The youth of the Lady Vols showed itself tonight in a 74-58 loss to Vanderbilt in Nashville. This is a team that shows the potential to be yet another great Summitt team (win over Stanford; come-from-behind at rutgers) but still has a lot of maturing to go through before being a favored pick to win the NCAA tournament. The news of McMahan's season-ending knee problems couldn't have helped; she didn't score many points (4 ppg average) but she provided some always-valuable depth and, as a sophomore, relative experience to the lineup.
Of all the losses this year, this loss will be one that has potential to haunt the Ladies. It's an SEC loss in a year where the SEC is fairly wide open. It's also a loss to one of the teams with a real perceived shot at winning the SEC season crown. Fortunately, there's a lot of SEC play left and UT still gets to host Vandy in TBA in the regular season closer on March 1st.
You never think of a loss as a good thing, on balance, but there is some excitement to be generated now that the result is set in stone. Pat Summitt is currently setting at 995 career wins. If she wins out, the 5th game in the streak would be at TBA against Mississippi on Jan. 29th.
Anybody up for an RTT night at TBA at a potential 1,000th career win?
I am already planning on picking up a student ticket to the game once they're available. (I have a class that runs at the same time, but I think the professor will understand...) If there's enough interest in a gathering at the stadium, we can work out details of meeting/tickets/etc. If not, I'll be content to give my report.
Looking ahead, if that game doesn't turn out to be the big round number breaker, then the next possible home game would be February 5th against Georgia. We'll play that one by ear, but let's hope that it doesn't take until February and that the Lady Vols can celebrate with us fans when Pat Summitt adds that 4th digit to her career win total.