Lady Vols Basketball news: Jasmine Phillips to transfer, Baylor opts not to continue series with Tennessee

Reserve Guard Jasmine Phillips has decided to transfer from Tennessee after one year. I get the feeling that with Andraya Carter coming back from injury and a incoming freshman class with some very talented guards, Phillips was able to tell that playing time would only get more infrequent for her. Coach Warlick revealed that playing time was in fact the reason for her transfer and it sounds like the coaching staff was supportive and understanding of her decision.

Perhaps the more significant news is that Baylor has opted not to continue their series with Tennessee and will be replacing that game with a non conference game against SEC powerhouse Ole Miss (9-20 last year, 2-14 in the SEC). It sounds like Tennessee didn't exactly expect Baylor to end the series and this leaves Tennessee scrambling to replace what would have been a fairly prominent non-conference matchup between two teams that are expected to be two of the top 20 teams next season. I know that myself and other posters here on Rocky Top Talk have disagreed with the way Baylor Coach Kim Mulkey has handled herself, particularly in some of her actions and comments during and after the Louisville/Baylor game. This recent bit of news just makes me lose more respect for her. As far as I know, Mulkey and Coach Warlick got along well and there was no bad blood between them. As a result the only reason I can see for Baylor to swap a game against Tennessee with one against Ole Miss is cowardice. As we all know Tennessee is expected to be pretty good next year and the game would have been played in Knoxville. Tennessee would probably be favored to win in a matchup between those two teams, but It's not like Baylor would have been helpless either. Odyssey Simms is going to be the best point guard in the nation, and Baylor has a pretty good group of freshman coming in to support her. Odyssey Simms plays her best in big games and she would have given Baylor a decent shot, but Mulkey doesn't trust Simms or the rest of the team enough to give her a chance.

In Pat Summitt's definite dozen the very last of the principles listed is "Handle Success Like You Handle Failure." Whereas Kim Mulkey may live up to some of the other principles in the definite dozen, this is one where she sorely needs to improve. Her behavior in the Louisville/Baylor loss and in the aftermath of that game suggested as much, and Baylor's reluctance to continue the series just continues to show that Mulkey does not handle losses with grace and dignity. By cancelling the series Mulkey has deprived the women's basketball fans of a marquee non-conference matchup that would have had a good chance to be televised nationally. It was a matchup that brought exposure to both programs and to the sport of women's basketball as a whole. Unfortunately, because of Mulkey's cowardice and inability to handle loss, Tennessee is left trying to find a game that would have built up as much hype and excitement as the Baylor/Tennessee game, and Baylor get's to beat up on Ole Miss.

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