Looking to the NCAA Tournament

#1

dapeak

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#1
We lost. It hurt but we have another season with the NCAA tournament ahead of us.

I’m not hanging my head because now we won’t have the SEC refs, which hopefully means better and more consistent officiating.

A couple of observations on what I saw during the tourney:

Minuses
Fouls-leading to nonexistent defense
Turnovers
Poor shooting/shot selection

Pluses
Marta looked like she moved better in these last two games than she has in weeks.
Jordan Horston looking to score more.
The effectiveness of Rennia at the 4 with one post(Tamari) in was shown these last couple of days.

Another plus is as a team; we haven’t had a steak this year where we’ve played this badly. Next few games in the tournament they should come out firing. Hopefully that carries them all the way.

What observations do you have and what are the suggestions you or tips you can give these ladies moving forward into the tourney? I don’t want to harp on what we feel like they didn’t do or did horribly; without supplying solutions. If you’re only going to complain on come to this forum when there’s a loss; it says more about you than them. They’re trying, we’re fans, let’s help.

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#2

travis929

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#2
Totally agree on all of the above. Marta looking a little more healthy, and even Jordan Walker seems to be moving a little better and is more comfortable being aggressive on both ends. Horston coming off the bench seems to be really working for her, even if she ends up being subbed in within the first 90 seconds of the game.

Looking at ESPN’s bracketology and the teams we could end up facing in the 2nd round hovering around that 4-6 seed line, I like our chances against pretty much all of them. I haven’t seen Rutgers play this year but given their program’s history of kind of grind-it-out, physical, defensive games, I wouldn’t really want to go up against them. Against potential 1 seeds if we made it to the Sweet 16? Would love it if the ACC champ made it to the 1 line and we ended up in their bracket...both have looked very beatable to me.
 
#3
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#3
Traditional approach says flush the last game, grab a little rest, heal ailments, and get set to begin a new season. I hope they can get energized, healthy and mentally tougher. If so, they are going to be a handful. There is not a team out there that I believe is heads above everyone else and this may be the first year that there are no clear frontrunners. The top 10 teams or so are capable, our Lady Vols included. We may not see this depth of championship quality parity for a while.
 
#4

madtownvol

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#4
Traditional approach says flush the last game, grab a little rest, heal ailments, and get set to begin a new season. I hope they can get energized, healthy and mentally tougher. If so, they are going to be a handful. There is not a team out there that I believe is heads above everyone else and this may be the first year that there are no clear frontrunners. The top 10 teams or so are capable, our Lady Vols included. We may not see this depth of championship quality parity for a while.
Yep.
In terms of seeding, the Lvs needed to win against Ole Miss to keep their 4 spot. Yes, going further would have been nice but a season on the NCAA tournament not the SEC. From a progression and recruiting standpoint, the LVs need to make it to the Sweet 16. They have the players do that and more so long as the avoid nights where no one can shoot.

Marta is looking better and that helps on the depth end. Jordan W. just needs to clean up a few things., She is an experienced player and needs to know when to not force things. But if Rennia and Rae get going and our post bring in, they should advance.
 
#6

LasVegasBill23

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#6
You guys are waaaay too much on the refs for these losses. Are the refs missing wide open layups consistently? Throwing the ball away lazily? Maybe the refs are calling it more for the other team...but let's stop blaming the refs for losing when we have 23 friggin turnovers.
Totally agree with you.... the refs do not have it in for us.... People say that Key is being treated unfairly.... Her blocks are shown often in slow motion, and you can see she actually gets the benefit of the no call enough times.... (there is frequent body to body contact) .... and did anyone see the HARD bump we gave the Carolina player going for the loose ball today.... a no call... Dawn went berzerk.... and she should have.... my feeling is that the reffing sucks and evens out for both sides.
 
#7

dapeak

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#7
Totally agree with you.... the refs do not have it in for us.... People say that Key is being treated unfairly.... Her blocks are shown often in slow motion, and you can see she actually gets the benefit of the no call enough times.... (there is frequent body to body contact) .... and did anyone see the HARD bump we gave the Carolina player going for the loose ball today.... a no call... Dawn went berzerk.... and she should have.... my feeling is that the reffing sucks and evens out for both sides.
Laimbeer 👀

I don’t think it’s necessarily one sided... just bad and inconsistent. There were a couple of plays including in in which Horston literally held onto the arm of a SC player so she wouldn’t get a drive and it wasn’t called. It’s just bad.

I listed bad shooting and shot selection. But I also stated to speak on solutions to the problems as well.
 
#8

dapeak

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#8
You guys are waaaay too much on the refs for these losses. Are the refs missing wide open layups consistently? Throwing the ball away lazily? Maybe the refs are calling it more for the other team...but let's stop blaming the refs for losing when we have 23 friggin turnovers.
Where in my post was it all placed on the refs? I didn’t... let’s provide solutions to the issues we see while also building up one what this team does right.

