Game Thread: #23/24 TENNESSEE VS. #1/1 STANFORD

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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. -- No. 23/24 Tennessee (8-1) will face its toughest test of the season on Wednesday, as the Lady Vols go into Maples Pavilion in search of a victory over No. 1/1 Stanford (9-0). Tip-off is scheduled for 7:06 p.m. PT (10:06 p.m. ET). This will mark the 37th time these programs have met on the hardwood, with UT owning a 25-11 record in the series. The contest at Stanford marks only the third road game of the season and the first since Nov. 11 for Tennessee. The Big Orange opened 2019-20 with a win at East Tennessee State on Nov. 5 and then beat the Fighting Irish in Notre Dame on Nov. 11. Tennessee closed out a six-game home stand last Wednesday night with a 79-41 victory over Colorado State at Thompson-Boling Arena. That triumph was a bounce-back win after the Lady Vols suffered their first setback of the season on Dec. 8, falling to Texas, 66-60. Stanford is coming off a 71-52 home win vs. Ohio State on Sunday evening. The Cardinal has victories over (then) No. 18 Syracuse (77-59) and No. 10 Mississippi State (67-62) to its credit. Both of those wins came at the Greater Victoria Invitational in Victoria, Canada.

VolNation

When announcers on TV talk of UT LV basketball, they often reference the "knowledgeable fans"
As will I

The following are comments by posters that stuck out in my mind starting just after the game and culminating with the live scouting thread.
What follows are comments, suggestions,, recruiting suggestions, critiques and praises from the posters of VolNation...

Lady Vols, you have a loyal and dedicated fanbase,,,be proud,,,
play,
to earn this gift,
Coach J

Posts from VolNation this week:

Volfan2012 said:

Assists are way up 18.3 to 12.5 last season but most of the improvements have been on defense 52 rebounds per game this season in 9 games to 44.5 last season at this time. We’re allowing 52 points per game this season 57.6 last and the real huge one is 60 blocks to 18 which is 4.5 more blocks per game. Were a turnover worse this season mostly because of the freshmen as they have really bad turnover totals. Huge improvement in the returning players who have far less turnovers than last season at this point. First time I can remember Tennessee having a positive assist to turnover ratio in several years 18.3 assist to 17.6 turnovers last year it was 12.5 assist to 16 turnovers. We have scored 74.1 per game to 81 a game at this point last season. I would say that the offense needs the most work the defense seems much improved over last season and the stats back that up. Scoring just 60 points is the reason we lost the Texas game as last season they scored 82 on us and still lost by six.



pimo1 said:

I didn't get to watch the game tonight but looking at the box score I saw something very alarming. The score, we held them to 41 points and almost doubled that ourselves. Great. But we had 17 turnovers to their 8 and even more alarming we got 4 steals their 14!!!! Wtf. How do you blow out a team that gets 14 steals off you? Had they shot 28% from 3 instead of 18 we'd have been in serious trouble. And who the heck is this Makenzie Wells she had 6 steals this game. In the 10 games preceding this she had 10. What is going on with ball security? Something has to give here. We are averaging 17 turnovers a game ranked 227 out of 338 schools. I am amazed we only have the one loss but seriously if they could turn the ball over just a bit less. The one good thing is outside of the one game we lost no one has made us pay for them. Our defense has nullified it. That's over starting next game and definitely in conference play. Stanford will make us pay. Hopefully they change whatever brand of talcum powder they are using or start using it.

I seriously need to go back and watch some games. How are they happening? Scary passes? Does everyone on the team have tiny hands? It seems to be mostly the guards with high turnovers and forwards on the opposing teams getting steals. Bad entry passes when trying to feed the post? Please make it stop whatever it is.



Chippo said:

The real test will be Stanford. Powder puff
teams are one thing. Top ten of AP and
coaches poll are another.



CannonVol80 said:

You say the key missing ingredient is a "point guard" and then mention careless turnovers. It seems to me that some on here continue to hold visceral feelings about Jazmine Massengill that aren't truly founded on fact. If you look at her individual season stat line, she has committed only 11 turnovers through nine games, or an average of 1.2 TO/game. Of the guards we have available, Jaz has the best A/TO ratio and the most turnovers she has committed in any single game has been three, and in three games, including Texas, she had 0 TOs. If you are blaming the number of careless turnovers committed by the team as a whole on Jaz, as the point guard or on the lack of a "point guard", then I think your emphasis is misplaced. A good point guard can direct the flow of the team in the game, but they can't, in my opinion, be responsible for the individual play of all of the team members!

