .. we as a fan base need something to bi#$% and moan about! :hi:
This is OLD news.

You say "we" as if you are a Tennessee fan. Are you a Tennessee fan?
 
#16

JacketVol

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#16
Old news and will be incentive laden with a low buyout and helps to give her a leg to stand on to help with recruiting. This is the smart way to handle things when you are getting ready to have a coach put up or shut up.
 
#17

BigOrangeMojo

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#17
Old news and will be incentive laden with a low buyout and helps to give her a leg to stand on to help with recruiting. This is the smart way to handle things when you are getting ready to have a coach put up or shut up.
The smart way would have been having the "put up or shut up" discussion 2 years ago after back to back dud seasons....
 
#18

UTLadyvolsfan

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#18
Good decision. Holly has recruited well for 2 straight years. She now has about 2 years to work with them to see what she can do. Round of 32 exits from the NCAA's is not acceptable. Tennessee should be a sweet 16 team every year with a legit chance at the final 4.
 
#19

lvocd

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#19
Obviously Holly will be coaching the Lady Vols next year and possibly beyond, so there's nothing anyone can do but either be 100% behind her and the team and look forward to seeing how this next season plays out, or put their energy and dollars into supporting another program.

I'll be rooting for the Lady Vols, of course, but it's obvious that unless major changes in the system are made and some serious work is done by the staff in the offseason to gain the confidence of the players, then we can expect the same results as we've been getting for several years running.

I remember before last season how thrilled everyone was with the stories coming out of Knoxville about how this group of freshmen was bound and determined to succeed -- and that they were busting their butts putting in the work to do it. Everyone was impressed and hopeful because the freshmen were dedicated and determined -- and the upperclassmen were SURE to be phenomenal.

But by the end of the year folks were saying that they weren't giving the effort necessary. So... what happened? Did they REALLY stop giving effort? Had everyone just been making up the stories about how special this group was and how much extra work they were putting in on their own, or did they inexplicably change their minds and no longer cared?

I refuse to believe that the players suddenly just didn't care anymore. It's crazy to even consider that they could devolve into different people within one season.

No, what happened is they lost faith that they had been given the tools to compete at the highest level, and it broke them.

Going forward, whether the Lady Vols improve or not will depend 100 percent on whether the staff can regain their confidence, and they won't be able to do that unless the system undergoes a massive overhaul. They could start with coming up with an offense to beat a 2-3 zone.
 
#21

Undercovervol

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#21
Obviously Holly will be coaching the Lady Vols next year and possibly beyond, so there's nothing anyone can do but either be 100% behind her and the team and look forward to seeing how this next season plays out, or put their energy and dollars into supporting another program.

I'll be rooting for the Lady Vols, of course, but it's obvious that unless major changes in the system are made and some serious work is done by the staff in the offseason to gain the confidence of the players, then we can expect the same results as we've been getting for several years running.

I remember before last season how thrilled everyone was with the stories coming out of Knoxville about how this group of freshmen was bound and determined to succeed -- and that they were busting their butts putting in the work to do it. Everyone was impressed and hopeful because the freshmen were dedicated and determined -- and the upperclassmen were SURE to be phenomenal.

But by the end of the year folks were saying that they weren't giving the effort necessary. So... what happened? Did they REALLY stop giving effort? Had everyone just been making up the stories about how special this group was and how much extra work they were putting in on their own, or did they inexplicably change their minds and no longer cared?

I refuse to believe that the players suddenly just didn't care anymore. It's crazy to even consider that they could devolve into different people within one season.

No, what happened is they lost faith that they had been given the tools to compete at the highest level, and it broke them.

Going forward, whether the Lady Vols improve or not will depend 100 percent on whether the staff can regain their confidence, and they won't be able to do that unless the system undergoes a massive overhaul. They could start with coming up with an offense to beat a 2-3 zone.
Very much agree with this. Our downfall this season, after starting undefeated, was a lack of confidence and intensity, especially on offense.
We need a complete offensive overhaul. If CHW wants to save her job, she better hire or consult with someone who can convince our team how to score and play aggressively, and someone who knows half court offense. We play so slow on offense, which leads to passivity and unsure decision making.
However, I cannot attend games and support the current coaching staff. I am disappointed CHW was not fired after this season, and I have a distinct feeling we will get more of the same next year. Our teams have folded late in the season with CHW during her tenure, and I don't suspect anything different. She just doesn't have it.
This whole excuse that this extension is good because it stabilizes recruiting efforts is BS in my opinion. I'd rather have a down year in recruiting then be stuck with CHW for another season. Besides, the UT name recruits itself in women's basketball, still.
 
