On paper, this is another game everybody expects the Lady Vols to win. Perhaps the two most interesting storylines are that they'll meet old teammate Faith Dupree, who transferred to Chattanooga after barely arriving at Tennessee, and that this game is sandwiched between the first two SEC games of the season. It's yet another tournament prep built into the schedule (whether by design or by incidence) that will test their resolve when they play Georgia on Thursday, but today is about focusing on the present and not allowing an in-state opponent to surprise them in a trap game.
(Commentary by Chris.)
After the Ladies dominated Auburn on the road, I feel a bit better now about their chances. Granted, it's just Auburn, but it's still a good sign. Good teams act like good teams, no matter when. Meanwhile, UT-Chattanooga? At home, no less? This just screams massacre, and there's not much that can be done about it. Win huge on the road when you're supposed to win huge and you'll get the benefit of the doubt. Simple, ain't it?
Vicki Baugh is still struggling to acclimate herself, but she should enjoy a height advantage, which is a neat plus when she comes off the bench (looks like Manning gets the start again, which is great. It also probably bears further discussion, too, but that's for another time). As far as the rest goes, rotation will be big - not for tonight, but for down the road. Georgia and Kentucky are coming up soon. Look for a Manning, Stricklen, and Massengale-fueled early burst and plenty of rest in the second half. Ideally, this should be put to bed by halftime. Last year was a 104-40 beat down; I don't think it'll be quite that easy unless Simmons finds her touch (hint: I don't think that), but it'll still get ugly fast.
Chris: 93-42, Ladies. Bass in at 10 minutes in the first half.
Hooper: 88-53 Ladies. Bass in at the under-8 media timeout of the first half.