- Feb 22, 2016
The Lady Vols will break 100 in this game
UTLV 102 UAPB 44
NOV 26 (TUE) 7:00 P.M. ET
UTLV's VS ARKANSAS - PINE BLUFF
KNOXVILLE, TN THOMPSON-BOLING ARENA
TV: SECN+ (ONLINE) RADIO: LADY VOL NETWORK
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. -- Tennessee women's basketball head coach Kellie Harper met with the media on Monday in advance of her team's match-up with Arkansas-Pine Bluff.
The No. 20 Lady Vols (5-0) play their third of six straight home games on Tuesday night, as they welcome the Golden Lions (0-3) for a 7 p.m. contest at Thompson-Boling Arena. The game will be streamed on SECN+ and available on Lady Vol Radio Network stations.
This will mark the first meeting between UT and UAPB. The Lady Vols are coming off a 73-46 victory over Stetson last Tuesday night. Arkansas-Pine Bluff, meanwhile, fell 65-50 at Illinois last Thursday evening.Head Coach Kellie Harper
On if she thinks Jordan Horston will continue to get better and better:
"I think she is a player that is going to continue to improve once she gets more experience under her belt. I think right now anybody can watch a game and see how talented she is. As she plays a little bit more at this level, she will get a little more game experience at this level, which will make a big difference."
On what Jordan Horston is improving on:
"She is really good at everything, to be quite honest with you. She is a good defensive player. She is really good at offense. She can rebound. I think just polishing and fine tuning all of that along with playing a little bit savvier or wiser will be a veteran move."
On her decision to bench Jordan Horston during a game in Europe for her citation:
"For us, when the incident occurred, she came to me and told me about it. We wanted to act immediately. We didn't want to postpone any punishment, so we acted immediately. And having the European trip coming up, it seemed like the most logical option for us. I think she has learned from it."
On how important it is to have Rae Burrell on the team:
"I think Rae is a big piece of what we are doing. You can have a big role and come off the bench. I think we have to have somebody come off the bench and give us a great spark. I think her style of play is that for us right now. I think it has been really positive. We know when she goes in, something is going to happen. She brings a lot of energy. She can make plays. As she continues to get more games under her belt and plays with more experience, I think you will see her game even improve. We are excited about her and her growth and development this year."
On if she's asked Rae Burrell to slow down a little bit:
"I think sometimes you have to give and take with her. You have some positives. We have had a few decision making errors on her part. We are just trying to clean those up. I think right now we understand that is part of her game. We don't want to restrict her. We want to let her play and continue to work with her on her decision making at times."
On if she thinks they are a better three-point shooting team than the stats show:
"I think that the stats are probably where we are. We can make threes. We can knock down some open shots. I think it is important that we take good threes. For the most part, we do. We don't really force a lot of those shots. We are continuing to get shots up and in addition to outside of practice. Hopefully that will pay off later this year."
On where she thinks this team needs to be going into tomorrow's game and if she has seen improvement:
"I think we saw improvement from our Tennessee State game to our Stetson game. I would like to see another step. Maybe with our defensive execution, also with our offensive execution. We are going to open it up a little bit and do a few more things that will challenge our players with their communication with each other and on the bench and how we are attacking."
On how valuable it is to have a week off to practice:
"It is huge. We don't get enough practices. It is good for us to get some practices in and working on us instead of working on an opponent. For a while there, I felt like we just did a scouting report. This was really good for us. We were able to put in a few new things both offensively and defensively, to give our players a variety and also give us some things to work on for down the road."
On any update on Jaiden McCoy and if the rest of the team is healthy:
"I think we look pretty good health-wise. Jaiden is actually back in practice. She still has a splint on, but she is back in practice, and honestly, looks really good."
On how she feels about Tamari Key's game:
"Tamari's size obviously stands out. She plays above most people. The other thing about her is that she is very skilled. She can shoot. She understands the game. She is also very coachable. I love that about her. She comes out, and I can tell her something, and she is shaking her head and trying to correct it. I think, given where she is at right now and how coachable she is, she has an unbelievably bright future."
On if she feels good her defense right now:
"No. But no coach does. It's November. We are still working on our defense. I have been proud of some improvements that we have had. I think there are some certain areas we can get better at - some individually, some as a team. Also as we add parts to our defense, different schemes, I think that will give us some variety. I think it will be a constant work in progress as we put new things in and try to get those things solid."
On if she has most of her defensive plays in:
"There are a few pieces that I am putting in as we go. I have always been a believer in adding in throughout the season. I think it gives your players some variety and newness in the middle of the season. It gives you some action that your opponents may have not seen."
On her substitutions and rotations throughout the roster so far this season:
"Early on, we had some statistics come up with lineups where we had some concerns… maybe like the pace of play with a certain lineup, and those things have gotten better. We have improved on those. So right now, when I look at the guards, we don't have enough guards to really learn about lineups. We are just trying to get people in and out to keep people fresh and rested. Our post players, obviously we have a little more depth there and we can rotate them a little differently. We're probably going to use Lou Brown a little more on the wing, at the three position, just to help with some of those rotations."
On her team's tempo of play:
"I think overall, I like our tempo. There are times when it's really good and times when we're not as good, but I think it's still a learning process for our team."
On how she feels about her teams rebounding so far:
"You would be surprised how often we are disappointed with our rebounding, and maybe that's high expectations, but I think right now we are getting a lot of rebounds because we are bigger. I think we need to make sure we are getting rebounds because we outpace them, and we're boxing out, and being disciplined on the offensive boards. I think there's a little more we can do in that area in terms of our consistency and our discipline. It's something that we talk to our players about all the time, and that's what's going to pay off in SEC play."
On how tough it is to test that rebounding ability against some of these non-conference teams:
"I think right now we have been very honest with our team about the size of the people we are playing and (telling them) not to get comfortable with our rebounding numbers based on us being a foot taller than them. I think we are seeing a little bit more accurate numbers in practice when we are playing against practice squads that are as big and as athletic as we are. I think because we talk about it openly with our team that they can understand it a little bit more, and I hope that they get it before SEC play."
On the size of the team:
"I love the fact that we're bigger than everybody else. I want to be bigger. I want to be faster. I want to be stronger. I want to be more athletic and more disciplined and execute better."
On Tennessee's turnover problems at times:
"Most of the turnovers that bother me are when we are relaxed offensively. We get a little too comfortable, we aren't as sharp and then we try to make a difficult pass rather than an easy play that should be the option. We're going to have a few turnovers — I get that, we're still learning. But if we can eliminate the lack of focus turnovers and then just try to make an easy play, I think our numbers there will go down drastically."
On what she is thankful for this Thanksgiving:
"What is there not to be thankful for? I just love where I'm at. I love my life, love my family. I love working with these young ladies every single day. I am blessed. I am absolutely blessed, and I'm very grateful and thankful for my life."
On focusing on the process rather than results:
"We can't get excited after a win if we didn't execute; we can't get excited after a win if we didn't play the way we needed to play. Obviously, I always congratulate our team after a win, but it is more important now that we're getting better. That is the most important thing. We can't waste a day in practice; we can't waste a day in film. You have to really lock in and focus every single day, and that's hard to do."
On what stands out about Arkansas Pine-Bluff:
"They're athletic, and I think defensively they create a lot chaos. I think your offensive execution has to have a lot of poise. You have to have nice spacing, and you don't really need to be forcing things. We could see a full-court press, some aggressive man and some zone — they're going to throw a lot at us. I think our poise and our discipline and execution will be big."