#22

Spook1

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#22
:p:p:pIf this is true it confirms my worst fear of Fulmer becoming the AD...I frankly like Fulmer,
but do not think he has the guts to fire her.
We are down to barely over 8,000 in attendance.

Send an e-mail directly to Fulmer pfulmer@utk.edu

Then either copy or send one to Dr. Davenport - UT Chancellor bdavenport@utk.edu


Coach Fulmer better hope he made the right hire in football since it's strike 1 for keeping Holly, strike 2 for extending Holly..
 
#23

bballnut90

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#23
Tennessee is only going to sink further into the unknown if they keep Holly around. She put together a very good class in 2017 and has a slew of midrange players for 2018, but it's hardly a gangbuster class. She essentially struck out in 2015 and 2016, plus she has no verbals for 2019 yet. She has a very lopsided team headed for next year....we have three highly rated PGs, no highly rated posts, and no consistent perimeter shooters. I'd much rather her take smaller classes where players actually fit roles that are needed for the team.

Also worth noting, Tennessee is not a hard place to recruit to. They have better facilities, fan support, tradition, exposure and recognition than almost anyone else in the country. It isn't like Holly is recruiting all of these top players to a no name school. So many of the top kids who come to Tennessee have mentioned that it's been a lifelong dream to play for the program. They'd still be coming to Tennessee if a different coach were leading the charge. Tennessee for years was the gold standard in women's basketball, and players like Candace Parker and Tamika Catchings were/are two the most popular professional players in the world. I'm confident that anybody who Tennessee would hire to replace Holly could do a comparable or better job recruiting.



Aside from recruiting, Holly has badly underperformed in virtually every other coaching measure, including preseason team expectations, player development, handling the duties as head coach and overall eye test.

Team expectations: Look at the steady decline in results as well as how Tennessee has fared relative to preseason expectations:
2013: Preseason #20 and 4th in SEC. Finished in the Elite 8 with a #2 seed, won the SEC regular season. By far her best season in regards to overachieving. Team was severely underestimated in preseason due to lots of graduating seniors and Pat's retirement. Earned a relatively easy draw into the Elite 8 where they lost to #5 seed Louisville. Best tournament win was on the road against a #6 seed Oklahoma. Holly's best season. Most fans (including myself) were quite pleased with results.

2014: Preseason #4 and 1st in the SEC. Finished in the Sweet 16 as a 1 seed, won the SEC Tournament Championship and finished 2nd in the regular season. Not a bad year by any means, but Tennessee was blown out by Maryland in the Sweet 16 which left a bad taste in many fans mouths. Overall the team underachieved considering high expectations coming into the season. Not a bad season though.

2015 results: Preseason #4 and #2 in the SEC. Finished 30-6, #2 seed, Elite 8 finish, co-SEC Champions.....another year that didn't end in a Final Four but wasn't a bad year overall considering the loss of Harrison midseason and there's no shame in losing in the Elite 8. Tennessee did have an easy path to an Elite 8, facing a 15 seed, 10 seed, and 11 seed before losing to Maryland. They needed a 4th quarter miracle to force OT against the 11 seed in the Sweet 16 after trailing by double digits in the 4th. Their best tournament win was against a 10 seed, Pitt, in the 2nd round. Tennessee did finish lower than expectations once again.

2016 results: Preseason #4 in the country and #2 in the SEC. Finished 22-14, 7th in the SEC, #7 seed in the NCAA tournament, Elite 8 finish....this was arguably the most disappointing season under Holly. A team that was preseason #4 entered the tournament not ranked in the top 25, lost 14 games and finished with an 8-8 record in the SEC. The post season success was the only bright spot of the year, but Tennessee on paper had more talent than anyone in the country besides Connecticut this season (who went undefeated), yet the LVs were barely a top 25 team.

