Lady vols got the win over Texas!

#26

Ladyvol777

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#26
I haven't commented much since the end of last season because my enthusiasm was pretty tattered and I was having trouble seeing the silver lining. Even with us supposed to be having a great incoming Freshman class, I feel like we've had great classes before, so why would this season be any different? I haven't kept as close of an eye on the team this year as I usually do although I have seen a few games and I went to the Texas game and had great seats - 105, row 11.

Even though the team is 10-0 and we got a great win against #2 ranked Texas, I hesitate to say the "team is back" as I am hearing many people say because of a few problems, but first, here's the positives I noticed from the game and season in general:

Good
- Senior leadership. Although Mercedes didn't turn out to be the player many of us had hoped, she is still having her best season and being more assertive by her standards. Jamie is also being more assertive. It's very rare to win with Freshman being your best players or having to even count on them, so having two Seniors producing is HUGE IMO.

- Team ball. Watching Texas, it felt like for the first time in a long time that there was a team concept on the floor. There was communication on defense. There was ball movement (something I haven't seen in years). And, there was just the sense that it didn't matter who scored OR that if something bad started to happen that we didn't need to have one player try to bail us out.

- Freshman and new players looked promising. I'm still a bit worried that we have two Freshman starting. That's usually more of a red flag than a feather in our cap, BUT I thought Westbrook looked very poised and has a very sweet shot. I really liked Davis's athleticism. She gets off the floor really well. I wasn't as impressed with her shot. I'd like to see her slashing to the basket more and getting inside against inferior defenders. I liked Green's speed getting up and down the floor and the way she fights for the ball. But, like Davis, I also didn't like her outside shot much and hopes she sticks to the inside moving forward. Hayes made me a bit nervous. Maybe I need to watch her play more, but she drives so fearlessly and she's only 5'7''. She got the shot off but I'm not sure if they were all high confidence releases or just making sure she doesn't get blocked.

- We are beating inferior opponents instead of playing down to them. Last year and every year Holly has coached we would have never or very rarely scored 131 points or beat anyone by 50. We would usually be undisciplined and not stick it to them or in some cases even lose to unranked, inferior opponents. This year we are sticking it to people, which is what a good team is supposed to do.


Still a concern
- Turnovers. There were several spots in the game last night where it was like "here we go again": turnovers that just should not have been turnovers. Davis alone had 7 turnovers. 18 for the game is too many. Hopefully it's just Freshman growing pains. We did have an earlier game with only 4 turnovers matching a school record, in a good way, I believe, so perhaps there is still hope on that front. Valuing possessions is very important. We are definitely better than years past so far, but this is something we all want to watch closely as I'm not convinced we've turned the corner yet.

- The schedule TO THIS POINT looks so much more watered down compared to years past. Usually our unranked games were still ACC/B10 opponents that were top 50 or 75 caliber teams. Only two teams, Marquette and Texas, were ranked and it's debatable where the unranked opponents fall but I suspect they won't pad our resume any. Even Texas yesterday was suspect for a #2 team based on my eye test. They missed at least 2 or 3 layups or point blank shots. Had they been a bit more competent, we may have lost. They looked more like a top 10 or 15 team based on that game, not top 5. Long story short, I'm not sure where we are as a team because of the schedule. Fortunately the SEC, with South Carolina, Mississippi State, and all the outlier teams like Missouri, Kentucky, etc. will provide PLENTY of opportunity to see where we are and need to go. We also have a road game against ranked Stanford and Notre Dame which has never been an easy game. I guess it isn't the end of the world to have some easier games when the schedule is about to get pretty tough. The 4 games from 1/11 - 1/21 include #21 Texas A&M, #5 South Carolina, #3 Notre Dame, and #6 Mississippi State. Only one of those games is at home. I just hope we don't have sticker shock when those tougher games get going.

- Coaching staff. It appears they have made some changes around Holly. It took 5 plus years for me to form an opinion about Holly, so I won't be easily changed in that opinion by just a few games into one season. As far as I'm concerned, she is who I thought she is until proven otherwise. On the other hand, if you surround yourself with good people, you can often times be successful in spite of yourself.

It's great they are winning. The last season we started better than 10-0 I believe was the 2005-2006 when they went 18-0 to start. So, it's the best start in 11 seasons. Bottom line for me though, for us to "be back", we will have needed to fix the glaring problems of the past. Hopefully we have fixed some. Time will tell ... Here's to hoping!
Tennessee had 18 turnovers while Texas had 16, a net of -2 that not so bad.
 
#27
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#27
Here we go again! They beat TX and Russell brags. This happens every year and then some nobody team beats them. Why can't they just be humble when talking to the press. She seemed to forget all of TX starters were out by mid 4th quarter except for one who came back the last 3 minutes. Count your blessings, take the win and be humble. After this being said, this is the best team in a long time...no one over rated super star...every player on this team is a star and they work together. Go Lady Vols!
 
