Game Thread: (11) Lady Vols 67 - (12) Indiana 79

djtee

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It was against Belmont. Yes, Tennessee needed the win badly and a loss would have been crushing, but it wasn't SC or UConn or Stanford.

I think Puckett can be a big contributor to the team. She's probably not going to be an All-Team performer, but she can be a solid PF that can stretch the defense. But if the team has FF and above aspirations and Rickea Jackson, Jillian Hollingshead and Jasmine Franklin are the other options, I have a hard time going with Sara over these three right now.
I think Puckett gives TN more weapons and keeps the defense off balance.
 

Fatoldman

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Good post friend...And so true too.
Justine could have probably shot the LVs back into the game, but Kellie says no....
I think Justine deserves a chance. She may be a big help. But obviously based on practice Kellie chose not to play her. She deserves the opportunity but to say a player who has yet to score a college point "probably" would have shot us back in the game is silly. I am all for her getting the opportunity to play and she will get that oppirtunity but placing unrealistic expectations on a player being the savior of a team 3 games into her college career is not wise or good for that player
 

Fatoldman

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It was against Belmont. Yes, Tennessee needed the win badly and a loss would have been crushing, but it wasn't SC or UConn or Stanford.

I think Puckett can be a big contributor to the team. She's probably not going to be an All-Team performer, but she can be a solid PF that can stretch the defense. But if the team has FF and above aspirations and Rickea Jackson, Jillian Hollingshead and Jasmine Franklin are the other options, I have a hard time going with Sara over these three right now.
To me Hollingshead's development this year is critical just have to hope the chemistry develops and if so Horston and Jackson together form quite a duo. With Franklin it is all about how much she recovers physically as the season progresses. She used to be fast and a high leaper. Now she plods along and hardly gets off the ground At least one of Sara, Justine and Marta need to come along. Justine may be the best option as she is the best athlete of the 3. These losses early in the season may not be all that bad a thing for this team. Now we know we have a ways to go so can get to work.
 

Rooster1

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I think Justine deserves a chance. She may be a big help. But obviously based on practice Kellie chose not to play her. She deserves the opportunity but to say a player who has yet to score a college point "probably" would have shot us back in the game is silly. I am all for her getting the opportunity to play and she will get that oppirtunity but placing unrealistic expectations on a player being the savior of a team 3 games into her college career is not wise or good for that player
You are correct, but if I might point out something, the discussion was to give Justine 5-10 minutes of PT each game to continue her development, which by most outsider’s opinion based upon her ranking, could be quite high. Never said she would be a savior her freshman season or that she should shoulder that tag, said she has likely highest ceiling among most players on the LV team not named Horston or Jackson.

The alternative is to keep playing status quo with the upperclass players that are getting so many minutes that JP cannot get even 5-10 minutes per game. And what is the ceiling of some of those others taking all the minutes?
 
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Fatoldman

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You are correct, but if I might point out something, the discussion was to give Justine 5-10 minutes of PT each game to continue her development, which by most outsider’s opinion based upon her ranking, could be quite high. Never said she would be a savior her freshman season or that she should shoulder that tag, said she has likely highest ceiling among most players on the LV team not named Horston or Jackson.
I agree with you mostly but given she missed 1 game with concussion, and she has only been suited up 2 games I think it is important to be just a little patient. From now on I would hope and expect Kellie to play her several minutes per game. Think she will probably move ahead of Puckett and Suarez into the top 9 rotation. To me that soon will be Key, Jackson, Horston. Powell and Darby starters. Franklin, Hollingshead, Walker and Justine. Need to limit minutes beyond that IMO.
 

Fatoldman

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I agree with you mostly but given she missed 1 game with concussion, and she has only been suited up 2 games I think it is important to be just a little patient. From now on I would hope and expect Kellie to play her several minutes per game. Think she will probably move ahead of Puckett and Suarez into the top 9 rotation. To me that soon will be Key, Jackson, Horston. Powell and Darby starters. Franklin, Hollingshead, Walker and Justine. Need to limit minutes beyond that IMO unless games are not close.
 

turbovol

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It was against Belmont. Yes, Tennessee needed the win badly and a loss would have been crushing, but it wasn't SC or UConn or Stanford.

I think Puckett can be a big contributor to the team. She's probably not going to be an All-Team performer, but she can be a solid PF that can stretch the defense. But if the team has FF and above aspirations and Rickea Jackson, Jillian Hollingshead and Jasmine Franklin are the other options, I have a hard time going with Sara over these three right now.
Hollingshead is a center who's not getting much PT at all. She's pretty athletic for her size, which is good, but I presume there are other aspects of her game that need considerable work.

Is Puckett not playing because of defense? Is she a decent man defender? I think that a number of our players are not, and that may be keeping some of them on the bench. I certainly think Puckett would help our offense and it /is/ surprising to see her playing so little given how much she played last year. And I'm surprised Harper hasn't been asked about her in any of her recent pressers. She should be asked.
 

Amb3096

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Hollingshead is a center who's not getting much PT at all. She's pretty athletic for her size, which is good, but I presume there are other aspects of her game that need considerable work.

Is Puckett not playing because of defense? Is she a decent man defender? I think that a number of our players are not, and that may be keeping some of them on the bench. I certainly think Puckett would help our offense and it /is/ surprising to see her playing so little given how much she played last year. And I'm surprised Harper hasn't been asked about her in any of her recent pressers. She should be asked.
Hollingshead is a project offensively and needs to improve her defensive awareness. But the athleticism is there and she has a sweet looking stroke out to the arc. She has a lot of potential without having to completely overhaul her game like Wynn needs.