2017 results: Preseason #13/14 in the country and #3 in the SEC. Finished 20-12, 5th in the SEC, #5 seed in the NCAA tournament, 2nd round finish. Despite lower expectations, Tennessee still managed to underachieve, finishing the year out of the top 25 once again and losing in the 2nd round as expected.


2018 results: Preseason #13/18 in the country and #5 in the SEC. Finished 25-8, T4 in the SEC (#7 seed in tournament), #3 seed in NCAA tournament, 2nd round finish. Tennessee lost at home in the tournament for the 1st time ever and likely would've had 10 losses if they didn't luck into playing SC twice without A'ja Wilson. Underachieving wasn't as bad as the last 2 years, but after a strong start against a cupcake preseason schedule, Tennessee finished the year 10-8 in their last 18 games.

So in summary, you have 1 year of overachieving, 3 years of underachieving, and 2 years of badly underachieving.


Player Development:
She has not had 1 WBCA All American in her 6 years at Tennessee despite having the following top recruits come through Tennessee:
#1 recruit Mercedes Russell, no AA honors, never made 1st Team All-SEC, projected as 2nd round draft pick
#2 recruit Evina Westbrook, 1 year under her belt...made SEC All Freshman team
#3 recruit Diamond Deshields, no AA honors, made All-SEC, played 2 seasons and then quit. Projected as top 5 draft pick.
#3 recruit Cierra Burdick, no AA honors, made All-SEC(1st and 2nd team) as a senior, #14 pick in the draft
#4 recruit Ariel Massengale, no AA honors, never made All-SEC, #29 draft pick
#5 recruit Bashaara Graves, no AA honors, NFOY over Breanna Stewart and Jewell Loyd, named All-SEC 1st/2nd Team as a freshman and then didn't make an All-SEC team again until she made 2nd team as a senior. #22 draft pick.
#6 recruit Jaime Nared, no AA honors, All-SEC as a senior (1st and 2nd team), 2nd team All-SEC as a junior. Projected as a 2nd round draft pick.
#7 recruit Anastasia Hayes, 1 year under her belt...named SEC 6th Woman of the year
#8 recruit Jannah Tucker, played 1 year and transferred


Other top 30 recruits under Holly:
#13 recruit Taber Spani...played 1 season, didn't make it in the pros
#12 recruit Te'a Cooper....transferred after a disappointing freshman campaign
#24 recruit Meighan Simmons...never improved after a strong freshman season under Pat. Hasn't been able to stick in the pros
#21 recruit, Andraya Carter...never lived up to expectations and retired early
#29 recruit, Alexa Middleton...never was a strong contributor, transferred after junior season
#29 recruit, Isabelle Harrison....the only success story under Holly. Made great strides in college and has had a productive pro career.
#12 recruit Rennia Davis....played 1 season so far, SEC All-Freshman team


Out of all that talent, we've had a grand total of 1 successful pro player in Isabelle Harrison. I'm not sure we can even take credit for Diamond if she goes pro considering she transferred in and quit before using up her eligibility.


Head Coaching Duties:
Regularly in press conferences, Holly seems confused and unable to articulate what went wrong. She commonly says phrases similar to, "I told them to do this and they didn't listen" and never takes blame or comes up with valid reasons for what went wrong. A coach in her position needs to have better public speaking skills and she needs to be able to articulate what went wrong when her teams routinely lose to less talented teams.

Holly does not hold her players accountable or demand their best efforts. You never see her call out individual players in press conferences, bench players who put forth poor efforts, and most of all she seems to lack any backbone.

When Diamond Deshields quit, Holly immaturely posted a smiley face on Twitter before deleting the post and then deleting her Twitter all together. What other head coach have you seen pull a similar stunt? I don't care how much she disliked Diamond or had issues with her, it is incredibly petty to post anything like that on social media. As the head coach of one of the most followed programs in the country, Holly should handle this better.