#28

mlindsay

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#28
Here we go again! They beat TX and Russell brags. This happens every year and then some nobody team beats them. Why can't they just be humble when talking to the press. She seemed to forget all of TX starters were out by mid 4th quarter except for one who came back the last 3 minutes. Count your blessings, take the win and be humble. After this being said, this is the best team in a long time...no one over rated super star...every player on this team is a star and they work together. Go Lady Vols!
Is it bragging or is it confidence?

No one gives Tennessee a chance and we are (as of late) an after thought in the conversation of UConn, Baylor, ND, SC, Stanford, and Louisville as it seems!

She asked a valuable question and I don't blame her.

If they beat #2 where does that place them.

Teams like to talk about the cupcake schedule but there are other teams in the top 10 that have played several teams that were unranked yet no one is saying anything.

It ain't bragging if you back it up!
 
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#29
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#29
That was literally the lowest quality game among top 15 teams I have ever scene. Each coach needs to spend a week teaching fundamentals like boxing out, inbounding the ball, running a set, shot selection, etc.. You know it's bad when the commentators are saying neither team is playing well and are giving the other the chance to win.
 
#30
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#30
Is it bragging or is it confidence?

No one gives Tennessee a chance and we are (as of late) an after thought in the conversation of UConn, Baylor, ND, SC, Stanford, and Louisville as it seems!

She asked a valuable question and I don't blame her.

If they beat #2 where does that place them.

Teams like to talk about the cupcake schedule but there are other teams in the top 10 that have played several teams that were unranked yet no one is saying anything.

It ain't bragging if you back it up!
Maybe b/c the team was 20-12 and lost in the 2nd round despite having 8+ McDonalds's All Americans
 
#31

Ladyvol777

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#31
That was literally the lowest quality game among top 15 teams I have ever scene. Each coach needs to spend a week teaching fundamentals like boxing out, inbounding the ball, running a set, shot selection, etc.. You know it's bad when the commentators are saying neither team is playing well and are giving the other the chance to win.
You can be playing well but the other team defense can make it look like you are not. I believe this is what happen this game, just two good teams butting heads.
 
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#32

madtownvol

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#32
I haven't commented much since the end of last season because my enthusiasm was pretty tattered and I was having trouble seeing the silver lining. Even with us supposed to be having a great incoming Freshman class, I feel like we've had great classes before, so why would this season be any different? I haven't kept as close of an eye on the team this year as I usually do although I have seen a few games and I went to the Texas game and had great seats - 105, row 11.

Even though the team is 10-0 and we got a great win against #2 ranked Texas, I hesitate to say the "team is back" as I am hearing many people say because of a few problems, but first, here's the positives I noticed from the game and season in general:

Good
- Senior leadership. Although Mercedes didn't turn out to be the player many of us had hoped, she is still having her best season and being more assertive by her standards. Jamie is also being more assertive. It's very rare to win with Freshman being your best players or having to even count on them, so having two Seniors producing is HUGE IMO.

- Team ball. Watching Texas, it felt like for the first time in a long time that there was a team concept on the floor. There was communication on defense. There was ball movement (something I haven't seen in years). And, there was just the sense that it didn't matter who scored OR that if something bad started to happen that we didn't need to have one player try to bail us out.

- Freshman and new players looked promising. I'm still a bit worried that we have two Freshman starting. That's usually more of a red flag than a feather in our cap, BUT I thought Westbrook looked very poised and has a very sweet shot. I really liked Davis's athleticism. She gets off the floor really well. I wasn't as impressed with her shot. I'd like to see her slashing to the basket more and getting inside against inferior defenders. I liked Green's speed getting up and down the floor and the way she fights for the ball. But, like Davis, I also didn't like her outside shot much and hopes she sticks to the inside moving forward. Hayes made me a bit nervous. Maybe I need to watch her play more, but she drives so fearlessly and she's only 5'7''. She got the shot off but I'm not sure if they were all high confidence releases or just making sure she doesn't get blocked.

- We are beating inferior opponents instead of playing down to them. Last year and every year Holly has coached we would have never or very rarely scored 131 points or beat anyone by 50. We would usually be undisciplined and not stick it to them or in some cases even lose to unranked, inferior opponents. This year we are sticking it to people, which is what a good team is supposed to do.


Still a concern
- Turnovers. There were several spots in the game last night where it was like "here we go again": turnovers that just should not have been turnovers. Davis alone had 7 turnovers. 18 for the game is too many. Hopefully it's just Freshman growing pains. We did have an earlier game with only 4 turnovers matching a school record, in a good way, I believe, so perhaps there is still hope on that front. Valuing possessions is very important. We are definitely better than years past so far, but this is something we all want to watch closely as I'm not convinced we've turned the corner yet.