Were some of these careless turnovers? Yes, clearly. Would I like to see those reduced? Again, clearly! But, I personally think too many fans dog Jaz based on her performance last season. And this is not last season. She currently has the best A/TO ratio in the SEC. She is in the top 5 (4th) in A/game at 4.5 (Jordan Horston is 2d at 4.8)

If anything, her weakest point, in my opinion, is her field goal percentage. And this is a problem that plagues the entire team, with the possible exception of Rennia Davis and Tamari Key.

Could Jaz be better? Without a doubt! And, she is showing that game by game, in my opinion.

Jim



pimo1 said:

I think she is showing amazing growth and deserves more credit for the fact they keep winning despite all the turnovers. As you pointed out she is definitely not the root of the turnovers. Jaz is gonna be our PG for the next 3 so get ready and we won't regret that ride she is a player. I've followed her since HS, she is a winner.



GameTime said:

One of the reasons we turn it over is (at times) the guards penetrate and make a quick pass to a forward 3 feet from them, instead of taking the open shot....The forward is getting ready for the shot to rebound and suddenly the ball is in their face....

Another reason for the turnovers is the team is not over Macho Grande...Not sure they will ever be over Macho Grande. (I couldn't help myself)



PointGuard said:

Another one I didn’t watch but much improved stat line. The stat I liked best = 20 assists = team play. How many 20 assist games in the prior 6 years? I don’t take the time to check. I’ll bet less than 10. Team play consistently in the future. Stat I liked least? 17 TO’s. A work in progress Playing cupcakes ? Yes! Will Stanford win? Probably ? Stagnant like last 6 years? Definitely no! Progress ? Definitely Yes! Let’s be happy. Keep on keeping on!!


Volfan2012 said:

Stanford scored 95 on us last year for us to have a chance to win there we have to keep them in the 60's this time. Holding them to that on their home court will not be easy. I hope were focused and play smart all you can ask win or lose this is another game where were playing a team as talented as any in the country. Use any post of mine you want.



VolBall09 said:

Looks to me like defense was discussed in practice. Second team bringing the D.

Nute Gunray said:

Coach Harper does a lot of player substitution to keep fresh legs on defense and to get to know her players. A disadvantage of frequent player substitution is turnovers due to lack of team cohesion.

Orange Maniac said:

I really like the way Saunders plays. She never brings the ball down when she gets it. She positions herself to receive the ball as well as any post we have. She fights for position and buries her defender under the bucket so she has a quick turnaround to lay it in and as an opposing player you better bring it hard or she will smack it back in your face. I would like to see her get more time myself.

lvocd said:

If Kellie wanted to give players after the first six much game experience at all, then she HAD to use this strategy during the early portion of the schedule because she won't have that luxury as the season progresses. It was a risk, yes, that the top 6 didn't get to play together for as many minutes as possible to build their chemistry and timing, but I have a feeling that they won't take long to truly mesh once the bench is shortened.

I like what Kellie has done so far with minutes, and I absolutely love that Kellie being Kellie has given Kamera Harris a chance to contribute in her final season. If a coaching change hadn't been made I guarantee you that Kam would rarely have gotten up off the bench this season.

Coach Jumper said:

We have to learn from the Men's game tonight against Memphis...It was phenomenal defense effort for both teams, but we were so locked in on defense, we forgot about offense.
15-60 25% shooting
Memphis wasn't much better 19-56 34%

Final score 51-47 Memphis, yet we lead 17-5 early and didn't call a timeout until it was 23-21,,,after giving up a 16-8 run.
(Media timeouts screw up college basketball....we save the called timeouts waiting on the media TO to stop the bleeding...Guess what, players know when YOU use a timeout and what that means,,,versus a gift to both teams from the network....THERE is a difference in how they affect players...As a coach you have to stop the bleeding sometimes,,if you wait on the medics, you may already bleed out))

I watched the entire game.
We had open looks,,just didn't have concentration or focus on scoring

We got whipped on the boards 49-39
Bench points was a huge difference..UT 8 Memphis 19
4 for 26 shooting 3's

Stanford will be a war, just like the men's game was...we must learn from it

Coach Jumper said:

Kiana Williams is one of those speed guards kind of like the one from UConn little five foot seven speed guard. She could give us trouble a guard like that especially one that goes to the basket every chance she gets has to be stopped on the floor. Ohio state has no shot-blocker and no intimidation whatsoever in the paint so Stanford is able to do as they will with cuts and drives to the basket

NewDog said:

Funny how that is. One game doesn't necessarily mean anything to another game.