Eye Test:
Here is the biggest issue IMO. Even in her best years, none of her teams ever looked like they could compete for a championship. They simply have never looked like a true Final Four team or title contender. More over, every year the team gets worse. Anyone can see the quality of play has declined immensely the last 4-5 years. Once in a while we get some spurts of great basketball (2018 Notre Dame first half, 2016 Sweet 16 vs. Ohio State), but overall the lack of effort put forth by Tennessee players has been noticeable since Holly took over. You rarely see anyone give 100%, you don't see players scrapping for loose balls or crashing the glass like players did under Pat. Holly has also not been able to figure out how to break a zone defense in the last 3 years. I am unsure why any coach would play anything BUT zone against Tennessee when they've had zero outside shooting and almost all of their offense comes in the paint or in the midrange game. On offense there are zero picks set, and plays are not run. Everything is jam the ball inside to Russell even if it's not there. If she's taking the play off and isn't posting hard, pass the ball around on the perimeter and have a player go one on one and settle for a tough jumper late in the shot clock. Or drive to the basket and hope for a foul. Pat was not an offensive mastermind, but her teams played much better offense than Holly's do, and her players always gave best effort so Tennessee regularly had 2nd and 3rd opportunities if they didn't get a good look on the first try.


Next year unless something massive changes, we are going to be a borderline top 25 team IMO. We have zero proven post players. This is the first time in my lifetime that Tennessee is going to have 0 top 5 post players on the roster. Tennessee's strength as a program has always been in having strong power forwards and centers. We don't have any next year unless we play Davis primarily as a post.

Our guards show promise, but Holly is not going to help them improve skills they've struggled with (avoiding turnovers, perimeter shooting, making smart passes, shot selection, running plays, etc). I am hopeful that players will improve, but all results have shown this is unlikely to happen under Holly.

Additionally, more than ever you can see how important quality coaching is in today's landscape. Geno, Muffet, Dawn, Vic, Rueck, Tara etc have all proven year after year that good coaches make good teams and they help their players reach their potential. There's a reason we've consistently seen these coaches competing in the Final Four while we haven't seen coaches like Holly, Mulkey, Aston, McGuff, and McCallie reach Final Fours despite having more than enough talent to compete for championships. It really does come down to coaching, and from everything we've seen the last 6 years, Holly hasn't shown any ability to be a strong coach or leader.
 
#24

reno tony

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#24
Tennessee is only going to sink further into the unknown if they keep Holly around. She put together a very good class in 2017 and has a slew of midrange players for 2018, but it's hardly a gangbuster class. She essentially struck out in 2015 and 2016, plus she has no verbals for 2019 yet. She has a very lopsided team headed for next year....we have three highly rated PGs, no highly rated posts, and no consistent perimeter shooters. I'd much rather her take smaller classes where players actually fit roles that are needed for the team.

Also worth noting, Tennessee is not a hard place to recruit to. They have better facilities, fan support, tradition, exposure and recognition than almost anyone else in the country. It isn't like Holly is recruiting all of these top players to a no name school. So many of the top kids who come to Tennessee have mentioned that it's been a lifelong dream to play for the program. They'd still be coming to Tennessee if a different coach were leading the charge. Tennessee for years was the gold standard in women's basketball, and players like Candace Parker and Tamika Catchings were/are two the most popular professional players in the world. I'm confident that anybody who Tennessee would hire to replace Holly could do a comparable or better job recruiting.



Aside from recruiting, Holly has badly underperformed in virtually every other coaching measure, including preseason team expectations, player development, handling the duties as head coach and overall eye test.

Team expectations: Look at the steady decline in results as well as how Tennessee has fared relative to preseason expectations:
2013: Preseason #20 and 4th in SEC. Finished in the Elite 8 with a #2 seed, won the SEC regular season. By far her best season in regards to overachieving. Team was severely underestimated in preseason due to lots of graduating seniors and Pat's retirement. Earned a relatively easy draw into the Elite 8 where they lost to #5 seed Louisville. Best tournament win was on the road against a #6 seed Oklahoma. Holly's best season. Most fans (including myself) were quite pleased with results.

2014: Preseason #4 and 1st in the SEC. Finished in the Sweet 16 as a 1 seed, won the SEC Tournament Championship and finished 2nd in the regular season. Not a bad year by any means, but Tennessee was blown out by Maryland in the Sweet 16 which left a bad taste in many fans mouths. Overall the team underachieved considering high expectations coming into the season. Not a bad season though.

