Game Thread Lady Vols at Texas A&M ; Sunday 5PM; ESPN

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Coach Jumper

I can be there tomorrow
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Sara Puckett Hoops Central vs. Florida A&M

From; Hoops Central:

Lady Vols at Texas A&M​

Women's Basketball January 12, 2024
Tennessee (10-5, 3-0 SEC) begins a two-game stretch of road contests, beginning with a Sunday afternoon showdown at Texas A&M (13-3, 1-2 SEC). The Lady Vols and Aggies are set to rumble in Reed Arena at 4:02 p.m. CT (5:02 p.m. ET), with ESPN televising.
UT, one of only four schools in the league still undefeated in league play, takes a season-best six-game winning streak into College Station. Kellie Harper's squad came from 12 down to defeat Florida, 88-81, on Thursday night, marking the squad's third straight win after overcoming a double-digit second-quarter deficit. The Big Orange improved to 6-1 with Rickea Jackson in action and to 5-0 with its current starting lineup of Jackson, Karoline Striplin, Sara Puckett, Jewel Spear and Jasmine Powell.
Texas A&M dropped an 87-70 decision at LSU on Thursday night, with its defense yielding its most points in 2023-24. The Aggies, though, have proven stout defensively, allowing just 51.3 ppg. in all games and 61.7 vs. league opponents.
The Lady Vols are 5-0 since Jackson returned to action and have built a six-game winning streak heading into the Texas A&M game. In addition to getting Jackson back, UT has been bolstered by the continued improvement of 6-foot-6 center Tamari Key. The school's all-time leading shot blocker was sidelined after eight games a year ago due to blood clots in her lungs and understandably has needed time to reacclimate to the rigors of the game.

