Where Do We Go From Here?

#1

krichunaka

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#1
We are going to be very good. And, this, with the personnel on hand. We have enough talent and quality with our lineup and Coaches to finish this season very strong, and I expect we will do just that.

We have two very appealing recruits, both about six feet tall - an excellent marksman, and a high-caliber, slasher type and good defender. We should have Zaay Green back at close to 100% at about the time those reinforcements arrive. Tamari will continually learn and improve; her body of work suggests that though there will be other aberrational episodes against bigger, and smaller opponents, her future is bright.
The post player who many of us are the most critical of (though it varies) will indeed get better; and the tall Lady Vol from West Virginia - the granddaughter of the career Marine (Semper Fi) - can become a force, and I believe she will. Miss McCoy’s injuries certainly haven’t helped, but she is healing and conditioning and will contribute more, and relatively soon.

But most all of this is on down the line. Meanwhile, we just experienced the full-bore effect of losing Miss Zaay Green, and we must admit that we do not yet have a capable replacement, either singularly or by committee. And so, we are more or less forced to play a “bigger” kinda game.
Several are clamoring to start the more athletic player, and some even wanted us to go quicker in Connecticut to match the little fellow’s faster line-up. Let me respectfully suggest that in an already error-filled game this was not an attractive option. Our Staff likely considered in advance several methods to counter such an onslaught and ultimately went with what they thought was the best chance for success. It didn’t work, so we move onward.

With Zaay Green healthy we could bring in Jessie, and/or Rae, and probably keep either of the two on the floor longer, for instance when Jordan needs a break. We lost so much in quality and diversity when Zaay’s knee tore. Coach Kellie, already playing catch up in familiarizing herself with twelve new players, suddenly had to rip out several pages of the play book. And, while the “next-man-up” approach sounds good on the radio, in most cases a loss like this is a giant step backwards. Especially when it happens right after game one. So, seven months into the new job, with all new players - at Tennessee! - she was essentially back to square one.

So, are we bad/inconsistent because of the crazy substitution pattern, or are the primary players the primary reason for what’s not quite right?

Or are we overly reliant on two freshmen for a large percentage of points, rebounds, steals, and blocked shots? Neither of them played very well against the cons. Imagine that. Freshmen not quite up to standards against a top three team, on the road, before a near sellout.

What is the short-term, long-term answer? BTW, I know that ...I don’t know; and with due respect, neither do any of us. Nor does the coaching staff. Because the level to which the Lady Vols ascend depends, to a large degree, on those two raw, talented freshmen. Because there is simply no one good enough, or ready enough to replace either of them. Oh, and they really do not become sophomores at Christmas break. They become sophomores after the summer after their last freshman game. We’re a long way from that.

We are also likely to lose a few more contests this regular season, plus two tournament games, and how players and staff react to Thursday night’s unfortunate turn of events will determine at what stage we lose them. And, of course, the “blame Kellie” line that formed last Spring will lengthen, thus everyone who disagreed with the hire then or now can continue to pile on. Incessantly.

Finally, there was nothing magical or ingenious about the infamous third quarter. The turnovers didn’t noticeably escalate. We missed shots! And, due to the turnovers (throughout the game) we missed further opportunity to miss more shots. If you’re missing so many shots, will you suddenly start hitting them with more attempts? Well, probably. Or, maybe not. Nor will we ever know. But, from the posted numbers, we could still have made a game of it by making even close to this season’s averages ...with the shots we actually took.

Just breathe in. Breathe out. We’re in the beginning stages toward greatness.
______________________________________

“We know how rough the road will be
How heavy the load will be
We know about the barricades
that wait along the track.
But we have set our soul ahead
Upon a certain goal ahead
And nothing left from Hell to sky
Will ever set us back.”
Grantland Rice

Cheers!
 
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#4

Volfan2012

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#4
We'll certainly be much better next season considering two players that we depend on most will have a year of experience and a summer to get better. The return of Green and her ability to play point guard and be another reliable scorer certainly makes the future look brighter. I wouldn't mind at all if we could add a grad transfer inside player you never have to much experience in there. We certainly need Davis to come back and not forego her senior year. I think both recruits coming in give us a lot of help in areas where we need help. Darby is gonna hit 100 threes in her senior season and Salary is the type ball handler and quick player that can get to the rim. I want this years team to finish strong love a top four finish in the SEC and a sweet sixteen. The main thing is to get better at the problems that are facing us now of course if that happens wins will definitely happen.
 