2015 results: Preseason #4 and #2 in the SEC. Finished 30-6, #2 seed, Elite 8 finish, co-SEC Champions.....another year that didn't end in a Final Four but wasn't a bad year overall considering the loss of Harrison midseason and there's no shame in losing in the Elite 8. Tennessee did have an easy path to an Elite 8, facing a 15 seed, 10 seed, and 11 seed before losing to Maryland. They needed a 4th quarter miracle to force OT against the 11 seed in the Sweet 16 after trailing by double digits in the 4th. Their best tournament win was against a 10 seed, Pitt, in the 2nd round. Tennessee did finish lower than expectations once again.

2016 results: Preseason #4 in the country and #2 in the SEC. Finished 22-14, 7th in the SEC, #7 seed in the NCAA tournament, Elite 8 finish....this was arguably the most disappointing season under Holly. A team that was preseason #4 entered the tournament not ranked in the top 25, lost 14 games and finished with an 8-8 record in the SEC. The post season success was the only bright spot of the year, but Tennessee on paper had more talent than anyone in the country besides Connecticut this season (who went undefeated), yet the LVs were barely a top 25 team.

2017 results: Preseason #13/14 in the country and #3 in the SEC. Finished 20-12, 5th in the SEC, #5 seed in the NCAA tournament, 2nd round finish. Despite lower expectations, Tennessee still managed to underachieve, finishing the year out of the top 25 once again and losing in the 2nd round as expected.


2018 results: Preseason #13/18 in the country and #5 in the SEC. Finished 25-8, T4 in the SEC (#7 seed in tournament), #3 seed in NCAA tournament, 2nd round finish. Tennessee lost at home in the tournament for the 1st time ever and likely would've had 10 losses if they didn't luck into playing SC twice without A'ja Wilson. Underachieving wasn't as bad as the last 2 years, but after a strong start against a cupcake preseason schedule, Tennessee finished the year 10-8 in their last 18 games.

So in summary, you have 1 year of overachieving, 3 years of underachieving, and 2 years of badly underachieving.


Player Development:
She has not had 1 WBCA All American in her 6 years at Tennessee despite having the following top recruits come through Tennessee:
#1 recruit Mercedes Russell, no AA honors, never made 1st Team All-SEC, projected as 2nd round draft pick
#2 recruit Evina Westbrook, 1 year under her belt...made SEC All Freshman team
#3 recruit Diamond Deshields, no AA honors, made All-SEC, played 2 seasons and then quit. Projected as top 5 draft pick.
#3 recruit Cierra Burdick, no AA honors, made All-SEC(1st and 2nd team) as a senior, #14 pick in the draft
#4 recruit Ariel Massengale, no AA honors, never made All-SEC, #29 draft pick
#5 recruit Bashaara Graves, no AA honors, NFOY over Breanna Stewart and Jewell Loyd, named All-SEC 1st/2nd Team as a freshman and then didn't make an All-SEC team again until she made 2nd team as a senior. #22 draft pick.
#6 recruit Jaime Nared, no AA honors, All-SEC as a senior (1st and 2nd team), 2nd team All-SEC as a junior. Projected as a 2nd round draft pick.
#7 recruit Anastasia Hayes, 1 year under her belt...named SEC 6th Woman of the year
#8 recruit Jannah Tucker, played 1 year and transferred


Other top 30 recruits under Holly:
#13 recruit Taber Spani...played 1 season, didn't make it in the pros
#12 recruit Te'a Cooper....transferred after a disappointing freshman campaign
#24 recruit Meighan Simmons...never improved after a strong freshman season under Pat. Hasn't been able to stick in the pros
#21 recruit, Andraya Carter...never lived up to expectations and retired early
#29 recruit, Alexa Middleton...never was a strong contributor, transferred after junior season
#29 recruit, Isabelle Harrison....the only success story under Holly. Made great strides in college and has had a productive pro career.
#12 recruit Rennia Davis....played 1 season so far, SEC All-Freshman team


Out of all that talent, we've had a grand total of 1 successful pro player in Isabelle Harrison. I'm not sure we can even take credit for Diamond if she goes pro considering she transferred in and quit before using up her eligibility.


Head Coaching Duties:
Regularly in press conferences, Holly seems confused and unable to articulate what went wrong. She commonly says phrases similar to, "I told them to do this and they didn't listen" and never takes blame or comes up with valid reasons for what went wrong. A coach in her position needs to have better public speaking skills and she needs to be able to articulate what went wrong when her teams routinely lose to less talented teams.