If all this fan base does is give negative reinforcement; be aware that it won’t get us far. You can be critical while also highlighting what they do well. For both their mental health, and your own.
 
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#9

LasVegasBill23

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#9
Laimbeer 👀

I don’t think it’s necessarily one sided... just bad and inconsistent. There were a couple of plays including in in which Horston literally held onto the arm of a SC player so she wouldn’t get a drive and it wasn’t called. It’s just bad.

I listed bad shooting and shot selection. But I also stated to speak on solutions to the problems as well.
Yes bad and inconsistent i agree with.... WCBB should invest in better officiating through schools and feeder programs to make the grade.... try to entice good officials... especially female refs.... into the game.... can't have Dee Kantner and Lisa Mattingly every game
 
#10

Raebo

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#10
It is all about matchup. Very few teams can match our overall height, especially on the interior, and our style of play takes advantage of that. Either get the ball to Key or someone slashes toward the basket where even if they take a poor shot, we frequently have a couple people underneath that can get the rebound for a put back. That kind of play is kind of helter skelter but with our height, it usually works out. When we play against teams with tough interior play, then perimeter play becomes key. Look at the first quarter against S Carolina. Their perimeter players were making crisp passes and consistently making open jump shots from 12 feet or further out. We have a few players that can sometimes make a jump shot from outside but Davis is probably the most consistent outside shooter (okay but that is probably the weakest part of her game). Our ball movement around the perimeter is probably average.
On defense, I think we are fairly good with no glaring weakness. Sometimes we get out of position letting them get a good look for for a shot.
Since very few teams can neutralize our height/interior play, I think we can definitely make it to sweet 16 and maybe further. JMO.
 
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#11

kdcg6642

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#11
You guys are waaaay too much on the refs for these losses. Are the refs missing wide open layups consistently? Throwing the ball away lazily? Maybe the refs are calling it more for the other team...but let's stop blaming the refs for losing when we have 23 friggin turnovers.
Great post! Totally agree. Even with the Ole Miss win, why could we not enjoy the win without harping on calls, announcer bias, etc.? II looked and the free throws awarded: 22-25 Tennessee; 10-13 Ole Miss. That certainly doesn't indicate that all the call were against us.
 
#12

vol94

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#12
You guys are waaaay too much on the refs for these losses. Are the refs missing wide open layups consistently? Throwing the ball away lazily? Maybe the refs are calling it more for the other team...but let's stop blaming the refs for losing when we have 23 friggin turnovers.

There are missed calls in all sports. It happens. But the Lady Vols missed layups, way toooooo many turnovers, missed easy shots and lack of transition defense.
 
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#15

creekdipper

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#15
IMO, need some ER patching of offense. Too late for complete overhaul this year, but we need to work on setting...and using...picks and screens to free up our shooters. Several times we had a good screen set (Kasi was working hard), but our top scorers who were behind the screen then dribbled away from it.

Weaving around without purpose gets some movement and forces the defense to use energy, but doesn't accomplish much elsr. SC had scouted our predictable patterns well; when we tried going around defender from sideline toward middle up top, Boston repeatedly stepped up just for an instant to slow us down or force us to lose our dribble, then Boston would dive back down in the lane. Very effective in stalling our offense.

SC, in contrast, achieved great spacing and passed ahead of us without dribbling, forcing us to move our feet while they looked for open shooter on weak side or backdoor cutter or would penetrate and dish. SC played great defense, but we helped by either trying to play one-on-one ball, drive into the forest, or to force the ball inside. We also are drawn to corners and sidelines like moths to flames, allowing SC to steer us into No Woman's Land.

This is cold comfort, but at least Arkansas and TX A&M lost to lower seeds. At least we avoided that.
 
#16

VOLPAT

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#16
We lost. It hurt but we have another season with the NCAA tournament ahead of us.

I’m not hanging my head because now we won’t have the SEC refs, which hopefully means better and more consistent officiating.

A couple of observations on what I saw during the tourney:

Minuses
Fouls-leading to nonexistent defense
Turnovers
Poor shooting/shot selection

Pluses
Marta looked like she moved better in these last two games than she has in weeks.
Jordan Horston looking to score more.
The effectiveness of Rennia at the 4 with one post(Tamari) in was shown these last couple of days.

Another plus is as a team; we haven’t had a steak this year where we’ve played this badly. Next few games in the tournament they should come out firing. Hopefully that carries them all the way.

What observations do you have and what are the suggestions you or tips you can give these ladies moving forward into the tourney? I don’t want to harp on what we feel like they didn’t do or did horribly; without supplying solutions. If you’re only going to complain on come to this forum when there’s a loss; it says more about you than them. They’re trying, we’re fans, let’s help.