#6

krichunaka

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#6
I saw nothing today in the game at South Carolina to lessen my degree of hope and optimism.
We have a turnover problem, yes, and it must be alleviated for Tournament advancement. But, with our personnel and their style of play this will likely be a problem beyond this season. But, that will get better.
Anyhow, to single out one player, by name, Tamari Key is a Keey-per. Better, IMO, than the higher-rated post from South Carolina.
Be of good cheer, Lady Vol Fans!
We’re on our way back!
 
#7

Volfan2012

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#7
I saw nothing today in the game at South Carolina to lessen my degree of hope and optimism.
We have a turnover problem, yes, and it must be alleviated for Tournament advancement. But, with our personnel and their style of play this will likely be a problem beyond this season. But, that will get better.
Anyhow, to single out one player, by name, Tamari Key is a Keey-per. Better, IMO, than the higher-rated post from South Carolina.
Be of good cheer, Lady Vol Fans!
We’re on our way back!
The biggest problem I see is coach has to figure some way to settle Horston in if that is moving her to the three or off guard something has to happen she is creating half the turnovers almost on some very casual play and bad decisions. I want to give her the benefit of the doubt but her line today was 7 turnovers, 2 of 9 shooting and 0 rebounds. At this point in the season that is incompetence and we can't win with her playing like that. I hate to call her out but we need a lot better and she has played over half a season now time to get it going in the right direction.
 
#10

VolBall09

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#10
The biggest problem I see is coach has to figure some way to settle Horston in if that is moving her to the three or off guard something has to happen she is creating half the turnovers almost on some very casual play and bad decisions. I want to give her the benefit of the doubt but her line today was 7 turnovers, 2 of 9 shooting and 0 rebounds. At this point in the season that is incompetence and we can't win with her playing like that. I hate to call her out but we need a lot better and she has played over half a season now time to get it going in the right direction.
I’d like to see her at the 3, would slow things down for her a little.
 
#13

creekdipper

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#13
We need to put the team in pressure situations constantly throughot practice. Make them play 4 on 5. Swarm and double team ball handlers. Demand that teammates help out by setting screens and picks to free up ballhandlers. Demand that players move to get open while maintaining spacing. Run patterns until they get it right and every player knows where she is going.

And, yes, hold them accountable if they're not focused or not moving. If it takes running or pushups, at least they're getting the conditioning they're not getting while standing around.

You can move on offense or run lines. Your choice.
 
#14

glv98

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#14
We need to put the team in pressure situations constantly throughot practice. Make them play 4 on 5. Swarm and double team ball handlers. Demand that teammates help out by setting screens and picks to free up ballhandlers. Demand that players move to get open while maintaining spacing. Run patterns until they get it right and every player knows where she is going.
I'd be in favor of firing the whole staff tonight and running them out of town if I thought there was the slightest chance they weren't already doing all of these things.

I also don't think it has anything to do with player awareness of the problem or its impact. My God, its the first and only thing anyone talks about in relation to this team. Andy Landers making a damn second career of it. We can stipulate everyone involved knows the problem and has tried every practice technique in the book.

The trick, and hardest part, is taking the awareness and the practice repetitions and being able to apply them in game situations at game speed Good teams and players clear this performance hurdle, the rest never do. Last LV staff never did.

I had hoped KJH would have had a better start on it than what's showed on court recently, but I still think she deserves some time, and possibly some more highly skilled players able to develop the needed skills.
 
#15

PRG

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#15
We control our destiny. We play 4 games in the next two weeks! These teams are in the top of the SEC and these are the games that MOST likely will determine if we finish in the top 4 ! We are 7 and 2 now and LSU, Ky., TA&M, Ark., are 6 and 3 right now .... All four of them have to play USC which should give all of them another loss ? LSU is the only one who does not have to play Miss. State while everyone else does including us .... The game at LSU is very important so we have the advantage over them in the tournament seeding. Miss. St. Should give the others another loss ? Hopefully not us ? It would be nice to beat TA&M and Arkansas head to head so there is no doubt about tournament seeding , since we already lost to Ky. Going to be an interesting next 4 games !!!🙏