Holly does not hold her players accountable or demand their best efforts. You never see her call out individual players in press conferences, bench players who put forth poor efforts, and most of all she seems to lack any backbone.

When Diamond Deshields quit, Holly immaturely posted a smiley face on Twitter before deleting the post and then deleting her Twitter all together. What other head coach have you seen pull a similar stunt? I don't care how much she disliked Diamond or had issues with her, it is incredibly petty to post anything like that on social media. As the head coach of one of the most followed programs in the country, Holly should handle this better.

Eye Test:
Here is the biggest issue IMO. Even in her best years, none of her teams ever looked like they could compete for a championship. They simply have never looked like a true Final Four team or title contender. More over, every year the team gets worse. Anyone can see the quality of play has declined immensely the last 4-5 years. Once in a while we get some spurts of great basketball (2018 Notre Dame first half, 2016 Sweet 16 vs. Ohio State), but overall the lack of effort put forth by Tennessee players has been noticeable since Holly took over. You rarely see anyone give 100%, you don't see players scrapping for loose balls or crashing the glass like players did under Pat. Holly has also not been able to figure out how to break a zone defense in the last 3 years. I am unsure why any coach would play anything BUT zone against Tennessee when they've had zero outside shooting and almost all of their offense comes in the paint or in the midrange game. On offense there are zero picks set, and plays are not run. Everything is jam the ball inside to Russell even if it's not there. If she's taking the play off and isn't posting hard, pass the ball around on the perimeter and have a player go one on one and settle for a tough jumper late in the shot clock. Or drive to the basket and hope for a foul. Pat was not an offensive mastermind, but her teams played much better offense than Holly's do, and her players always gave best effort so Tennessee regularly had 2nd and 3rd opportunities if they didn't get a good look on the first try.


Next year unless something massive changes, we are going to be a borderline top 25 team IMO. We have zero proven post players. This is the first time in my lifetime that Tennessee is going to have 0 top 5 post players on the roster. Tennessee's strength as a program has always been in having strong power forwards and centers. We don't have any next year unless we play Davis primarily as a post.

Our guards show promise, but Holly is not going to help them improve skills they've struggled with (avoiding turnovers, perimeter shooting, making smart passes, shot selection, running plays, etc). I am hopeful that players will improve, but all results have shown this is unlikely to happen under Holly.

Additionally, more than ever you can see how important quality coaching is in today's landscape. Geno, Muffet, Dawn, Vic, Rueck, Tara etc have all proven year after year that good coaches make good teams and they help their players reach their potential. There's a reason we've consistently seen these coaches competing in the Final Four while we haven't seen coaches like Holly, Mulkey, Aston, McGuff, and McCallie reach Final Fours despite having more than enough talent to compete for championships. It really does come down to coaching, and from everything we've seen the last 6 years, Holly hasn't shown any ability to be a strong coach or leader.
I could not read this whole post, but you are one dedicated person. Bravo, and I wish I could give you another thumb's up. :good!::good!::good!:
 
#25

vettefool

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#25
Tennessee is only going to sink further into the unknown if they keep Holly around. She put together a very good class in 2017 and has a slew of midrange players for 2018, but it's hardly a gangbuster class. She essentially struck out in 2015 and 2016, plus she has no verbals for 2019 yet. She has a very lopsided team headed for next year....we have three highly rated PGs, no highly rated posts, and no consistent perimeter shooters. I'd much rather her take smaller classes where players actually fit roles that are needed for the team.

Also worth noting, Tennessee is not a hard place to recruit to. They have better facilities, fan support, tradition, exposure and recognition than almost anyone else in the country. It isn't like Holly is recruiting all of these top players to a no name school. So many of the top kids who come to Tennessee have mentioned that it's been a lifelong dream to play for the program. They'd still be coming to Tennessee if a different coach were leading the charge. Tennessee for years was the gold standard in women's basketball, and players like Candace Parker and Tamika Catchings were/are two the most popular professional players in the world. I'm confident that anybody who Tennessee would hire to replace Holly could do a comparable or better job recruiting.



Aside from recruiting, Holly has badly underperformed in virtually every other coaching measure, including preseason team expectations, player development, handling the duties as head coach and overall eye test.