We know they and/or family and friends read this board.
I love that this team plays together and supports each other. This year is a big step forward. There is one player who has so much potential and talent and doesn’t play like she knows it. When she goes all in, and plays with a fire in the belly, they can play with anybody.
 
#18

glv98

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#18
I love that this team plays together and supports each other. This year is a big step forward. There is one player who has so much potential and talent and doesn’t play like she knows it. When she goes all in, and plays with a fire in the belly, they can play with anybody.
i hope and pray you are not referring to Rennia and I demand that you are not in any way blaming the SC loss on her. I thought we put the inane silliness of Davis' lack of "belly fire" to rest several games ago. When Rennia gets zero help on offense, which was the case against SC, she did epic work to score 9 pts. When the opponent can smother her with no worry about others on offense we have no chance. Even when Rennia's belly is in flames. That anyone continues to question her dedication is amazing to me, and not in a good way.

If you were actually talking about Key or Horston, please disregard this post.
 
#19

NoBackBoard

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#19
Walker needs to clean up her passing. She caused several turnovers in the Ole Miss and SC games by making soft passes when they receiving player was well defended. Horston has improved on her passing, and now Walker needs to do the same.

We’re not a good passing team, and that glaring deficiency is why our post players often don’t get the ball when we’re open. So hopefully we take this time to improve perimeter and post entry passing.

Depending on the matchup, we could get bounced in the first round or make the Final Four. So a Sweet 16 is a realistic expectation.

We struggle against aggressive defensive teams with height in the post.
 
#20

OrangeBeachVol

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#20
Sweet 16 is probably their ceiling as long as they continue with the 17-20 TO's a game. Not going to beat any good teams with that. IF they cleaned that up for the tourney and don't draw a GA type team they could go 3-4 rds deep but not expecting that. They are not a F4 team.
 
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#21

PineyBluff Vol

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#21
My impression of the nature of play in the games I have seen is that this team is just not fitted for the roles they are asked to play. For example, Post-play is very much dependent upon who they are playing, they are playing just good enough to keep their position, KK is a bruiser and Tamari is very weak and unable to hold off players of her ability. KK may be gone but Tamari needs much work this summer on playing skills and strength to use these skills if she really would like to be dominant in the post. The stretch position is a real head-scratcher...Rennia at times seems to totally disappear from the floor, she has the ability without a doubt, but I don't think she has that killer instinct all the time. Wing and guard play are very young and need sometimes to realize that their role is not to show all your highlight skills but to use sound judgment in the decisions you make with the ball. Coaching is adequate and better is player development and atmosphere with this group of athletes...When Kellie gets more of the skill players that she wants into the positions she wants them to play the wins will come on a better average than they are currently. This is just my opinion from what I have seen.
 
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#22

travis929

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#22
After this weekend's tournaments, the Lady Vols dropped from 13 to 14 in the NCAA NET ratings, essentially swapping places with UGA, which seems fair. At this point they're 2-2 against the NET top 10, 4-7 against the NET top 25, and 8-7 against the top 50 (i.e. no losses outside the top 25), with #3 South Carolina as their best win.

Compare that to the teams on the 3-line in Charlie Creme's latest bracketology:
- Georgia: 0-2 vs. top 10, 5-4 vs. top 25, 7-5 vs. top 50, and 1 loss outside the top 50. Best win = #12 TAMU.
- Indiana: 0-1 vs. top 10, 4-4 vs. top 25, 5-4 vs. top 50, and no losses outside the top 25. Best win = #18 Michigan.
- Arizona: 3-3 vs. top 10, 3-3 vs. top 25, 6-4 vs. top 50, and 1 loss outside the top 50. Best win = #8 UCLA.
- UCLA: 3-2 vs. top 10, 4-3 vs. top 25, 5-5 vs. top 50, and no losses outside the top 50. Best win = #1 Stanford.

Hard to argue against UCLA, but I think the Lady Vols would have to at least be in conversation with the others as competition for that 3 seed.

Indiana still has the Big 10 tournament yet to go.
 
#24

madtownvol

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#24
A few related thoughts,

I remain unconvinced about the overall gains from pairing Key and KK. In some games, the LVs have gotten results but more often than not, it creates imbalances,. We lack an outside shooter who can spread the floor (if Kasi could hit a 3 like Boston, we might have a different story) and that set often has Kasi trying to cover guards in the perimeter which is the definition of bad mismatch and KK is a bit slow to close out on three point shooters (and that is not her fault, she is a classic wide body post being ask to play at the 4 spot).

The post's foul trouble in the Ole Miss game was a blessing in disguise because it forced Kellie to play with one post and a more guard oriented line-up and with Davis's ability to crash the boards (doing so without giving up anything).