SEC
#2 Miss. State 2/6 Home

#4 L. S. U. 2/13. Away

#6 T. A&M. 2/16. Home

#7 Arkansas. 2/20. Away
 
#16

glv98

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#16
We control our destiny. We play 4 games in the next two weeks! These teams are in the top of the SEC and these are the games that MOST likely will determine if we finish in the top 4 ! We are 7 and 2 now and LSU, Ky., TA&M, Ark., are 6 and 3 right now .... All four of them have to play USC which should give all of them another loss ? LSU is the only one who does not have to play Miss. State while everyone else does including us .... The game at LSU is very important so we have the advantage over them in the tournament seeding. Miss. St. Should give the others another loss ? Hopefully not us ? It would be nice to beat TA&M and Arkansas head to head so there is no doubt about tournament seeding , since we already lost to Ky. Going to be an interesting next 4 games !!!🙏


SEC
#2 Miss. State 2/6 Home

#4 L. S. U. 2/13. Away

#6 T. A&M. 2/16. Home

#7 Arkansas. 2/20. Away
Interesting indeed. All are winnable (Miss St only b/c its here) but all are losable. Realistically, a 2-2 split would be decent, espec if could could sweep the winnable last 3 league games.
 
#17

hammer22

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#17
Mississippi State is a very winnable game for us, if we are able to expose certain mismatches and maintain composure.
- They are a very deep team. In their loss to South Carolina, their bench outscored SC's 36-6. They also have some very talented freshman, as theirs managed to outscore SC's in fewer minutes.
- They press and force turnovers. They have some small, scrappy, physical guards. If Horston and Massengill can take advantage of their major height advantages, they will cause issues for Mississippi State defensively.
- They aren't a great rebounding team. They managed not to get killed on the boards by SC, but schools like Auburn and LSU have managed to beat them on the boards. If we can win that margin pretty good, I like our chances.
- Key should have 5-10 blocks honestly. I think she had 8 today, and Mississippi State likes to shoot layups deep in the paint. If Key can be effective defensively, I can see Mississippi State struggling to score.
- They've struggled against some meh teams. Even though they hung with SC, they struggled against LSU, Auburn, Vanderbilt, and Georgia. They're very inconsistent compared to SC.

All in all, I like our chances here.
 
#18

GameTime

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#18
Hi guys.....As expected, a very tough game against South Carolina....

We are all aware that the turnovers are sucking the life out of our team...There are a few players that are having major problems....Not likely fixable this season....They need time and serious coaching.

Horston is an "athlete first" playing basketball, not a basketball player that is a good athlete too.....Her basketball IQ is not fully developed yet, it will take a lot more time......The first game I saw her play, when she just charged into the stationary defender, I knew this was going to be a work in progress...This problem, among others, have gone on and on through many games....No end in sight for this season.

Davis is a basketball player first, that is also a good athlete too....In her freshmen year, she was an athlete first and a basketball player second...She has evolved, this is very good....

Zay Green is a basketball player first.....This will be a welcomed relief when she is back next season....Rae Burrell is another athlete first, and basketball second....Needs time to evolve....Massengill is a basketball player first.....Lou Brown is a basketball player first.....Tamari Key is an athlete first that is trying to evolve into a basketball player....

We have some major talent coming next season that are basketball players first, athletes second....What I mean by that is they know the basic fundamentals of basketball, and how and why to apply them to their game and make it successful....

Coach Kellie has her hands full with this squad, but they are evolving into a team of basketball players...Give em time guys.

Footnote....What we have seen with South Carolina and UConn, are teams filled with basketball players first, and athletes second.....
 
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#19

Rooster1

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#19
I saw nothing today in the game at South Carolina to lessen my degree of hope and optimism.
We have a turnover problem, yes, and it must be alleviated for Tournament advancement. But, with our personnel and their style of play this will likely be a problem beyond this season. But, that will get better.
Anyhow, to single out one player, by name, Tamari Key is a Keey-per. Better, IMO, than the higher-rated post from South Carolina.
Be of good cheer, Lady Vol Fans!
We’re on our way back!
I don't know anyone that would trade Boston for Key, and in fact, to say Key is better than Boston is ludicrous.
 