Team expectations: Look at the steady decline in results as well as how Tennessee has fared relative to preseason expectations:
2013: Preseason #20 and 4th in SEC. Finished in the Elite 8 with a #2 seed, won the SEC regular season. By far her best season in regards to overachieving. Team was severely underestimated in preseason due to lots of graduating seniors and Pat's retirement. Earned a relatively easy draw into the Elite 8 where they lost to #5 seed Louisville. Best tournament win was on the road against a #6 seed Oklahoma. Holly's best season. Most fans (including myself) were quite pleased with results.

2014: Preseason #4 and 1st in the SEC. Finished in the Sweet 16 as a 1 seed, won the SEC Tournament Championship and finished 2nd in the regular season. Not a bad year by any means, but Tennessee was blown out by Maryland in the Sweet 16 which left a bad taste in many fans mouths. Overall the team underachieved considering high expectations coming into the season. Not a bad season though.

2015 results: Preseason #4 and #2 in the SEC. Finished 30-6, #2 seed, Elite 8 finish, co-SEC Champions.....another year that didn't end in a Final Four but wasn't a bad year overall considering the loss of Harrison midseason and there's no shame in losing in the Elite 8. Tennessee did have an easy path to an Elite 8, facing a 15 seed, 10 seed, and 11 seed before losing to Maryland. They needed a 4th quarter miracle to force OT against the 11 seed in the Sweet 16 after trailing by double digits in the 4th. Their best tournament win was against a 10 seed, Pitt, in the 2nd round. Tennessee did finish lower than expectations once again.

2016 results: Preseason #4 in the country and #2 in the SEC. Finished 22-14, 7th in the SEC, #7 seed in the NCAA tournament, Elite 8 finish....this was arguably the most disappointing season under Holly. A team that was preseason #4 entered the tournament not ranked in the top 25, lost 14 games and finished with an 8-8 record in the SEC. The post season success was the only bright spot of the year, but Tennessee on paper had more talent than anyone in the country besides Connecticut this season (who went undefeated), yet the LVs were barely a top 25 team.

2017 results: Preseason #13/14 in the country and #3 in the SEC. Finished 20-12, 5th in the SEC, #5 seed in the NCAA tournament, 2nd round finish. Despite lower expectations, Tennessee still managed to underachieve, finishing the year out of the top 25 once again and losing in the 2nd round as expected.


2018 results: Preseason #13/18 in the country and #5 in the SEC. Finished 25-8, T4 in the SEC (#7 seed in tournament), #3 seed in NCAA tournament, 2nd round finish. Tennessee lost at home in the tournament for the 1st time ever and likely would've had 10 losses if they didn't luck into playing SC twice without A'ja Wilson. Underachieving wasn't as bad as the last 2 years, but after a strong start against a cupcake preseason schedule, Tennessee finished the year 10-8 in their last 18 games.

So in summary, you have 1 year of overachieving, 3 years of underachieving, and 2 years of badly underachieving.


Player Development:
She has not had 1 WBCA All American in her 6 years at Tennessee despite having the following top recruits come through Tennessee:
#1 recruit Mercedes Russell, no AA honors, never made 1st Team All-SEC, projected as 2nd round draft pick
#2 recruit Evina Westbrook, 1 year under her belt...made SEC All Freshman team
#3 recruit Diamond Deshields, no AA honors, made All-SEC, played 2 seasons and then quit. Projected as top 5 draft pick.
#3 recruit Cierra Burdick, no AA honors, made All-SEC(1st and 2nd team) as a senior, #14 pick in the draft
#4 recruit Ariel Massengale, no AA honors, never made All-SEC, #29 draft pick
#5 recruit Bashaara Graves, no AA honors, NFOY over Breanna Stewart and Jewell Loyd, named All-SEC 1st/2nd Team as a freshman and then didn't make an All-SEC team again until she made 2nd team as a senior. #22 draft pick.
#6 recruit Jaime Nared, no AA honors, All-SEC as a senior (1st and 2nd team), 2nd team All-SEC as a junior. Projected as a 2nd round draft pick.
#7 recruit Anastasia Hayes, 1 year under her belt...named SEC 6th Woman of the year
#8 recruit Jannah Tucker, played 1 year and transferred