Our best five is Key (or KK), Davis, Burrell, Horston, and Walker, then I would rotate in Salary and Suarez who seems to be moving a bit better of late. If I had to go deeper due to fouls or injuries, I would call Darby's number. She is at least a shooting threat.

Disclaimer: The following comments are more critical assessments of players (so read at your own risk):

For the free Emily crowd, she is (right now at this moment) too slow to be on the court. In her brief cameo during the Ole Miss game, she gave up baskets by not being able to track back against more mobile posts. If she wants to contribute, she has a lot of work in front of her. (Much the same for Rennie.)

Jordan Walker - I love her spirit and fight. She makes plays for the team. So there is a lot of upside here but she also makes way too many bad decisions, forcing passes, ill advised contests on taller 3 point shooters which will inevitably lead to a foul call, dribbling into the trees and getting trapped. When the LVs need a calm floor general, she too often looks like she is hitting the panic button. These problems have been going on all season so I am not sure how much can be corrected before the tournament but even a little improvement could make a big difference.

Destiny seems to have hit the freshman wall. She needs to refocus and realize that she can contribute just by being a super pesky perimeter defender, crashing the boards, and making a wide open shot here and there. Don't try to play PG, don't try to be play maker. Keep it simple and do a few things well. We have other players who can create.

Jordan Horston- mostly good stuff here. I think she needs to look for her shot a bit more. She can be as much of a scoring force as Rae. But se needs to not the take bait of not driving too deep in the lane and picking up charges. And for the tournament, I would like to see her play a little more conservative, make the good pass but don't try for the spectacular one (particularly when the LVs have the lead). Empty possessions have been killing the team.

KK and Key. Seriously eat your spinach and wheaties before every game. Play strong. No more lackadaisical looking, toss it up toward the rim type plays. Go up strong up, exert yourselves. We have seen what you both can do when you play high energy with a level of aggression.
 
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#25

djtee

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#25
A few related thoughts,

I remain unconvinced about the overall gains from pairing Key and KK. In some games, the LVs have gotten results but more often than not, it creates imbalances,. We lack an outside shooter who can spread the floor (if Kasi could hit a 3 like Boston, we might have a different story) and that set often has Kasi trying to cover guards in the perimeter which is the definition of bad mismatch and KK is a bit slow to close out on three point shooters (and that is not her fault, she is a classic wide body post being ask to play at the 4 spot).

The post's foul trouble in the Ole Miss game was a blessing in disguise because it forced Kellie to play with one post and a more guard oriented line-up and with Davis's ability to crash the boards (doing so without giving up anything).

Our best five is Key (or KK), Davis, Burrell, Horston, and Walker, then I would rotate in Salary and Suarez who seems to be moving a bit better of late. If I had to go deeper due to fouls or injuries, I would call Darby's number. She is at least a shooting threat.

Disclaimer: The following comments are more critical assessments of players (so read at your own risk):

For the free Emily crowd, she is (right now at this moment) too slow to be on the court. In her brief cameo during the Ole Miss game, she gave up baskets by not being able to track back against more mobile posts. If she wants to contribute, she has a lot of work in front of her. (Much the same for Rennie.)

Jordan Walker - I love her spirit and fight. She makes plays for the team. So there is a lot of upside here but she also makes way too many bad decisions, forcing passes, ill advised contests on taller 3 point shooter which will almost lead to a foul call, dribbling into the trees and getting trapped. When the LVs need a calm floor general, she too often looks like she is hitting the panic button. These problems have been going on all season so I am not sure how much can be corrected before the tournament but even a little improvement could make a big difference.

Destiny seems to have hit the freshman wall. She needs to refocus and realize that she can contribute just by being a super pesky perimeter defender, crashing the boards, and making a wide open shot here and there. Don't try to play PG, don't try to be play maker. Keep it simple and do a few things well. We have other players who can create.

Jordan Horston- mostly good stuff here. I think she needs to look for her shot a bit more. She can be as much of a scoring force as Rae. She needs to not the take bait of not driving too deep in the lane and picking up charges. And for the tournament, I would like to see her play a little more conservative, make the good pass but don't try for the spectacular one (particularly when the LVs have the lead). Empty possessions have been killing the team.

KK and Key. Seriously eat your spinach and wheaties before every game. Play strong. No matter lackadaisical looking, toss it up toward the rim type plays. Go up strong up, exert yourselves. We have seen what you both can do when you play high energy with a level of aggression.

I hear you on the calling Darby number and i agree, But against teams like SC,A&M,GA,OLD Miss LSU etc, They are gonna make it a priority to defender her with ball hawking defense like SC did on Rae. Rae is a shooter but could not shake Cooke and i was pretty surprise could not shoot over 5-9 Cooke.
 

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