- The schedule TO THIS POINT looks so much more watered down compared to years past. Usually our unranked games were still ACC/B10 opponents that were top 50 or 75 caliber teams. Only two teams, Marquette and Texas, were ranked and it's debatable where the unranked opponents fall but I suspect they won't pad our resume any. Even Texas yesterday was suspect for a #2 team based on my eye test. They missed at least 2 or 3 layups or point blank shots. Had they been a bit more competent, we may have lost. They looked more like a top 10 or 15 team based on that game, not top 5. Long story short, I'm not sure where we are as a team because of the schedule. Fortunately the SEC, with South Carolina, Mississippi State, and all the outlier teams like Missouri, Kentucky, etc. will provide PLENTY of opportunity to see where we are and need to go. We also have a road game against ranked Stanford and Notre Dame which has never been an easy game. I guess it isn't the end of the world to have some easier games when the schedule is about to get pretty tough. The 4 games from 1/11 - 1/21 include #21 Texas A&M, #5 South Carolina, #3 Notre Dame, and #6 Mississippi State. Only one of those games is at home. I just hope we don't have sticker shock when those tougher games get going.

- Coaching staff. It appears they have made some changes around Holly. It took 5 plus years for me to form an opinion about Holly, so I won't be easily changed in that opinion by just a few games into one season. As far as I'm concerned, she is who I thought she is until proven otherwise. On the other hand, if you surround yourself with good people, you can often times be successful in spite of yourself.

It's great they are winning. The last season we started better than 10-0 I believe was the 2005-2006 when they went 18-0 to start. So, it's the best start in 11 seasons. Bottom line for me though, for us to "be back", we will have needed to fix the glaring problems of the past. Hopefully we have fixed some. Time will tell ... Here's to hoping!
Under your plus column, you had "Last year and every year Holly has coached we would have never or very rarely scored 131 points or beat anyone by 50."

Well, I think it is generally true that LV teams, even in the heyday, did not score 131 points on a regular basis and 50 pts are kind of rare as well (you can look through the LVs history).

As for the every year carp on Holly, in her first 3 years the LVs did dominant weaker comp and had many blow out wins. It was mainly the last 2 years that we saw this frustrating trend of the LVs playing down to the competition or not "showing up" for a game. This team seems to be wondrously free of that problem.

I am sorry you are so nervous and concerned about our freshmen guards and our power forward Davis. I think most people, though, are incredibly excited to have this infusion of talent, drive, and a team-first attitude. If that is a red flag, bring on the red flags. think most fans understand that freshman will have some growing pains early in the season and realize that the goal is getting them prepared for the March run.

TOs-- we had some bad turnovers in the game particular when Tx amped up the pressure down the stretch. That is part of the freshman learning curve. No one will give Holly credit for this but she took a time out and changed the way the team was handling the press-- by bringing Russell up the floor and using her as an outlet- from that point on, the LVs broke the TX press.

Other TO's came in the course of a fast pace game such as overthrowing a player on a fast break pass down the court. Those are occasional miscues you have to live with to have a high scoring team. Some other TOs came from hayes shuffling her feet when deciding what to do--I expect those mistakes to go away. And some TO's were travels that looked more like bad calls from the officials. They called on on Nared that I rewound five times on my DVR and could not see any evidence of.

I think this schedule is great! You have some less challenging games to let the team the get a feel for playing together and build some confidence and then you bring on the tougher teams. If we had played TX in the first three or four games of the season, the LVs would have probably been blown out. A few games later they were ready.

And per Holly, some might say that a mark of a good coach is being able to adapt and surround yourself with good people.

The rap on Holly is that she does not use time-outs wisely,. Well, she was pretty masterful in this game. Per my previous comment about her adjustment to the TX press and also saving some TOs for the crucial last 2 minutes. Those TOs allowed the LVs to advance the ball to the half court and derailed TX's plan to press their way to a win against a relatively inexperienced backcourt.

Also, people often compliment teams for being disciplined and not getting into foul trouble. The LVs have done a great job of that while playing good defense.
 
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#36

madtownvol

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#36
No it wasn't. It was poor play. You might want to read the post game from the coaches. They know it was absolute poor play.
I read those. They said what coaches always say. The losing team coach said the team did not execute well and Holly said they made some mistakes which allowed Tx to close the gap.

Those are all "duh!' coach speak comments. What wouldd you expect them to say, "well that is as good as we can be?"