My guess for why Puckett isn't playing is because Kellie thinks she has better options to choose from (Horston/Jackson/Darby/Hollingshead/Franklin are all taking minutes at the 2-3-4 spots where Sara could play). My observation is that Sara is not as good a perimeter defender or outside shooter as Darby, which is why she's behind her in the rotation. Truthfully, if Rae didn't get injured I don't think Sara would have played as much as she did last season. Like I said in another post, I think Sara can be a good contributor, but not sure who I'd send to the bench ahead of her given the players she's competing with for minutes at her position.
 

Rooster1

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It was against Belmont. Yes, Tennessee needed the win badly and a loss would have been crushing, but it wasn't SC or UConn or Stanford.

I think Puckett can be a big contributor to the team. She's probably not going to be an All-Team performer, but she can be a solid PF that can stretch the defense. But if the team has FF and above aspirations and Rickea Jackson, Jillian Hollingshead and Jasmine Franklin are the other options, I have a hard time going with Sara over these three right now.
I recall Puckett scoring 10 vs. Stanford last season off the bench. And 12 in the tourney versus Belmont off the bench…
 

Amb3096

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I recall Puckett scoring 10 vs. Stanford last season off the bench.
She did, but she also wasn't the main target of Stanford's defense and Tennessee lost the game. It's not like she hit the game winner.

Not saying she's not a good player, but right now there are others that appear to be better options...at least to Kellie. So Sara is relegated towards the end of the bench.
 

Rooster1

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She did, but she also wasn't the main target of Stanford's defense and Tennessee lost the game. It's not like she hit the game winner.

Not saying she's not a good player, but right now there are others that appear to be better options...at least to Kellie. So Sara is relegated towards the end of the bench.
I Accept all that. She was a true freshman though, she was not going to be the main target of Stanford’s defense. She did hit the game winner in the tourney though as a true freshman and she looked like she belonged on the court versus Stanford, if that is the standard we are discussing.

Also,curious who the better options are off the bench right now…not seeing it tbh.
 

Rooster1

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I saw a mock draft that had Jackson and Horston in the top 5. By recruiting rankings I think we are a lot better that Indiana or Ohio State but I didn’t look it up.
I think if we find the right combination and play with just a core 8 or 9 players we can easily be a top 4 SEC team. IF they do get the right combination (a couple starters should be role players, not starters IMO), and with good coaching, they should be at least an elite 8 team. I saw that bench last night and I wondered if they have to many players they are trying to coach/work with in practice, I understand having depth but can you have so much depth that it takes away from your core???
Teams do not need a duo or trifecta of WNBA future first round picks to compete in college WBB. They need a team with chemistry and identity which they play such identity well. You can peruse the WBB college landscape, lots of teams without first round talent that play well.

Also, there are some teams with those first round pick(s) that don’t play as a team so well. It’s coaching all the way in college ball. Don’t think for a minute IU or OSU will go the season with just a few losses, they are good teams but they aren’t stacked as you would say. Great chemistry and team identity though, which goes a long way.
 
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Amb3096

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I Accept all that. She was a true freshman though, she was not going to be the main target of Stanford’s defense. She did hit the game winner in the tourney though as a true freshman and she looked like she belonged on the court versus Stanford, if that is the standard we are discussing.

Also,curious who the better options are off the bench right now…not seeing it tbh.
Note I said "at least to Kellie". If Rickea Jackson had not been recruited, then Sara would probably be starting in her place. I don't see a reason for why Puckett should play over Jackson at critical junctures. Even Hollingshead probably has more upside. If moving to the wing instead of the high post, Darby has been doing what's needed...namely, hitting 3 pointers at an efficient clip. So yeah, those 3 are the players that I think should be on the court over Sara (add Horston to that once she's back from her injury).
 

youcancallmeAl

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Are you talking about Puckett, because that's who I meant. Even if she has no hops, she can be a great rebounder if she establishes position and boxes out. Bashaara Graves couldn't jump 1" off the ground, but was a tremendous rebounder because she understood positioning and had the lower body strength to not be moved. I think Puckett can do that too. I think your selling Tamari short as a rebounder. Even if she doesn't get the board, the other team has 2-3 players trying to prevent her from just reaching over them and grabbing them that it becomes easier for the other players to swoop in and grab it.
With all due respect, and trying not to be a smart@$$, really want to know your answer here: Then why are we getting whipped badly on the boards in the opening games of this season?
 

Amb3096

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With all due respect, and trying not to be a smart@$$, really want to know your answer here: Then why are we getting whipped badly on the boards in the opening games of this season?
Because Tennessee is missing their best rebounder (Horston)? With her, they whipped OSU on the boards. Without her, they haven't outrebounded a team yet.
 

VA_VOLFAN

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Trying to be honest not just emoting anger and insults. Tennessee looks no different than when Holly was the coach. Long on talent. Woefully short on intangibles.
Except for the locker room fights, dismissing players, and lack of respect for the program you would be correct ... This team lacks toughness like a Holly team and let's be honest last years team under Kellie was the complete opposite of what a Holly team had gotten to look like at the end of her career.
 

Rooster1

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Except for the locker room fights, dismissing players, and lack of respect for the program you would be correct ... This team lacks toughness like a Holly team and let's be honest last years team under Kellie was the complete opposite of what a Holly team had gotten to look like at the end of her career.
Been awhile since I have seen a UT LV team beaten on the boards by a much smaller team and lack any defensive identity, but yeah ok.
 

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