TV: SECN / virtual fake SECN
"Stats": now with 100% more audio
So when we last left Vanderbilt, Hooper was kind enough to actually do a breakdown so I don't have to. Since then, the ‘Dores have gone 6-8, with the only win worth anything being a 78-62 win at home against Missisippi State. A pre-surgence 58-54 win at home over Ole Miss isn't bad, but [insert joke about Memorial Gym here]. They have two in-conference wins on the road by a combined 4 points against teams 7-23 in SEC play. Let's not get ahead of ourselves.
Meanwhile, it's Senior Day for the Lady Vols as Cierra Burdick and Ariel Massengale will play their last regular-season game in Knoxville before playing a few virtual home games in the SEC Tournament and playing two home games in the NCAA Tournament. (Probably getting ahead of myself, but I think this team can take a 1-16 or 2-15 matchup.) Meanwhile, Isabelle Harrison's Tennessee career is already over, as you've heard if you're even kind of following the Lady Vols. If you haven't heard, don't worry! I'm sure ESPN will be kind enough to replay the injury at least once.
Bashaara Graves has stepped up her game in Harrison's absence, clocking in near double-doubles in three games. Meanwhile, Ariel Massengale's clocked 17 points per game against non-South Carolina opponents and Cierra Burdick's picked up double-doubles in her last two games (and was one board short against Kentucky and Alabama). Burdick in particular has stepped up her offensive game, and she's up to a respectable-but-not-great 45% from the floor, boosted by shooting 21-33 from the floor over her last three games.
Harrison's torn ACL has pushed Burdick into the lane a bit more, which has helped. The Tennessee offense is a bit different-they've moved out a bit more, there's better ball movement (Graves in particular has helped with interior passing in this regard), and although the offense lacks a central anchor and guaranteed score that Harrison could frequently provide, there's a bit more team danger. The bigger loss has been on the glass, as Tennessee's still figuring out how to control both backboards.
Regardless, we're skipping the bullet points today. This game would be the deadest of rubbers if it wasn't for Senior Day, and with it being Senior Day, I'd say look for the seniors to pile up the points before getting subbed off, except Tennessee doesn't really have a bench these days. So look for them to pile up the points and see what happens. Vanderbilt's likely a passenger.
PREDICTION: 77-60 Tennessee. Hooper's going with 72-58 Tennessee, but if it wasn't Senior Day, the only reason to watch this game would be "it's on".
MORE TIME FOR MOORE: 12 minutes, because sure.