Sweet Sixteen, Again: Lady Vols vs. Baylor Lady Bears

TIP-OFF: 12:04 PM EST

TV: ESPN

NET TV: ESPN360

RADIO: Lady Vols Network

 Position Name  Experience  Height PPG RPG APG
lady vols logo Angie Bjorklund  Jr  6-0 14.0 2.8 2.7
Alicia Manning So  6-1 5.4 5.1 2.3
Alyssia Brewer So  6-3 10.3 5.9 0.9
G-F  Shekinna Stricklen  So  6-2 12.6 6.1 3.8
Kelley Cain  So  6-6 10.5 7.6 0.7
baylor logo C Brittney Griner Fr 6'-8"!!1! 18.4 8.5 1.0
F Morghan Medlock Sr 6-1 9.8 7.6 0.8
G Kelli Griffin Jr 5-8 7.9 4.9 5.1
G Shanay Washington Fr 6-1 7.8 3.3 1.6
G Melissa Jones Jr 5-10 10.7 6.6 3.0

 

An in-depth analysis of Baylor and this game may be found here.  In that write-up, I did not mention how The Griner may be stopped, but for somebody who's supposed to be as physically intimidating as Griner, she doesn't really care for a lot of contact and physical play.  It sounds odd, but I think it makes sense in a certain light: her height and long arms are great for rebounding and blocking, but become a liability when players get in too close to her.  If her arms are up to block a shot and an opposing player gets in close to her, she doesn't have the space to bring her arms back down for pass defense.  Also, when players are in close to her, their elbows and shoulders come into her ribs and torso, whereas most players have their chest and shoulders absorbing the blows.  Like a boxer taking repeated body blows, that has to get tiring after a while, especially since she's thin.

So, having dissected how to stop everybody else on Baylor, the key to Griner is to keep in close to her and cut off her space - something that both Cain and Brewer have excelled at this season.  Add Manning's tenacity in close quarters, and the Lady Vols have absolutely no reason to lose this game.  That's not saying that Baylor can't pull off the upset, but this really is Tennessee's game to lose.

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