TRENDING TOPICS
  • UT joins South Carolina, LSU and Vandy as the only teams unbeaten in SEC play.
  • Tennessee's schedule ranks No. 9 on the NCAA's Toughest Schedule Report, factoring in cumulative opposition (past and future games this season).
  • The Lady Vols are scoring 85.0 ppg. over their past five games, shooting 46.3 pct. from the field and 79.7 pct. at the FT line.
  • Rickea Jackson continues to average a double-double in all games (20.7 ppg., 10.1 rpg.) in 2023-24.
  • Only one player in UT history (Trish Roberts, 1976-77, 29.9 ppg., 14.2 rpg.) has ever averaged a double-double for a complete season.
  • Jewel Spear has blossomed in SEC play, averaging 16.0 ppg., shooting 58.3 pct. from the field (14-24) and 90.5 pct. from the charity stripe (19-21), and dishing five assists with only one turnover.
  • Tennessee has been stellar from the free-throw line in SEC play, hitting 81.2 percent of its tries (69-85).
  • The Lady Vols hit their most free throws of the season vs. Florida (26 of 30) and notched their highest percentage (86.7).
CUE THE COMEBACK MONTAGE MUSIC
  • Tennessee has won its opening three SEC games over Auburn, Kentucky and Florida after erasing double-digit second-quarter deficits.
  • On Thursday, the Lady Vols found themselves down 12 to Florida in the second quarter before evening the score at the half at 43 and going on to win, 88-81.
  • UT previously had bounced back from being 11 and 17 points down to Auburn and Kentucky, respectively.
  • The Lady Vols also came from 10-down to Oklahoma in the third quarter to defeat the then No. 22/20 Sooners.
  • For the season, UT has come from behind to win eight of 15 games. For more info., please see the "Deficits Overcome By Tennessee" note on pages 11-12.
LOOKING LIKE A SECOND-HALF TEAM
  • In three conference games, the Lady Vols have outscored foes 136 to 85 (45.3 to 28.3) in the second half.
  • For the season, Tennessee has out-pointed foes 623 to 527 (41.5 to 35.1) after halftime.
  • UT's best frame has been the third quarter, where it has tallied 337 points (22.5) in 2023-24 compared to 257 (17.1) for opponents.
  • In SEC play, UT's 69 third-quarter points (23.0) are substantially better than the 35 (11.7) of its opponents over the initial three contests.
YOU HAVE TO DEFEND THEM ALL
TAKING ADVANTAGE OF CHARITY (STRIPE)
  • Tennessee is hitting free throws at a 74.4 percent clip overall, a mark that ranks No. 2 in the SEC this season and one that currently stands as the fourth-highest mark in school history.
  • In SEC play UT has been even better, connecting at a rate of 81.2 percent that ranks third among SEC schools.
  • Jasmine Powell and Jewel Spear rank fifth in SEC play at 90.5 percent (19-21). Kaiya Wynn is 10th (81.8).
  • In all games, Spear hits 81.4, with Sara Puckett (81.0) and Rickea Jackson (78.8) hitting at the top rates.
RECAPPING THE LAST GAME
  • Tennessee fended off a scrappy Florida team to extend its win streak to six games, taking an 88-81 victory over the Gators in Food City Center on Thursday.
  • For the third straight game in SEC play, the Lady Vols overcame a double-digit deficit to claim victory, this time overturning a 12-point UF advantage in the second quarter. The Lady Vols converted on 16 of 18 free-throw tries in the final frame to seal the victory.
  • Tennessee (10-5, 3-0 SEC) was led by senior Jewel Spear and junior Sara Puckett, who each fired in 20 points. Spear shot 50 percent from the field and 91 percent from the charity stripe on 10 made free throws, while Puckett went 4-of-5 from behind the arc for a season-best four treys. Fifth-year senior Rickea Jackson was also a top producer with 18 points and eight rebounds.
  • Aliyah Matharu was the high scorer for Florida (9-6, 0-3 SEC) with 23 points. Leilani Correa was also in double digits with 12, and Alberte Rimdal and Zippy Broughton each finished with 11.
POSTGAME NOTES VS. FLORIDA
  • COMEBACK KIDS: Tennessee has come from double digits down to win all three SEC games this season. The Lady Vols trailed Florida by 12, 35-23, with 5:53 remaining in the second quarter before rallying to a 43-all tie by halftime. The Lady Vols previously erased second-quarter deficits of 11 vs. Auburn and 17 vs. Kentucky to win those contests. This time, however, the Lady Vols made up the entire gap by intermission.
  • SEALING IT AT THE LINE: Tennessee made 26 of 30 free-throw attempts against Florida, the most the Lady Vols have completed from the charity stripe since last season's contest at Mississippi State. UT went 37 of 44 vs. the Bulldogs in that contest on Feb. 6, 2023. Against the Gators Thursday night, the Big Orange closed out the game by hitting 16 of 18 tries in the fourth quarter and 21 of their 25 opportunities in the second half. UT's 86.7-percent marksmanship also was a season best.
  • BIG NIGHT FOR PUCKETT: Sara Puckett co-led Tennessee with a personal SEC high of 20 points, ranking as the second-best scoring output of her career behind a career-topping 24 vs. Memphis on Nov. 13. The junior forward got off to a fast start, dropping a trio of three-pointers against the Gators in the first five minutes of the game that tied her season high of three-balls for an entire contest. She finished with a career-best 4-of-5 night behind the arc and was eight of 12 from the field on the evening. She also matched Rickea Jackson as UT's leader in rebounds with eight, equaling her season best first recorded vs. Oklahoma on Nov. 25.
  • SPEAR STRONG AGAIN IN SEC: Jewel Spear tallied 20 points to tie Sara Puckett as Tennessee's scoring leader vs. UF, marking the first time she has produced back-to-back 20-point efforts as a Lady Vol. She had 21 vs. Kentucky in the previous game. Spear was five of 10 from the field and 10 of 11 from the charity stripe vs. Florida. She also grabbed six rebounds and tied her season high with three assists.
  • KEY PAINT PRODUCTION: Tamari Key tied her season high with nine points vs. Florida. Key went three for three in the first quarter and finished with six points by the end of the first half, already her second-highest scoring output of the campaign behind a nine-point effort vs. Ohio State on Dec. 3. The 6-foot-6 redshirt senior wound up four of five from the field in 15 minutes of duty vs. the Gators.
UT-TAMU SERIES NOTES
  • UT is 4-2 in Knoxville, 2-4 in College Station and 4-1 at neutral sites vs. the Aggies.
  • The Big Orange women are 8-7 vs. A&M since the Aggies joined the SEC.
  • A&M is 2-0 in overtime games vs. UT, with both of those taking place in College Station.
  • In the initial meeting in Knoxville between these teams on Feb. 28, 2013, Tennessee defeated Texas A&M, 82-72, on Senior Day to give UT an SEC regular-season championship on the Lady Vols' home court.
  • Kellie Harper is 2-3 all-time vs. the Aggies, including 2-2 as Tennessee's head coach with victories in the last two meetings.
  • Junior Tamari Key blocked a career-best 11 shots against TAMU on Jan. 6, 2022, ranking second all-time in Lady Vol single-game records behind Kelley Cain's 12 vs. LSU on Feb. 22, 2010.
  • As a student-athlete at UT from 1995-99, Kellie (Jolly) Harper was 1-0 vs. the Aggies.
  • She had 14 points as the Lady Vols defeated Texas A&M, 105-81, in Anchorage, Alaska, on Dec. 19, 1997, during their second game at the Northern Lights Invitational.
A LOOK AT THE AGGIES
  • The Aggies are allowing only 51.3 ppg. to their opponents and 32.4 percent shooting.
  • Ware has emerged as TAMU's leading rebounder in league games, pulling down 6.3, while Barker is second at 6.0.
NEXT FOUR FOES ARE TOP 55 IN NET
  • Tennessee's next four games will provide the Lady Vols an opportunity to enhance their place in the NET rankings.
  • UT will face four top-55 teams in the NET, including No. 27 Texas A&M, No. 36 Mississippi State, No. 45 Vanderbilt and No. 54 Ole Miss. All but the game against Vandy are road games.
  • Tennessee checks in at No. 64 as of Jan. 11.
))))))))))))))))))))))))))))

