Which Players to Expect Big Improvements Next Year - and Why

#1

stllvf

StlLVF Saw first game in 1976
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#1
Several recent post infer that the Lady Vols coaches are focusing on their 14 current players and improvements by some (leaps and bounds)

If you were meeting with each player as a "board expert coach" what expectations would you identify to those you selected to talk with?



 
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#3

Volfan2012

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#3
You would have to say Key and Horston have to be leaders and efficient scorers. If either of those two players fail to get better then we want see much improvement as a team. Burrell has to have a year similar to last season she can't regress. Walker has to be better because Kellie handed her the starting point guard position last year and she was quite inconsistent in her play. I would think she would need to be a lot healthier to provide the play we need from her at the point. If she still has that brace don't see that happening. We need a three point shooter and that would be Tess. In order to play she must get stronger physically and develop defensively.

I would say those five players will be the determining factor as how well we do next season and where we finish in the SEC. I think Dye can give us what we lost with Davis so being a better team all comes down to players that were in the rotation last year being at least 30 percent better all around than last season.
 
#4

Volfaninfl2

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#4
Several recent post infer that the Lady Vols coaches are focusing on their 14 current players and improvements by some (leaps and bounds)

If you were meeting with each player as a "board expert coach" what expectations would you identify to those you selected to talk with?
For Tamari-Must be utterly determined to finish her layups. 🙂
 
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#6

youcancallmeAl

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#6
It has to be Horston. She must play like the #2 overall player coming out of high school that she was ranked. If Jordan plays at the same level as last year, we're in trouble.
I think we have one player we can be solidly optimistic that she will be championship calibre, Burrell. We have two others that have both the foundation and the talent to be championship calibre, and those are Key and Horston. But both have to take a strong step forward this coming season to get there. If they do, and if enough of the role players improve significantly (two big ifs) we could have a very good team.

For me, the big question is - what position(s) should Horston play? What is the best use of her strengths?
 
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#7

VolBall09

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#7
Long post, as usual. You asked for it though lol. Did not comment on incoming freshman as I do not know their game well.

Jordan Horston

First things first, we have got to get you healthy and getting up shots. Next season you’ve got big shoes to fill, we are going to need you to step up as a leader. You’re not an underclassmen any longer, younger players will be looking to you. What they see needs to be positive and focused. We need you to embrace a role as a scorer and facilitator off the ball. This allows us to better run plays to get you looks in the spots you can be successful. With the added movement as our offense improves you will have several passing lanes to cutters if the defense helps. You’re a clutch player and we’re going to need you to play like it. Demand the basketball in crunch time situations and deliver the pass or score the bucket. You must have a TRIPLE DOUBLE mentality, you CAN be that player.

Defensively you have to make a 100% commitment to guard your player 1 on 1 and keep them in front. With your size and physicality you can be an elite defender in this league. Enjoy yourself on the defensive end, give positive effort and frustrate your opponent.

Rae Burrell

Stay in the weight room and continue to put on muscle. We’re going to need you to attack the boards with physicality and improve your positioning in rebounding situations. Continue to be a stopper on defense, your tenacious defense frustrated some of the very best players in the country last season. Keep getting shots up and continue to build strength in finishing through contact.

Work on situational offense with the occasional post up to exploit your height advantage. Work on getting her some looks closer to the basket and more from 3.

Tamari Key

Get in the weight room and focus on your nutrition. Improving lean muscle mass will help you to play more minutes, as well as improve coordination and speed. We would love to have you on the floor as much as possible next season. You need to work just as hard on the offensive end as you do on the defensive end. We’re going to count on you for consistent scoring in the paint. That means a hard post up every time down the floor. There will be times you don’t get the ball, but this exhausts your defender and likely makes your job a bit easier defensively. Dominate the battle 1-1 with the opposing teams’ center on both ends of the floor. Get in the gym and work on a counter to the double team and a short jump hook in either direction. Finds more opportunities for yourself around the free throw line. Force your defender to move and work for the entire possession.


Jordan Walker

Let’s focus on getting your knee as close to 100% as possible. Work with the medical staff to reduce the size of the brace and possibly it’s necessity as time and progress allow. Get in the gym and get shots up, we’re going to need you to consistently pull the trigger from 3 when teams do not respect you. Continue to defend and rebound with a passion and use your rebounding skill to start the break. Get us going in transition and headed downhill toward the basket before the defense is fully set. Work on making an earlier outlet for an easier basket to prevent turnovers. If you’re going to take it to the basket try to do so earlier in the clock before the post defenders are well established. This will allow a better look at the rim and higher probability of a foul. If there is nothing there in transition get us into our offense as quickly as possible. With the movement and screening action we want to run the more time we’ve got the better look we will get out of our offensive sets.

Keyen Green

Primary focus is to continue to get back in shape and get your knee as healthy as possible before the start of the season. Continue to be a leader for this team both on the court and off the court. Your teammates look to you already and hear your strong voice in practice. Help them grow as you improve. We may work your minutes in slowly to start the season to save some miles on your knee and allow more healing of needed. Work heavily on developing a 10-17’ jumper to free up space in the paint for Tamari and force tour defender to play honest.

Marta Suarez

Continue rehabbing your foot injury and put a primary focus on nutrition while unable to run or lift. Work on improving your handle and decision making. Get in the film room and get more comfortable with the speed of the game. As your foot allows get as many shots up as you can and work on finding your spots without ending up in a crowd. You have a knack for getting the basketball near the basket but must improve finishing all the way to the rim and through contact.

Alexus Dye

Challenge yourself and work on adapting to the increased physicality of the SEC. Practice hard and take advantage of the time to learn the plays and defensive schemes. Bring the same confidence and swagger you have in the past and be a leader for this team. As a sixth year player you have an opportunity to leave a lasting mark by brining the intensity and showing the younger players what it takes to win.

Emily Saunders

Get as many minutes in the gym playing live basketball as possible. We need to work on your game speed reps and have you ready to contribute as soon as you come off the bench. Improve your ability to catch tough passes. Work defensively on your shot block timing and improving your mobility to better avoid fouls with the body. We are going to need more minutes from you this season so you will not be able to foul as much or as quickly. Bring great defense and finish in the paint when you are in the game to have impact minutes. If Tamari has foul trouble you will be counted on to play a significant role and we believe you can do that.

Tess Darby

Get healthy and get in the weight room. Your goals should be centered around improving your physicality and lateral speed to better defend at this level. Get shots up and continue to improve. With your shooting we will need to find you minutes, but your defense must improve for us to keep you on the floor.

Jessie Rennie

Work on strength and conditioning. Improve your ball handling skills and defensive speed. Commit 100% to brining defensive intensity when in the game. Offensively we need to work on your shot and get you back in shooting form. Make your decision more quickly when you penetrate. Kick before you are too deep and unable to make a clean pass or get a look at the rim.
 
#9

NoBackBoard

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#9
Rae Burrell

Stay in the weight room and continue to put on muscle. We’re going to need you to attack the boards with physicality and improve your positioning in rebounding situations. Continue to be a stopper on defense, your tenacious defense frustrated some of the very best players in the country last season. Keep getting shots up and continue to build strength in finishing through contact.
Burrell needs to improve her ball handling. She often gets the ball stolen when she puts the ball on the floor. It’s the weakest area of her game imo.
 

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