Game Thread: (7/8) Lady Vols 73 - (25/23) Texas A&M 45

madtownvol

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Yep, best all round game of the season. The LVs defense can be suffocating when Key is on the floor and they smothered TAM for the last 3 quarters. Offensive side was better with 40% and about 37 from behind the arc. And 6-8 from the FT line (shocked we did not have more attempts actually).

NIce to see Tamari finishing at the rim. And Tess had a solid game with two timely 3s and she held her own defensively for the most part. She is going to be important because she can spread the floor if she keeps shooting at a decent % (back to back games now).

This offense is still a work in progress and they will need Rae's ability to create points. I don't expect her and her flow with the team to be at 100% until later in the season but barring setbacks, lots of reasons to be very optimistic about what this team can do in March.
 

madtownvol

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Seems like Horston missed mostly the easiest shots from at the rim. Her challenged drives were the ones she seemed to have made. Her mid game had to be over 50% and she was 40% from 3. I was shocked to see she was 7-23. But Kelly knows and so does Blair. Said that she does so much for the team. She coulda had 30 points if she made the bunnies. Even if her percentage doesn’t go up, she is critical to what this team does, but ohhhhh boy, if she could nudge those numbers up, then the LVs really have a chance at the FF and beyond.
Agree completely.Really nice to see JH hit some 3s at crucial moments and she hit some nice mid range shots but as you said, missed some at the rim that should have been points, But her work on the defense and the boards was stellar, She saved more than a few points with her defensive effort.
 

Volfan2012

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Jordan was only 7 for 23 but can't complain about any shot she took all were makeable shots just a lot of easy misses. She also had 13 rebounds and 4 assists and finished the game with an efficiency rating of 21 which is elite. She does so many other things on the court to gain possessions for the team that sometimes her field goal shooting is way over magnified. Offensively 18 points on 22 shots is a grade of D. She makes it all up with an A grade on defense.
 

VA_VOLFAN

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Jordan was only 7 for 23 but can't complain about any shot she took all were makeable shots just a lot of easy misses. She also had 13 rebounds and 4 assists and finished the game with an efficiency rating of 21 which is elite. She does so many other things on the court to gain possessions for the team that sometimes her field goal shooting is way over magnified. Offensively 18 points on 22 shots is a grade of D. She makes it all up with an A grade on defense.
everybody wants to talk about her shooting which i to totally get and i think she may need to see an optometrist she is always squinting no joke...

But i want to give it up for her ONE TURNOVER!! She even said in her postgame comment she wants to bring them down and she is making a conscious effort to bring them down.
 

alexvol

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Yep, best all round game of the season. The LVs defense can be suffocating when Key is on the floor and they smothered TAM for the last 3 quarters. Offensive side was better with 40% and about 37 from behind the arc. And 6-8 from the FT line (shocked we did not have more attempts actually).

NIce to see Tamari finishing at the rim. And Tess had a solid game with two timely 3s and she held her own defensively for the most part. She is going to be important because she can spread the floor if she keeps shooting at a decent % (back to back games now).

This offense is still a work in progress and they will need Rae's ability to create points. I don't expect her and her flow with the team to be at 100% until later in the season but barring setbacks, lots of reasons to be very optimistic about what this team can do in March.
Right on point just like my bird dog .
 

alexvol

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Our best game yet. I know the win against Texas was the most impressive, but to completely dominate a Blair led top 25 team by tremendous rebounding, defense, and team work made this especially exciting. To be honest, I was secretly concerned that maybe we weren't quite a top 10 team yet in my eyes, but this game thankfully proved me wrong. And even though she is still early in her comeback, Rae still had the best +/- ratio of anyone at +22. She is the grease that makes our offense work in the same way Key is the backbone of our defense. Horston is our jack of all trades. What a threesome and they have a large group of talented support players. This is getting exciting ya'll!
Felt the same way about not being a top 10 team.As you sa if offense can be as effective in every game this year ,this is a Top 10 team and maybe a Top 4 team.
 

