Tennessee women’s basketball coach Pat Summitt walked out of the locker room moments after the Lady Vols’ 82-44 victory over Missouri at the Paradise Jam Thursday night, stared at the stat sheet and said “look at this”
There was a lot there that could’ve inspired a fan-like reaction. But the coach was being a coach.
She was glaring at her team’s 11-for-23 shooting from the free throw line. This was largely one woman’s doing. Glory Johnson could’ve easily scored in double figures but shot 3 for 9 on the freebies. She missed her first five attempts and drew a Bronx cheer when she finally swished No. 6.
The misses amounted to a glitch in Thursday night’s performance and were easy to ignore. Still, it’s impossible to overlook that Johnson and the Lady Vols are shooting 56.9 percent (62 for 109) at the foul line through five games. More misfiring will be noticable – probably glaring, possibly decisive – against Georgia Tech and Georgetown in UT’s final two games at the Jam.
As for other thoughts and observations:
– I first really noticed Alicia Manning when she made several steals on the wing in a game at LSU last season. Fitting that her first real stand-out game of this season featured the same feat. Didn’t seem like she played as much on the low block Thursday, which worked to her advantage.
– Even when Kamiko Williams takes a bad shot, it doesn’t look like a bad shot. A case in point was the awkward runner she took in the lane Thursday that almost went in. Not only is she good off the dribble but her shot is uncommonly soft as well. It hangs around on the rim like teenagers at the mall.
-Looking forward to seeing forward Vicki Baugh tonight after she’s missed the last four games. Specifically, seeing how mobile she is and what she’s capable of producing against a rangy, athletic Tech team.