Game Thread: #22/23 TENNESSEE AT NO. 13/13 KENTUCKY

creekdipper

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This program has suffered the equivalent of an ACL tear and is rehabbing. We have some real talent along with a lot of role players but lack experience that only comes with playing together. We had a setback with losing two key starters with experience aling with a key reserve. Key and Horston aren't (yet) dominant, take-over-a game players.

Losing winnable games due to many mistakes is always disappointing, but we didn't fold and quit. We knew this season would be a work in progress and require lots of patience.

We're a long ways better than the days of jaw-dropping Youtube videos that made the rounds to amuse others at our expense. And we're taking baby steps at improvement.
 

VA_VOLFAN

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I think getting to 20 plus wins in the regular season will be a good total for this team. I think eventually Horston must start looking like a consistent player and a few others that we are playing want be playing if they can't at least make a contribution to winning the game. She certainly gets time to recruit some of her own players and time to develop the players sophomores and freshmen that are the best players on this team other than Davis. She certainly can't go 19 and 13 like last season but something like 25 and 9 would be a good season considering the roster youth and inexperience.
Gotcha ... thanks😃

I would almost want to start a thread asking that question... what would be considered a successful season but I don’t want to deal with trolls, unrealistic expectations, etc LOL

Yes this is TN and anything other than a championship is considered a failure but in reality....

Anyways I agree with your insight and I would add get to the SEC semis, beat a top 3 SEC team, and have a 11-5 sec record?

I am really interested in seeing the out of conference schedule for next year ... it doesn’t have to be all big power 5 schools a couple of schools like Drake, Gonzaga , Rice, mixed in with Indiana or maybe a team like NC (where Key could play in her home state) would be fun. Even playing a game against Michigan or Syracuse would be different and I think would be beneficial their coaches are good tacticians.
 
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Voltopia

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I think getting to 20 plus wins in the regular season will be a good total for this team. I think eventually Horston must start looking like a consistent player and a few others that we are playing want be playing if they can't at least make a contribution to winning the game. She certainly gets time to recruit some of her own players and time to develop the players sophomores and freshmen that are the best players on this team other than Davis. She certainly can't go 19 and 13 like last season but something like 25 and 9 would be a good season considering the roster youth and inexperience.
Tennessee could very easily go 18-12 this year. They're on a short bench, and let's see ... Connecticut, South Carolina, Texas A&M, Mississippi State ... add a few more in there and they're definitely closing in on ten losses if they're not careful. Arkansas is no slouch, and LSU is not a world beater but they are doing decently enough. Probably seven losses, and if you drop a couple more with turnovers or bad defense ... real easy to hit 18-12.
 

KellywillwinNC

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you know..tennessee had all the momentum coming into the 2nd half..tennessee gets the ball to start the half as well, but horston makes a lazy pass and it gets stolen for a layup..that one play really set the tone for the rest of the half. tennessee would cut the lead, but make another boneheaded mistake and kentucky would make em pay..but hey did ya notice tennessee shot free throws much better or nah??
 
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Volfan2012

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Tennessee could very easily go 18-12 this year. They're on a short bench, and let's see ... Connecticut, South Carolina, Texas A&M, Mississippi State ... add a few more in there and they're definitely closing in on ten losses if they're not careful. Arkansas is no slouch, and LSU is not a world beater but they are doing decently enough. Probably seven losses, and if you drop a couple more with turnovers or bad defense ... real easy to hit 18-12.
It will be a bad season if we don't beat at least one of those teams Miss St or Texas A&M at home. Miss St can be had Georgia almost got them today. A&M is like Kentucky have one player you have to hope you can control or that they control themselves with a bad shooting game. We want know until the season plays out I never let road games determine what I think a team will end up doing. Kentucky has several wins over teams in the last few years up there including a couple over SC.
 

VA_VOLFAN

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Tennessee could very easily go 18-12 this year. They're on a short bench, and let's see ... Connecticut, South Carolina, Texas A&M, Mississippi State ... add a few more in there and they're definitely closing in on ten losses if they're not careful. Arkansas is no slouch, and LSU is not a world beater but they are doing decently enough. Probably seven losses, and if you drop a couple more with turnovers or bad defense ... real easy to hit 18-12.
Do you think it’s as easy is this team loses 8 games to go 22-8? I am all over with this team lol...

I could also see this team beating teams like Kentucky in the SEC tourney. Ky isn’t going to grow taller by then but I could also see us being 18-12 like you said. I think a 20 win season will happen though. Maybe 22-10?
 