TAMU Roster:
01 temp roster.jpg
* #1 Rogers = 3 PT shooter 29/83 and the best A/TO rating 68/21 = 3.23 ATO ratio

Games played:
01 temp opponents.jpg
TAMU has played one top 25 team - LSU
Significant foes:
#78 Purdue L 58-72
#47 California W 65-51
#153 Wake Forest W 81-57
#48 Kansas W 63-52
SEC
#90 Georgia L 50-54
#69 Auburn W 66-44
#16 LSU L 70-87

Predictions:
Masse - 71-65
Coach Jumper: 80-61
@Volfan2012 80-75
@LV renaissance 68-67
@brittannica 72-66
@glv98 69-58
@knoxvol52 72-69
@Ladyvol777 83-80
@VolFuture 83-74
@mudcat1973 85-81
@J-Dog 1313 87-60
@VolBalls33 67-65
@Vols2015 77-65
@VolBalls33 66-58
 
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#3
#3
This one scares me. Their top-rated defense will make it hard for us to make up a double-digit deficit. Hopefully, we will see either a change in starting line-up (doubtful) or earlier substitutions so this doesn't happen again. I wouldn't put too much stock in the LSU game as LSU was hitting on all cylinders in Baton Rouge and played their best game of the year. For the Lady Vols,
Lady Vols 68
A&M 67
 
#4
#4
This one scares me. Their top-rated defense will make it hard for us to make up a double-digit deficit. Hopefully, we will see either a change in starting line-up (doubtful) or earlier substitutions so this doesn't happen again. I wouldn't put too much stock in the LSU game as LSU was hitting on all cylinders in Baton Rouge and played their best game of the year. For the Lady Vols,
Lady Vols 68
A&M 67
they are a very long/tall team and that is their only strength
We must dictate the matchups to win and our advantage is speed...IF...the proper lineups are used.
If we go to our usual starting lineup and they dictate the pace,,we will have a tough time of it
 
#6
#6
they are a very long/tall team and that is their only strength
We must dictate the matchups to win and our advantage is speed...IF...the proper lineups are used.
If we go to our usual starting lineup and they dictate the pace,,we will have a tough time of it
Starting Jill and TK does not make us any faster. At all. Makes us taller for sure, but also even slower and mucch poorer at outside shooting. And more crowded in the paint, both of which are bad news for Rickea. We must have reliable outside shooting to free her up from being swarmed, Also, though TK has come a long way, her presence still takes away our pace, unless we want to still get down quickly but be 4 on 5. We don't dictate any pace w TK in the game.

IMO it's a tough decision which should be dictated by matchups, Also early subbing is still a thing.