I'm sure you know that there are reasons for such disparate results.

- Homecourt. Ohio State beat Louisville on their home court. The only lost to UConn by 11 on that same court.

- Matchups. Sometimes matchups make a big difference.

- Sometimes teams have good games and they have bad games. Ohio State struggled with the Stanford defense, but some of that was just rushed offense. They were patient against Louisville. Not so much Stanford.

Stanford's defense was outstanding in this game. At times their offense was terrific. Should be a fun game against Tennessee.

Hoosier said:

I watched three quarters of the OSU-Stanford game and also wondered how OSU beat Louisville. That said, I am glad Stanford won because they aren't likely to lose two games in a row, so we have a chance, if we can manage to hit our shots --- not holding my breath on that one though --- Go Lady Vols!

Volfan2012 said:

Obvious to me we'll have to hold them in the 60's with our defense to have a chance to win. Were not very good offensively right now and until I see players making the easy shots they should make a high percentage of defense will have to be the way we win.

RollerVol said:

Stanford can make anybody look bad and they will make us look bad if we don't play better than we have...they play very well as a team and they have height, width, speed, work hard in the paint, and shoot well also...I felt they were toying with OSU...

GO LADY VOLS!

Coach Jumper said:
Yes I've been watching that game. DVR. At this point it's 10 to 5 Louisville at 4:08 and first quarter ... this is just after that charge call that the referees missed. The Kentucky player has her feet set but she extended her hands and didn't get the call. She was there in plenty of time , fully set. But when you are about to take a charge and you extend your hands to a referee it looks like you're pushing off. That's why the butt slide is so important . When taking a charge do you have to take the contact without extending your hands and finish on the butt slide and you'll get the call every time

Coach Jumper said:
Stanford has a lot of high screen rolls, without the screen. Meaning they send their forward out from the low block at the high elbow and she stands there like she's going to screen and then turns and rolls to the basket getting hit with a drop pass on the way to the basket

Coach Jumper said:
Do not let Hannah jump, shoot three pointers

Coach Jumper said:
We need to work on taking charges this week. Stanford sends a lot of players from the elbow or top of the key on drives. That means our help defense has plenty of time to set up in the driver's Lane. Now if we just show we can take I charge will make them think about that

Coach Jumper said:
What stands out in the halftime stats. Stanford was 4of 15 3-pointers nine turnovers 10 assist 10 steals. They are super high intensity man-to-man defense. Almost no Zone. They get out on you once you get to the arc they really don't touch you coming down the court that much but they will not let you inside the arc without some sort of resistance

Coach Jumper said:
They swarmed the paint when the ball goes inside sometimes triple teaming.tonight they're not Triple- teaming a player like key or KK they won't be able to do that with us cuz we we we can kick the ball back out or go over them

Coach Jumper said:
Stanford gets a lot of opportunistic steals. They will cut behind somebody that the is about to go to a Pivot right or left and catch the ball as they're pivoting. I've seen this about half a dozen times already and the games only 5/8 through

Coach Jumper said:
Stanford will also get you the crowd the top of the key and kick out to a baseline shooter usually Lexie Hull or Hannah jumps. They'll lull the defense in I playing it close to the top of the key and when the defense leaves one of the Baseline Shooters they kick it out real fast

Coach Jumper said:
I have noticed that teams even though Ohio State as weak as they look tonight continue to Drive unscathed to the basket.
SO far no Stanford player has come close to stopping a drive or standing in the way of an oncoming charge I haven't seen anything close to that

Coach Jumper said:
Whoever we put on Haley Jones has got to guard her coming down the floor. If they wait till she gets within the step of the 3-point line she's going to the basket

Coach Jumper said:
We need to put Burrell on Haley Jones and Horston on Williams That's definite!