VA_VOLFAN

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you know..tennessee had all the momentum coming into the 2nd half..tennessee gets the ball to start the half as well, but horston makes a lazy pass and it gets stolen for a layup..that one play really set the tone for the rest of the half. tennessee would cut the lead, but make another boneheaded mistake and kentucky would make em pay..but hey did ya notice tennessee shot free throws much better or nah??
Curious... who is your favorite team? Is it Oregon? I noticed your name... lol
 
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howard with a career night my goodness..team ya had one job and that was not let howard go off like she did..turnovers didnt help either
Both players and defensive game plan failed here...The players should have seen film on Howard against SC and known that all she heeded was a moment's space to shoot her shot and there should have been a defensive plan for just such a scoring outburst...no double teaming her,,,extended pressure only at the end of the game, ,,,,someone like her you can never let her get comfortable..(,,.Don't leave her, off the ball, smother her,,,she hates it)

To a higher ranked team on the road by 4 points?
Agree, we do have to take this into perspective.
KY was supposed to win by more than double what it did win by
ANd we did not give up and almost made a comeback.........................................almost

Kellie was a great player, nice person, useless coach. This one is on her...
Losses always are
"player win games and coaches lose them"
Every coach knows this
been that way forever

Yes we don't have a lockdown defender but she made some plays when she was well guarded. I watched her play against Louisville and she was no where this good missed a lot of wide open shots and they lost by one.
When a player goes into a zone against you, the first thing you have to do is mix it up,,double-team her on all touches in the arc,,,and shadow her on defense no matter where the ball is bover her! and never EVER leave her unless the ball is shot or turns-over

If we had Zay we win this game and would have won Texas. We probably would only have the loss to Stanford. We have a long way to go, but there have been improvements during the season. Maybe not as much as we hoped, but remember the last three years under Holly the team actually got worse as the season went on.
If................

My favorite development of this season is how quickly Zaay has become the female Michael Jordan since her injury...
See above
 
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Volfan2012

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you know..tennessee had all the momentum coming into the 2nd half..tennessee gets the ball to start the half as well, but horston makes a lazy pass and it gets stolen for a layup..that one play really set the tone for the rest of the half. tennessee would cut the lead, but make another boneheaded mistake and kentucky would make em pay..but hey did ya notice tennessee shot free throws much better or nah??
Horston becoming an efficient and effective player instead of the player she is now several very bad turnovers is the key to how this team will end up. I don't know how long it will take to get her where she needs to be may not happen this year. I am sure the coaches are talking to her but she consistently over passes and is not using good form and finishing on a lot of her shots. If this continues all season we could be in trouble because you must be effective in your play in the SEC
 
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glv98

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Maybe I’m overly optimistic but I see improvements in this team in some areas compared with “all the talent”we had last year. It looks like we play harder for longer spurts instead of the 2-3 min spurts last year. I also feel like Kellie gets this teams attention better than Holly did.
Not like me to be a sunshine pumper but I agree with this. My biggest source of optimism is how much harder they play for longer sequences and that they don't fold immediately when they get behind like the last few teams. I see less of the snowball becoming an avalanche tendency. They don't seem to be getting overall worse which is also a nice change.

Far from questioning their will to win, I was really impressed with how they kept coming back. Would not have happened last year. I see alot more mental engagement and toughness.

Unfortunately, winning these intangible battles can't overcome the bad decision-making that leads to 21 turnovers. Horston must continue to improve in that area and I feel like she will. I'm cautiously optimistic about Key as well and think Brown and Rennie are decent, scrappy role players.

I think Kellie deserves credit for how she's handled Burrell and its really paying off. What, is that player development we're seeing? Keep her coming off the bench but get her plenty of minutes.

It is frustrating to have familiar bug a boos continue to bite us in the butt - careless ball handling and erratic offense. Hopefully KJH will find a way to get on top of that.
 
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Chitownvol1129

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I think THIS was a necessary loss. Youngsters, Key, and Jordan learned bad calls on road, and still team battled back to fight. No way Kentucky beats us here or on neutral court. We will grow leaps and bounds, and, for first time, the subbing didn't effect play. We are extremely talented, and this lesson will teach the 2 young classes to step it up hard.
 

VA_VOLFAN

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Horston becoming an efficient and effective player instead of the player she is now several very bad turnovers is the key to how this team will end up. I don't know how long it will take to get her where she needs to be may not happen this year. I am sure the coaches are talking to her but she consistently over passes and is not using good form and finishing on a lot of her shots. If this continues all season we could be in trouble because you must be effective in your play in the SEC
Agreed but then I remember she is just a freshman... this is where missing Zaay hurts because when you could sit Horston down you could put her in and if we remember Zaay had the same issues last year with go go go and turning ball over. I would love to see them both get out and run (this will have to wait)... NO I am not saying Zaay is the female version of Michael Jordan (I saw a poster say it’s funny how some people think she would be that .... the female version of Michael Jordan I think would be deemed Sheryl Swoopes and we could use a player like her though 😂) but I think it would help but you gotta play the players you have.
 

