Upon returning to Tennessee, Mickie DeMoss sees the same Pat Summitt at work, just not as much of her.
DeMoss has returned to UT’s women’s basketball coaching staff after being away for seven seasons. She’s noticed that the Lady Vols’ head coach is more selective with her Summitt moments.
“She seems to pick and choose her battles a little better, a little more conservatively than she used to,” DeMoss said. “She conserves her energy a little bit better.Then, boom, when it’s time to turn it on, she turns it on.”
The assessment is fair – at least for the postseason. DeMoss might reassess the situation after she’s seen a few more Summitt encounters with carefree guard Kamiko Williams.
While DeMoss was never thought of as being Summitt-like, UT associate head coach Holly Warlick has a toned-down take on DeMoss after her four seasons as head coach at Kentucky and three seasons as an assistant at Texas.
“I think she’s less of a reactor than maybe she was in the past,” Warlick said. “I think she’s kind of enjoying that it’s not all on her shoulders. I think she’s enjoying being an assistant again at this program with great kids and great talent. I think she’s going to flourish.”
On other matters:
— Faith Dupree’s decision to transfer to Chattanooga doesn’t guarantee that Tennessee will try to add two more players to commitments Cierra Burdick and Ariel Massengale for the fall signing class. It’s unclear what the Lady Vols’ intentions are. But the juggling act involving prospects Elizabeth Williams, Kiah Stokes and Isabelle Harrison has become a lot more manageable.
— Although Dupree’s departing and Alyssia Brewer is sidelined indefinitely after Achilles’ tendon surgery, Tennessee’s post game should be fine, provided Kelley Cain and Vicki Baugh stay healthy. Forward Alicia Manning can do the rebounding of two players.
— As reported in August, new NCAA guidelines allow the Lady Vols to begin official practices on Sunday, which is 40 days in advance of their Nov. 12 season opener at Louisville.