Tennessee Lady Vols / Oklahoma Lady Sooners Live Game Thread

Lady Vols Logo

February 2, 2009
7:30 EST
TV: ESPN2
Internet TV: ESPN360.com
Internet Radio: Lady Vol Network
Radio: Lady Vol Network

Oklahoma Logo
16-4 (5-2)
  12(AP)
  15(USA Today)
 
18-2 (7-0)
  2(AP)
  2(USA Today)
Tennessee
Ht.
Wt.
Yr.
PPG
RPG
APG
G 5 Angie Bjorklund
6-0
-
So.
11.9
2.6
2.6
F 25 Glory Johnson
6-3
-
Fr.
11.9
7.5
0.9
F
40 Shekinna Stricklen
6-2
-
Fr.
13.8
5.9
3.0
F/C 44 Alexis Fuller
6-3
-
Sr.
7.1
5.8
0.9
F
15 Alicia Manning
6-1
-
Fr.
3.9
3.2
1.2
Oklahoma
Ht.
Wt.
Yr.
PPG
RPG
APG
F
05 Ashley Paris
6-3
-
Sr.
14.0
10.0
1.7
C 03 Courtney Paris
6-4
-
Sr.
15.7
13.6
1.7
G 13 Danielle Robinson
5-9
-
So.
12.5
2.5
6.1
G 25 Whitney Hand
6-1
-
Fr.
9.5
2.4
1.8
F
21 Amanda Thompson
6-0
-
Jr.
7.1
4.6
1.9

In a way, this game is a fitting spanphot of Pat Summitt's coaching career.  With her 1,000th career win on the line, she faces the second-ranked team in the country on the road - a team that credits her assistance as largely influential in their program's survival.  Never one to shy away from a challenge and always one to promote the sport she loves, there are plenty of storylines for those so inclined.

About the game itself - this is going to be an extremely difficult win for the Lady Vols to pull off.  The youth of the team has been discussed at extreme length, but its effects have been seen all season.  They show flashes of brilliance like the second half against Rutgers, but they also show their roughness around the edges - like the first half against Rutgers.  Meanwhile, Oklahoma brings one of the most intimidating front courts in women's basketball, highlighted by the twins, Ashley and Courtney Paris.  Their statlines alone tell you their effect; having two players averaging double-double figures on the season is a luxury very few coaches enjoy.

Last year, the counter to Oklahoma's inside game was to pull all defenders in tight and let them flail 3's all night long.  This year, the addition of freshman Whitney Hand provides the longball threat they desperately needed.  You now have a choice:  close in the defense and let the freshman rain 3's all night long, or play her honest and let the twins play one-on-one down low.

The two losses on Oklahoma's record?  A 1-point loss at home against North Carolina, and a 28-point beating in Connecticut against that Geno.  Both occurred back in November, and they have barely been challenged since.

Can the Lady Vols overcome the Lady Sooners?  Sure!  Their margin of error, however, is ridiculously small.  This Oklahoma team has a lot of experience, a lot of pride, and they really do not want to be #1000.  The Lady Vols need to be effective at following the advice of their coach:

  • Rebound!  Some coaches may preach rebounding as much as Summitt, but none do so more than her.  Shots will be made and shots will be missed, but the Lady Vols need to turn the misses into extra possessions.  This will be extremely difficulty with the height and experience that Oklahoma possesses in the interior.
  • Point Guard Play  The Ladies have to play smart, well-executed on the offensive side - a plan that starts with the point guard.  The PG position has been shuffled around this season, with Brianna Bass and Alicia Manning spending their time in Summitt's doghouse over their floor generalship.  Time for growing up has run out; the points must prove their maturity tonight.
  • Foul Trouble  With the trees inside, Oklahoma will be tough to defend.  If the Lady Vols play too passively, OU will chew up the interior.  If they play too aggressively, the penalty calls will catch up quickly.  Glory Johnson and Alexis Fuller - the two who will likely defend the twins - must stay out of foul trouble.  Bench depth defense will not get it done tonight.

Oklahoma has the advantage, for certain.  In a year where the entire starting lineup was drafted into the WNBA, going on the road to a well-seasoned and sharp-playing team like Oklahoma is not a traditional recipe for success.  There'll be no coaching magic to work tonight - there never has been any coaching magic from Summitt.  She demands the best performance in the basic tasks and an unselfish, team-oriented approach.  Play that game to their best, and the Lady Vols may very well bring Summitt her 4th digit tonight.

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

Join Rocky Top Talk

You must be a member of Rocky Top Talk to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Rocky Top Talk. You should read them.

Join Rocky Top Talk

You must be a member of Rocky Top Talk to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Rocky Top Talk. You should read them.

Spinner

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9347_tracker