I'm very worried about this one but LVs 69 - 58,
 
#7
#7
Another danger of this trip is just getting there and getting out which is a challenge in good weather. Team got stuck there in a snowstorm a couple of years ago. College Station is a longish bus ride from the nearest airport. It's a 5 pm start (4 their time) so the LVs have to get the heck out immediately after the game, bus back to the airport and fly out late Sunday evening. Ice and freezing rain is forecast for early morning hours Monday for that area. Not expecting much in the way of post game press availability.

Safe travels!
 
#10
#10
Starting Jill and TK does not make us any faster. At all. Makes us taller for sure, but also even slower and mucch poorer at outside shooting. And more crowded in the paint, both of which are bad news for Rickea. We must have reliable outside shooting to free her up from being swarmed, Also, though TK has come a long way, her presence still takes away our pace, unless we want to still get down quickly but be 4 on 5. We don't dictate any pace w TK in the game.

IMO it's a tough decision which should be dictated by matchups, Also early subbing is still a thing.

I'm very worried about this one but LVs 69 - 58,
How about starting one and one. TK and Sarah or Karoline. Jill or Sarah or Karoline. Not to concerned against no post presence teams. Strong post teams make starting both Sarah and Karoline scary. Petty proved that and we get a lot more at A&M.
 
#12
#12
A&M has played very well at home so far. They are a tough defensive team, but as with all Taylor teams, their offense lacks a lot to be desired.

They have yet to lose a game at home, would be nice to hand them their first home L of the season.

To this point they have had the #1 scoring defense in the country, though their schedule was very light.

They lost to UGA on the road but handled Auburn by 20 at home.

A&M relies almost solely on scoring from 10’ and in. They are not a 3 point shooting team most night. I believe they will struggle to score with our size. We finally have some post depth and can afford some fouls which helps. Nice to have 3 players that can service the 5 spot when needed. Jill, Karo and TK all bring something different when they are on the game, keeps our opponent on their heels.
 
#13
#13
A&M has played very well at home so far. They are a tough defensive team, but as with all Taylor teams, their offense lacks a lot to be desired.

They have yet to lose a game at home, would be nice to hand them their first home L of the season.

To this point they have had the #1 scoring defense in the country, though their schedule was very light.

They lost to UGA on the road but handled Auburn by 20 at home.

A&M relies almost solely on scoring from 10’ and in. They are not a 3 point shooting team most night. I believe they will struggle to score with our size. We finally have some post depth and can afford some fouls which helps. Nice to have 3 players that can service the 5 spot when needed. Jill, Karo and TK all bring something different when they are on the game, keeps our opponent on their heels.
They hung tough with LSU but as I expected couldn’t keep up with the scoring. Their guards unexpectedly hit early 3s went ice cold from 3 and the game blew up.

Feel a similar situation with us. Honestly they had trouble for most of the game scoring on Auburn.
 
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#14
#14
They hung tough with LSU but as I expected couldn’t keep up with the scoring. Their guards unexpectedly hit early 3s went ice cold from 3 and the game blew up.

Feel a similar situation with us. Honestly they had trouble for most of the game scoring on Auburn.

Yes I agree, the Auburn game was closer than the final score. Auburn waved the white flag midway through the fourth quarter and the lead ballooned.
 
#15
#15
Starting Jill and TK does not make us any faster. At all. Makes us taller for sure, but also even slower and mucch poorer at outside shooting. And more crowded in the paint, both of which are bad news for Rickea. We must have reliable outside shooting to free her up from being swarmed, Also, though TK has come a long way, her presence still takes away our pace, unless we want to still get down quickly but be 4 on 5. We don't dictate any pace w TK in the game.

IMO it's a tough decision which should be dictated by matchups, Also early subbing is still a thing.

I'm very worried about this one but LVs 69 - 58,

I too am more worried about this one than our last 3 games. Powell and Wynn will not get away with their half court dribble mania. The team needs to keep the ball moving (and players moving off the ball).

I think outside shooting will play a big role. Let's hope that Sara, Jewell, and Tess are dialed in.

I am also hoping for a 30pt. 15 rebound, 5 assist master class from Rickea

It would be a good time for Jillian to have a break-out game!!!!
 