#21

lvocd

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#21
I don't know anyone that would trade Boston for Key, and in fact, to say Key is better than Boston is ludicrous.
Rooster, please remember where you are before telling someone their opinion is ludicrous. If a Lady Vol fanatic on VolNation says he or she thinks a certain Lady Vol is better than a certain Gamecock, a Gamecock fan has no business barging in on that fan’s board to tell them they are ludicrous — regardless of whether you are right or wrong. I would never go to another team’s board to try to set them straight about ANYthing. If you can’t politely ignore typical “fan talk” on a rival board, maybe you should stay on your own board. It gets so damn tiresome when fans from rival teams give Lady Vols fans grief for being Lady Vols fans. I mean, where ELSE are we supposed to be free to be crazy about our players above all others if not here?
 
#22

VolBall09

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#22
I don't know anyone that would trade Boston for Key, and in fact, to say Key is better than Boston is ludicrous.
I wouldn’t say Boston is better than Key either. She is ahead of her offensively, but I actually Key is a better help defender and has better defensive mobility. They both have a long way to grow and watching that matchup for the next few years will be awesome.
 
#23

Rooster1

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#23
[QUOTE="VolBall09, post: 17939917, member: 74215"]I wouldn’t say Boston is better than Key either. She is ahead of her offensively, but I actually Key is a better help defender and has better defensive mobility. They both have a long way to grow and watching that matchup for the next few years will be awesome.[/QUOTE]

Don't know what to say other than everyone has an opinion. Guarantee those saying that would do a straight up trade between those two.
 
#24

krichunaka

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#24
I don't know anyone that would trade Boston for Key, and in fact, to say Key is better than Boston is ludicrous.
Thank you so much, Rooster, for your interest and comment. We get input from so many of the very-recent successful programs like, for instance, South Carolina. Your team is athletic, skilled, and, though teaming with promising freshmen, experienced and very well coached. One of those freshmen, Miss Boston, is also promising. She’s bigger-bodied and stronger than our freshman center, Tamari Key, and this will likely never change. But Miss Key will continue to improve mentally and physically, as will her teammates. I like her a lot.
So, your gals are some distance ahead of ours - for now - but I don’t think the Gamecocks will hold such a huge advantage for very long, and in fact, likely not as long as you, and probably many Lady Vols fans might think.
In our most recent game, our players appeared timid and wild, which led to too many turnovers, and this obviously affected our shooting as well; too much, in fact for us to keep the game close.
As for your post player, and ours, they both have a ways to go - the primary differences being the already mentioned strength and body types, but more significant for now, your team is better. For freshmen, this holds the responsibilities down and the confidence up. This too, is an advantage that you will not hold forever. So, stick out your chest and crow loudly, Rooster.
And, thanks for putting me in my place.
 
#25

Rooster1

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#25
Thank you so much, Rooster, for your interest and comment. We get input from so many of the very-recent successful programs like, for instance, South Carolina. Your team is athletic, skilled, and, though teaming with promising freshmen, experienced and very well coached. One of those freshmen, Miss Boston, is also promising. She’s bigger-bodied and stronger than our freshman center, Tamari Key, and this will likely never change. But Miss Key will continue to improve mentally and physically, as will her teammates. I like her a lot.
So, your gals are some distance ahead of ours - for now - but I don’t think the Gamecocks will hold such a huge advantage for very long, and in fact, likely not as long as you, and probably many Lady Vols fans might think.
In our most recent game, our players appeared timid and wild, which led to too many turnovers, and this obviously affected our shooting as well; too much, in fact for us to keep the game close.
As for your post player, and ours, they both have a ways to go - the primary differences being the already mentioned strength and body types, but more significant for now, your team is better. For freshmen, this holds the responsibilities down and the confidence up. This too, is an advantage that you will not hold forever. So, stick out your chest and crow loudly, Rooster.
And, thanks for putting me in my place.
Not intended to put anyone in their place, just saw a comment that Key was better than Boston. I highlighted the quote. Based on comparisons, I had a hard time believing the statement was sincere. I could see if it was close:

Points Reb Ass FG% FT% TO ST Blocks

Krey 7.5 4.9 17 .561 .531 30 6 70

Boston 13.1 8.7 27 .621 .785 24 29 58

So I guess other than Boston scoring and rebounding at almost twice Key's numbers, shooting higher % on both FG and FT's, assisting at a much higher rate, collecting 5 times as many steals and turning the ball over less, Key does has 12 more blocks, so there is that argument to be made for her.
 
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