KellywillwinNC

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i dont want to write off kellie as a bad coach just yet, even tho she failed to find an adjustment that would stop Howard. look if this game would have been a holly coached game, the loss prolly would have been 20 points or more. she was able to keep.em motivated and keep fighting to stay in the game, but in the end howard and the turnovers were to.much t9 overcome
 

VA_VOLFAN

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haha good eye..yes i love watching oregon play. Coach graves is an amazing offensive mind when it comes to basketball. oregon will get some titles under him im sure, but i love tennessee basketball too.
We are just going to call it autocorrect and hope some of Kelly’s offensive prowess rub off on KELLIE😂
 

Voltopia

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Do you think it’s as easy is this team loses 8 games to go 22-8? I am all over with this team lol...

I could also see this team beating teams like Kentucky in the SEC tourney. Ky isn’t going to grow taller by then but I could also see us being 18-12 like you said. I think a 20 win season will happen though. Maybe 22-10?
Maybe, but for all Tennessee's height and size, they only seem to impose it on clearly lesser teams; teams that cannot take advantage of Tennessee's lack of mobility and speed. UT is big but ... I can hardly think of a time I've seen one of the Lady Vol forwards get the ball and impose their will. Now some of that is on the backcourt to get the ball to forwards in good position, but still ... I can think of classic people, Harrison, Johnson, Ely, Snow, who dominated on both ends, and it feels like forever since UT's had a banger inside who would impose their will on the paint. Anyway.

As for seeing Kentucky again, if Rhyne Howard or whoever can shoot threes like she did today, those other teams don't need to be taller than the Lady Vols. About halfway through the season and some of the breakdowns on defense today for Tennessee were huge. I'm not sure it gets much better. Eh. Maybe 20 wins. 22 would be a real surprise.
 

Volfan2012

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I'll just say if we lose any of the next four were in big trouble again this season. All four should be wins no reason to lose to any of the four teams we play next.
 

glv98

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w long are you going to give KJH to show she can get us to an elite level?
Should be seeing real improvement in a couple of years when Horston, Green, Burrell, Key are upperclassmen, along with a mix of quality recruits. Elite? If KJH is successful recruiting the next few crucial seasons, I'd say 3 or 4 yrs. But we're so far from that real estate now! After the last couple of train wreck seasons I'd be happy with steady development and improvement, a midpack SEC finish and a fair to decent run, maybe two games, in both tournies for this year. Key this year is keep a forward trajectory out of the abyss.
Horston becoming an efficient and effective player instead of the player she is now several very bad turnovers is the key to how this team will end up. I don't know how long it will take to get her where she needs to be may not happen this year. I am sure the coaches are talking to her but she consistently over passes and is not using good form and finishing on a lot of her shots. If this continues all season we could be in trouble because you must be effective in your play in the SEC
Yep Horston is key. The last few years we've complained about having athletes, not basketball players. IMO Horston is a gifted physical athlete who actually is already a basketball player, she's just not a point guard yet. Decision making in the heat of battle is the hardest part, and I'm not sure it can be taught. More likely acquired by experience, along with coaching guidance. And who better to give point guard decision-making guidance than KJH? Well ok Kara Lawson would be better but you know what I mean.

Alot is being asked of Horston early and she's getting a ton of experience. We just really need to see her benefit from it, not reset to zero every game like previous pgs. I truly believe she will, should be fun to watch her develop. She sure has all the tools.

Speaking of pgs, the surprise of the season so far for me is that Massingill is actually a decent player. Good for her, good for us.
 

Chitownvol1129

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She missed 11 or 12 straight shots, you can't say we simply failed to contain her Coachjumper, bad calls, and youth reaction, aside, we stopped her for the second quarter, and still faught hard. Very bad calls on Key, and Jordan, really made difference. The team faught hard and will turn this into a good loss.
 

Memvol44

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Hmmmm, giving away a gajillion 3 pointers, career night against them, 200 turnovers, coming out of halftime completely flat. Seems like an ongoing Holly ball saga. Wish that my team had the fight In them to win.

Does Tennessee specifically look for recruits that cannot shoot? Why does every team in Division I have multiple players that are good 3 point shooters whilst Tennessee has zero. It’s like watching the Chicago Bears and their perpetual lack of a quarterback. 100 years of football, not one good quarterback.
Bobby Douglas was a good quarterback!!
 

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