VOLINVONORE

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Agree completely.Really nice to see JH hit some 3s at crucial moments and she hit some nice mid range shots but as you said, missed some at the rim that should have been points, But her work on the defense and the boards was stellar, She saved more than a few points with her defensive effort.
I see so much improvement from her since last year and the beginning of the year. She still has too many turn overs, but the rest of her game is spot on.
 

glv98

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Unbelievably, it's reasonable to think Key will have another shot at the 12 block record every time she steps on the court. We're watching something really special here folks.

Jordan was only 7 for 23 but can't complain about any shot she took all were makeable shots just a lot of easy misses. She also had 13 rebounds and 4 assists and finished the game with an efficiency rating of 21 which is elite. She does so many other things on the court to gain possessions for the team that sometimes her field goal shooting is way over magnified. Offensively 18 points on 22 shots is a grade of D. She makes it all up with an A grade on defense.
Agree completely. Especially bc JH only had 1 turnover! We can live w the low shooting percentage when she stuffs the stats the way she did last night. I'm more optimistic than before that her shooting % will improve. Some of her shots will naturally go to Rae, and also, bc so much of JH shooting woes seem to be mental, her success (like actually hitting a couple of 3s) will likely breed more success.

To be fair, Jordan Walker, for all her great play so far, also remains a poor percentage shooter. Combined she and JH were 10-33 which is suckatude on the surface. I have less hope JW will improve her percentage, espec fm long range, but I also expect some of her current shots will go to Rae.

In light of these stats its so vital that someone, Tess, Puckett or Rae, hit a few 3s ea game just to make a perimeter shooting a credible threat.

If Walker and espec JH keep their current level of play, plus raise the shooting percentage, its Katie bar the damgum door for this team.
 

Amb3096

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I did not see that kind of @ss kicking coming. I thought Tennessee would win by double digits, but not 25-ish points. After the 1st quarter, their defense was just a work of art. Some of the those volleyball spikes from Key must have left lasting PTSD on the TAMU players.

Tennessee won handily despite only shooting 40% because their defense can make the prettiest offense look like mud. I don't think I've seen a team play this kind of stifling defense ever, and that includes some vintage Tennessee, UConn, Baylor teams, plus SC this season.
 

lvocd

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Some of the those volleyball spikes from Key must have left lasting PTSD on the TAMU players.
LOL! I said that last night to my friend who was watching with me. The Aggies are going to need some psychological therapy after the Tamari Tower of Pain gets through with them. What a night!

But seriously, a couple of those swats made my jaw drop. Brutal.
 

youcancallmeAl

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It's pretty impressive to beat a ranked team - and a conference rival to boot - by 30 points, even if it is on your home floor. The return of Rae is showing terrifice dividends as the offense is just better when she's in there. If you watch a possession sequence beginning about 3:30 in the second quarter, you'll see some nice ball movement, culminating in a 2 point jumper by JH on the baseline. Very good offense, as opposed to some of the offense we've seen so far. We are capable of more of that, too, as long as we get Rae back and continue to improve other contributors. Hopefully, Jordy's terrific offensive night is a sign of more to come. I've noticed in her pressers she is maturing, and the sky is the limit for her. If we add a good offense to our elite defense and rebounding, we have something special going on here.
 

creekdipper

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Love the swarming defense. After giving up some early wide-open looks, LV perimeter defense tightened up. Horston's length and Walker's craftiness caused major problems. And BK's relentless hounding and harrassing of ball handlers were a constant irritant. That girl must have fantastic peripheral vision...she was able to elude so many picks and screens that would have laid out lesser players. She's the type of pesky defender that makes opponents lose their cool and draw technicals.
 

youcancallmeAl

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Love the swarming defense. After giving up some early wide-open looks, LV perimeter defense tightened up. Horston's length and Walker's craftiness caused major problems. And BK's relentless hounding and harrassing of ball handlers were a constant irritant. That girl must have fantastic peripheral vision...she was able to elude so many picks and screens that would have laid out lesser players. She's the type of pesky defender that makes opponents lose their cool and draw technicals.
My favorite lineup is BK/Walker/Rae/Jordy/Key
 

glv98

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My favorite lineup is BK/Walker/Rae/Jordy/Key
Pretty strong. It might depend on matchups tho and you hate to keep Dye out. We have options for a change, probably the best bench we've had in ages.