We have to extend our defense out on the floor...I have seen two games with Stanford and no one has pressured the ball....The only trap I did see tonight from OSU rattled williams.
Hoosier said:
I watched three quarters of the OSU-Stanford game and also wondered how OSU beat Louisville. That said, I am glad Stanford won because they aren't likely to lose two games in a row, so we have a chance, if we can manage to hit our shots --- not holding my breath on that one though :) --- Go Lady Vols!

Volfan2012 said:
Obvious to me we'll have to hold them in the 60's with our defense to have a chance to win. Were not very good offensively right now and until I see players making the easy shots they should make a high percentage of defense will have to be the way we win.

RollerVol said:
Stanford can make anybody look bad and they will make us look bad if we don't play better than we have...they play very well as a team and they have height, width, speed, work hard in the paint, and shoot well also...I felt they were toying with OSU...

GO LADY VOLS!
 
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#3
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#3
I'm thinking that this is the kind of game that every girl on this roster came here to be in. It's just a matter of them knowing their strengths and enforcing them. Stanford is equal to us and we are equal to Stanford. Physically skillfully and historically these programs are equal.

You've heard that old Sports saying 110%. I believe both of these teams will give 100%. It's that 10 that's going to make the difference
 
#7

lvocd

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#7
Bottom line:

Stanford is comprised of 15 exceptionally bright, talented, highly motivated young women who likely have no problem whatsoever comprehending, and then implementing, all the basketball concepts/knowledge that the group of exceptionally bright, talented, experienced women who coach them offer every day.

Stanford will be prepared. They know our weaknesses and will exploit them — IF Tennessee lets them.

I don’t imagine our roster of players would stand a chance against Stanford’s roster if they were to have to compete on College Jeopardy, but our players could compete with just about anyone athletically if they just so happen to have an exceptional shooting day in the same game as a great defensive stand.

It is highly possible that Tennessee could have such a game. But they MUST go into Maples Pavilion absolutely confident that they are going to win the game. NOT “oh, if we have a good game we might win.”

The have to go in there knowing, 100%, that they are leaving there with another win, and they can’t let that confidence falter no matter that Stanford goes on a big run. They have to know they have the ability to take it! Confidence is everything.
 
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#8
When I am teaching shooting I have a phrase that I often say... shoot knowing

What that means is shoot knowing it's going in not hoping it's going to be in not guessing if it's going in but knowing it's going in. That is the confidence you have to have as a shooter / scorer

shoot knowing
 
#9

GameTime

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#9
Coach, you are a cool guy.....

Thanks for doing all the prep work you do, so we can be more informed about what to expect from the upcoming game.....

My Christmas wish to you is that someone, from the women's basketball department at UT, sees some of your posts on Vol Nation, and gets in touch with you and lets you interview for some type of position within the Lady Vols...

You may be the missing element needed to help some of these girls learn how to shoot the ball with the confidence several of them seem to lack....(I'm not being factitious when I say that) You speak the truth.

I'm not kissing your ring, but damn son, keep up the good work.
 
#11

Volfan2012

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#11
A lot of potential in this Tennessee team which hasn't yet been recognized as still a few players with a ways to go. This is probably the toughest game on the schedule playing on the road so far away. Always expect to win but win or lose hopefully we come to play and give the effort to be in the game until the end.
 
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I appreciate that game time. I started this rollercoaster ride in 1981 coaching my nieces 10 and under rec team. I remember like yesterday. I had played football and ran track has my two primaries growing up hardly ever even touch the basketball except to play horse in the backyard. As I began to truly take this game on as my passion I began to notice that all the boys had all the coaches and all the girls had Daddy coaches or Uncle coach or brother coaches. It actually made me mad. And I have worked for the progression of women's basketball ever since. I would do what I do without one single word of encouragement from anyone because I love the game that much. But when someone like you speaks of your support of my work towards improving the women's game, it humbles me and it fills my heart with joy and pride. Thank you so much game time
 
#13

RollerVol

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#13
yep, Coach can coach and I appreciate his effort...even from what I've seen, we can still beat Stanford...if we can play a "complete" game...of course what else am I going to do but pull for an upset...I'm a Vol Homer...that's how I roll...:D

GO LADY VOLS...BEAT THE LADY TREES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
 
#15

lvocd

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#15
I never complain about the refs but every home game for Stanford I have watched, the refs seems to be overly in favor of Stanford. I think on a neutral court we have a good chance of winning.
Same here, charlie. One of the last few times we played out there, though, I remember that it was an exception to that rule and the game was, oddly enough, called more like an SEC game. Can’t remember if we won that one or not, but it does give me hope. lol