#16
#16
What quality wins does A&M have this year? I see none. They've played a lot of cupcake teams. They lost to LSU by 17.

We beat OU and played Fla. State tough, and have otherwise played a stronger schedule. We seem to have the better team,
though playing away is always a challenge.
 
#17
#17
What quality wins does A&M have this year? I see none. They've played a lot of cupcake teams. They lost to LSU by 17.

We beat OU and played Fla. State tough, and have otherwise played a stronger schedule. We seem to have the better team,
though playing away is always a challenge.
on tis I agree...TAMU has played beaten a bunch of HS teams and lost to teams that are legit
They are very one dimensional (inside scoring)
that said, we have to make their bigs run, run, run,,,and to do that we have to put our most athletic girls on the court
JP, RJ, JS, KW, JH
and sub in gunners Sara, Tess, Karo,,,based purely on how they are the moment they get in
 
#18
#18
I got to say this.. anyone that watches TN and is not taking unnecessary digs at the personnel knows that Jillian Hollingshead on the court at the 4 or 5 has never and will never make TN a slower team.
For her size at 6’5, Jillian moves as well as any post player and some wings in the SEC.
It’s clear that she is still dealing with an injury.
You can’t be serious though if you really think playing JH does not improve this teams ability to run the floor offensively and match up defensively in the post. She is always in position defensively even when she doesn’t make a play.
That is where coaches need to hold the player accountable but to say she’s a liability in any way at her position due to athleticism or mobility is ridiculous.
 
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#19
#19
What quality wins does A&M have this year? I see none. They've played a lot of cupcake teams. They lost to LSU by 17.

We beat OU and played Fla. State tough, and have otherwise played a stronger schedule. We seem to have the better team,
though playing away is always a challenge.

Cal probably their best win
 
#20
#20
I got to say this.. anyone that watches TN and is not taking unnecessary digs at the personnel knows that Jillian Hollingshead on the court at the 4 or 5 has never and will never make TN a slower team.
For her size at 6’5, Jillian moves as well as any post player and some wings in the SEC.
It’s clear that she is still dealing with an injury.
You can’t be serious though if you really think playing JH does not improve this teams ability to run the floor offensively and match up defensively in the post. She is always in position defensively even when she doesn’t make a play.
That is where coaches need to hold the player accountable but to say she’s a liability in any way at her position due to athleticism or mobility is ridiculous.
preach on brother!
 
#24
#24
on tis I agree...TAMU has played beaten a bunch of HS teams and lost to teams that are legit
They are very one dimensional (inside scoring)
that said, we have to make their bigs run, run, run,,,and to do that we have to put our most athletic girls on the court
JP, RJ, JS, KW, JH
and sub in gunners Sara, Tess, Karo,,,based purely on how they are the moment they get in
I have planted several seeds to this thought to the contacts I have.
TAMU will try to slow the game down and if we follow teir lead,,,it will be to their advantage bc our game is best at middle to fast speed.

That said, the only way we dictate pace is to dictate matchups

And though I very much am in Karo/Sara/Tess's corner,,,I am coach first.
I put my race horses against their quarter-horses
Whether or not we will see this lineup is up to the staff
the two lineups I see overwhelming TAMU are (with first sub)
JP, RL, JS, TK, JH (Sub Karo/Sara/Tess for TK)
or
JP, RJ, JS, KW, JH(Sub Karo/Sara/Tess for KW)

Re Jillian,,,I think she will only become a force if USED and used enough to become comfortable and confident...Keep using her as an 8th sub and she will continue to underachieve
 
#25
#25
More than anything I’d love to see us bring the energy we’ve been brining in 3rd quarters from the tip. These slow starts will eventually burn us.
Hence the reason they need Tamari starting. We have the offense working, but we need to set the tone on the defensive end and Tamari's length deters anyone from getting into the paint and allows the guards to pressure the ball a little tighter. If nothing else, it makes our opponents think that nothing will come easy if they get to the glass, and can have a big impact on their mindset. Karolyn has been fine on offense but is getting killed by posts her size or bigger, and guards that get around their defenders get to the paint and score at will. Tamari is a three-year starter and should be back in that starting roll to win the tip and make offenses think if nothing else.. Our defense can be really good when Tamari is on the floor and that is this team's biggest weakness right now.
 

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