I want to see Puckett get back on a firm track. She's going to get less mins due to Rae, don't want her to lose ground. She seems a bit less sure within the offense right now. Tougher SEC I guess.
 

LadyVols_WBK

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Pretty strong. It might depend on matchups tho and you hate to keep Dye out. We have options for a change, probably the best bench we've had in ages.

I want to see Puckett get back on a firm track. She's going to get less mins due to Rae, don't want her to lose ground. She seems a bit less sure within the offense right now. Tougher SEC I guess.
Ppl are gonna attack me for this no I do not I have anything against Tess but Sara needs to get her minutes and take some of Tess minutes with Rae back
 

youcancallmeAl

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Pretty strong. It might depend on matchups tho and you hate to keep Dye out. We have options for a change, probably the best bench we've had in ages.

I want to see Puckett get back on a firm track. She's going to get less mins due to Rae, don't want her to lose ground. She seems a bit less sure within the offense right now. Tougher SEC I guess.
Yep, agree on all points. Our depth is impressive. Puckett has good value, even as a freshman, as a 3/4 option. Her ability to hit the three AND bang in the paint gives CKH a lot of options. i don't think she'll lose ground, she's too mentally tough for that. For her to help us this much already as a freshman is a very big bonus.
 

OrangeBeachVol

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LOL! I said that last night to my friend who was watching with me. The Aggies are going to need some psychological therapy after the Tamari Tower of Pain gets through with them. What a night!



I like that reference on Key. Taking liberties with the C. Peck comment and say: 'When you bring the ball in the paint on the Tamari Tower of Pain, its lights out". Sounds much more intimidating, ha.
 
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turbovol

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Horston had a very good game, overall, and does many things well on the court---but shooting is a consistent issue with her. She's easily taken more shots
this year than anybody on the team but is only a 35 percent shooter. That's not ideal; you don't really want a spotty shooter taking a lot of shots--23 last night. Of course one reason that she shoots more than anybody is that she's able to create and get shots for herself, which some players cannot do very well--and you absolutely need players that can create their own shots. You have to have them--but you also need them to make more than 35 percent. Her 3-point shooting percentage is in the 20s, I believe.

Solution? Burrell's minutes should be increasing as we move forward, and in an ideal world we'd want Burrell, who can also create her own shots and is a better shooter, shooting more and maybe Horston shooting a bit less. That said, there's always this dilemma with players who have talent but don't shoot especially well or who go through shooting slumps: You don't want them to simply stop taking as many shots, because it tends to affect their confidence; they start thinking about whether they should take a shot or not---and that's never good and often just exacerbates the problem. I think the key is simply for Horston and the coaches to figure out if there are shots, and particular court spots, where her shooting is more efficient--and keep that in mind. For one thing, she's a big guard and should be posting up smaller guards regularly when we're facing a man defense. I don't watch the team play enough to know if she's doing that--I assume that she is--but taking more shots closer to the basket would be an obvious way to increase her efficiency, if she's not already doing that now. As the Burrell regains fitness and form, this team should be even more formidable.
 

creekdipper

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Not to rock the speedboat evolving into a juggernaut, but I did see Sara left wide open at the top of the key a couple of times while the ballhandler dribbled into traffic.

I also thought Rae pressed a bit at times. Understandable, given that she's still adjusting to game flow with new teammates as well as testing her own limits. Rae's a perfectionist, especially hard upon herself, and I'm sure that fierce scowl and competitive nature can be intimidating, even to teammates.

Loved seeing a grinning Brooklynn say something under the basket that cracked Rae up and got her giggling. That's the sign of a future floor general, knowing when to ease the tension and when to ratchet up the intensity. Great chemistry with the freshman!
 
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