Seems like 99% of the time Maples is a bear to win in, though, for sure. With all the cuts they are sure to make I’m worried we’ll pick up too many ticky-tack touch fouls. Ugh. It’ll get tough if our players get tentative for fear of fouling, so I’d just as soon they just play hard let the chips fall where they may. Maybe they can eventually wear Stanford down. :p
 
#16
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All I Ask of any ref in any game I coach is consistency. Are they going to call the game close then call it close throughout... if they are going to let people battle and let him battle throughout. The main thing is as a coach you have to work the refs you don't try to charm them they hate that s***.

You work the refs they well respect you and you can influence how the game goes forward. If you jump up and down and screaming and gripe about every call you're not going to get a thing. If you complain and beg you'll get even less. There is a professional way of working refs that they understand and appreciate. I believe this to be true no matter what division you're in and no matter what level you're on.

This is going to be one of those games where Coach K is going to really earn her stripes
 
#17
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Same here, charlie. One of the last few times we played out there, though, I remember that it was an exception to that rule and the game was, oddly enough, called more like an SEC game. Can’t remember if we won that one or not, but it does give me hope. lol

Seems like 99% of the time Maples is a bear to win in, though, for sure. With all the cuts they are sure to make I’m worried we’ll pick up too many ticky-tack touch fouls. Ugh. It’ll get tough if our players get tentative for fear of fouling, so I’d just as soon they just play hard let the chips fall where they may. Maybe they can eventually wear Stanford down. :p

The last time we played Stanford coach warlick was at the helm. I saw her coach for 6 years and I never saw her work a ref. Ever. All I saw was hands on hips hands folded across the chest and and the face of why me Lord. Ain't No ref in the world ever going to give a call to someone like that
 
#18

Jax_Vol

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The last time we played Stanford coach warlick was at the helm. I saw her coach for 6 years and I never saw her work a ref. Ever. All I saw was hands on hips hands folded across the chest and and the face of why me Lord. Ain't No ref in the world ever going to give a call to someone like that
Holly is a #VFL and a strong assistant coach.

But, not a good head coach.
 
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#19

Nute Gunray

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#19
Bottom line:

Stanford is comprised of 15 exceptionally bright, talented, highly motivated young women who likely have no problem whatsoever comprehending, and then implementing, all the basketball concepts/knowledge that the group of exceptionally bright, talented, experienced women who coach them offer every day.

Stanford will be prepared. They know our weaknesses and will exploit them — IF Tennessee lets them.

I don’t imagine our roster of players would stand a chance against Stanford’s roster if they were to have to compete on College Jeopardy, but our players could compete with just about anyone athletically if they just so happen to have an exceptional shooting day in the same game as a great defensive stand.

It is highly possible that Tennessee could have such a game. But they MUST go into Maples Pavilion absolutely confident that they are going to win the game. NOT “oh, if we have a good game we might win.”

The have to go in there knowing, 100%, that they are leaving there with another win, and they can’t let that confidence falter no matter that Stanford goes on a big run. They have to know they have the ability to take it! Confidence is everything.
This is a put-down of Lady Vols players and coaches
 
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#20
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This is a put-down of Lady Vols players and coaches

I don't think he meant it to be. It definitely could have done without the Jeopardy part.

How intelligent a person is depends on their surroundings the conversation at hand and their past life experiences. You could have 20 surgeons standing there and only one mechanic of the 21 only one could do a brake job. So who's the smarter person in that scenario?
 
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#21

Chitownvol1129

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#21
I'm thinking that this is the kind of game that every girl on this roster came here to be in. It's just a matter of them knowing their strengths and enforcing them. Stanford is equal to us and we are equal to Stanford. Physically skillfully and historically these programs are equal.

You've heard that old Sports saying 110%. I believe both of these teams will give 100%. It's that 10 that's going to make the difference
You know that makes zero sense, such a lame platitude.
 
#23
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You know that makes zero sense, such a lame platitude.
Nice use of the word platitude...and so true, in it's purest sense.

I believe athletes often give all they've got (100%) and that the use of this phrase (110%) is well overused...But the essence of the thought, to play 10% better than your are normally capable of, is something rarely seen in any venue.

and to witness it actually happening,, it is something you don't forget.
 

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