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UT Lady Vols vs. Rugters 3 PM EST. (Oh, and some bowl games, too.)

We'll have a dedicated thread for the Music City Bowl, but until then, this will be the thread for early bowl game chatter and the Lady Vols game at 3:00.  As I type this, Army leads SMU 16-0 at halftime, thus demonstrating that SMU is both very generous and determined to submarine my picks.

A  brief preview of the Lady Vols game follows below the jump.


Net Video:

Stats:  Gametracker

 Position Name  Experience  Height PPG RPG APG
lady vols logo G Angie Bjorklund Sr 6-0 12.2 3.5 2.3
C Kelley Cain Jr 6-6 7.6 5.0 0.8
G Meighan Simmons Fr 5-9 17.5 3.2 2.8
G-F Shekinna Stricklen Jr 6-2 10.4 7.0 2.2
F Glory Johnson Jr 6-3 8.8 8.9 1.0
rutgers logo G/F April Sykes Jr 6-0 15.0 4.3 1.6
G Khadijah Rushdan Jr 5-9 14.3 4.9 4.0
F/C Monique Olilver So 6-2 9.8 6.8 0.5
G Nikki Speed Jr 5-8 6.8 2.4 0.7
F Chelsey Lee Jr 6-2 7.7 8.0 4.3


Rutgers is not having their best of years, standing currently with a 7-5 record.  Their losses, however, are to very good women's teams (Cal, Stanford, Temple, Boston College, and Texas A&M), indicating a good but certainly not elite squad.  In short, this is Tennessee's game to win or lose, and Rutgers must depend on Tennessee's mistakes to have a chance.

What you see in the starters stats represents the limit of Rutgers in the height department.  With the tallest player at 6'-2", Lady Vols posts Cain, Johnson, Baugh, and Brewer can all play over their heads.  There is no reason that Tennessee should not outrebound Rutgers by a wide margin.

Without an honest deep threat from Rutgers, they will have a very hard time finding scoring opportunities from the very deep and tall interior of Tennessee.  Though UT has had a stunted start with their posts thanks to injuries, they have more than enough depth to allow them to play aggressively in the interior all game long.  On offense, if either Simmons or Bjorklund have their deep shot working, Rutgers will be very hard pressed to stop both the exterior and interior game of Tennessee.

Barring a slow start from Tennessee, this game should end in the 80-65 range in favor of the Ladies.  All in all, a very nice lead-in to the bowl game later on, and a chance for two of Tennessee's top three sports to end 2010 with wins (and the men's team facing College of Charleston tomorrow).