Other top 30 recruits under Holly:
#13 recruit Taber Spani...played 1 season, didn't make it in the pros
#12 recruit Te'a Cooper....transferred after a disappointing freshman campaign
#24 recruit Meighan Simmons...never improved after a strong freshman season under Pat. Hasn't been able to stick in the pros
#21 recruit, Andraya Carter...never lived up to expectations and retired early
#29 recruit, Alexa Middleton...never was a strong contributor, transferred after junior season
#29 recruit, Isabelle Harrison....the only success story under Holly. Made great strides in college and has had a productive pro career.
#12 recruit Rennia Davis....played 1 season so far, SEC All-Freshman team


Out of all that talent, we've had a grand total of 1 successful pro player in Isabelle Harrison. I'm not sure we can even take credit for Diamond if she goes pro considering she transferred in and quit before using up her eligibility.


Head Coaching Duties:
Regularly in press conferences, Holly seems confused and unable to articulate what went wrong. She commonly says phrases similar to, "I told them to do this and they didn't listen" and never takes blame or comes up with valid reasons for what went wrong. A coach in her position needs to have better public speaking skills and she needs to be able to articulate what went wrong when her teams routinely lose to less talented teams.

Holly does not hold her players accountable or demand their best efforts. You never see her call out individual players in press conferences, bench players who put forth poor efforts, and most of all she seems to lack any backbone.

When Diamond Deshields quit, Holly immaturely posted a smiley face on Twitter before deleting the post and then deleting her Twitter all together. What other head coach have you seen pull a similar stunt? I don't care how much she disliked Diamond or had issues with her, it is incredibly petty to post anything like that on social media. As the head coach of one of the most followed programs in the country, Holly should handle this better.

Eye Test:
Here is the biggest issue IMO. Even in her best years, none of her teams ever looked like they could compete for a championship. They simply have never looked like a true Final Four team or title contender. More over, every year the team gets worse. Anyone can see the quality of play has declined immensely the last 4-5 years. Once in a while we get some spurts of great basketball (2018 Notre Dame first half, 2016 Sweet 16 vs. Ohio State), but overall the lack of effort put forth by Tennessee players has been noticeable since Holly took over. You rarely see anyone give 100%, you don't see players scrapping for loose balls or crashing the glass like players did under Pat. Holly has also not been able to figure out how to break a zone defense in the last 3 years. I am unsure why any coach would play anything BUT zone against Tennessee when they've had zero outside shooting and almost all of their offense comes in the paint or in the midrange game. On offense there are zero picks set, and plays are not run. Everything is jam the ball inside to Russell even if it's not there. If she's taking the play off and isn't posting hard, pass the ball around on the perimeter and have a player go one on one and settle for a tough jumper late in the shot clock. Or drive to the basket and hope for a foul. Pat was not an offensive mastermind, but her teams played much better offense than Holly's do, and her players always gave best effort so Tennessee regularly had 2nd and 3rd opportunities if they didn't get a good look on the first try.


Next year unless something massive changes, we are going to be a borderline top 25 team IMO. We have zero proven post players. This is the first time in my lifetime that Tennessee is going to have 0 top 5 post players on the roster. Tennessee's strength as a program has always been in having strong power forwards and centers. We don't have any next year unless we play Davis primarily as a post.

Our guards show promise, but Holly is not going to help them improve skills they've struggled with (avoiding turnovers, perimeter shooting, making smart passes, shot selection, running plays, etc). I am hopeful that players will improve, but all results have shown this is unlikely to happen under Holly.

Additionally, more than ever you can see how important quality coaching is in today's landscape. Geno, Muffet, Dawn, Vic, Rueck, Tara etc have all proven year after year that good coaches make good teams and they help their players reach their potential. There's a reason we've consistently seen these coaches competing in the Final Four while we haven't seen coaches like Holly, Mulkey, Aston, McGuff, and McCallie reach Final Fours despite having more than enough talent to compete for championships. It really does come down to coaching, and from everything we've seen the last 6 years, Holly hasn't shown any ability to be a strong coach or leader.
Thanks for putting forth the effort to give summary of Warlick’s coaching tenure. Unfortunately won’t matter, it looks like a dim future.
 


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