It was a very physical game which means that you tend to fall down on style points. The LVs came up with most of the hustle plays and were more tuned in than TX; such as when the two key rebounds off missed FTs late in the game. Despite just playing 7 players, they fought harder and out hustled TX. Down the stretch, TX did turn the tables a bit (I think some fatigue set in) but the LVs made enough plays to weather the storm.

And these kind of games happen a lot--two fairly evenly matched teams can make each other look less than stellar.

No doubt, TN needs to get better but where are in the l pre-conference part of the schedule which is about moving up the learning curve.

As for the announcers, they clearly came in with the expectation and preparation that this game would be about TX. When the game did unfold that way, they remained stuck in that TX frame and so their commentary was all about "why TX was not doing better" and emphasizing TX not playing well, though toward the end they did finally recognize that the LVs had something to do with TX's woes.
 
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#37

PRG

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#37
That was literally the lowest quality game among top 15 teams I have ever scene. Each coach needs to spend a week teaching fundamentals like boxing out, inbounding the ball, running a set, shot selection, etc.. You know it's bad when the commentators are saying neither team is playing well and are giving the other the chance to win.
You failed to mention the quality of referees????
The commentators are NOT Tennessee fans and expressed their personal opinions which should not be brought into the game... should have stayed neutral but they did not!!!!

This was a important game for both teams and their emotions and nerves were showing.... It happened to both teams and even to the seniors on both teams! Our freshmen played through their jitters !!!! There freshmen DID NOT PLAY... And don’t think about going anywhere with that as two of there freshmen we’re top FIVE recruits. By the way welcome to this board!!
PROBABLY FOR The SECOND or THIRD TIME? 😈
 
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#38

Martic

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#38
I agree with your concern on the Turnovers, Also i would like to point out we did get the win and a good one at that. I also would like to see Holly let Hayes run the point more when she is and Westbrook are in the game together. Westbrook had 7 turnovers. I think moving Hayes to the point would help Westbrook field goal percentage Just my opinion,
sorry check out Hayes to's IMO Westbrook is better facilitator, better natural instincts. Did you see how they attacked Hayes on offense? I thought she was shaky handling the ball a lot of the time(initially at least, she did get better.)
 
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#41
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#41
You failed to mention the quality of referees????
The commentators are NOT Tennessee fans and expressed their personal opinions which should not be brought into the game... should have stayed neutral but they did not!!!!

This was a important game for both teams and their emotions and nerves were showing.... It happened to both teams and even to the seniors on both teams! Our freshmen played through their jitters !!!! There freshmen DID NOT PLAY... And don’t think about going anywhere with that as two of there freshmen we’re top FIVE recruits. By the way welcome to this board!!
PROBABLY FOR The SECOND or THIRD TIME? 😈
LOL.,,It's the refs fault it looked like a CYO game between 10 years old, that are not capable of fundamentals.

It's not jitters,,it's bad play and bad coaching. Each team hadn't a clue how to run a set. You might want to watch the replay w/o the rose tinted glasses, but watching that debacle would qualify as cruel and usual punishment to anyone that knows basketball.
 
#42

LadyVol1908

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#42
lol.,,it's the refs fault it looked like a cyo game between 10 years old, that are not capable of fundamentals.

It's not jitters,,it's bad play and bad coaching. Each team hadn't a clue how to run a set. You might want to watch the replay w/o the rose tinted glasses, but watching that debacle would qualify as cruel and usual punishment to anyone that knows basketball.
troll alert
 
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#47

VA_VOLFAN

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#47
i know as tn fan you're challenged, this was an absolute display of not how to bball. It was a horribly played game, lack of basic fundamentals from start to finish. It was like and often worse than the slop you see when teams empty the bench and even play the walk ons
😂😂😂
 
#48

LadyVol1908

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#48
I know as TN fan you're challenged, This was an absolute display of not how to bball. It was a horribly played game, lack of basic fundamentals from start to finish. It was like and often worse than the slop you see when teams empty the bench and even play the walk ons
Admins can we make a special request please???? Can you somehow delete this account!
 
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#50

37620VOL

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#50
Some folks are acting like they haven't seen an ugly basketball game before, and somehow "pretty" basketball equals good basketball. We have some players now that play tough and a little bit nasty, and I love it.

That was good, tough basketball, and I loved it. Not pretty, but the kind of gutsy basketball that wins championships. We made them work for everything they got. Out worked them for rebounds and loose balls, and actually played above our current skill level. Texas missed a few chippies because we had physically imposed ourselves on them to the extent allowed by the rules of the game. Not cheap, but tough and physical at every opportunity.

I wonder how much of this is Bridget Gordon's handywork?

There's still a lot of progress that we can make with refining skills, offensive crispness, and defensive helpline/rotations, but daggummit I believe we're on the right track.

I'm about to say something I haven't said in 4 years, "well done, Holly!"
 
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