I remember having a conversation about early season games with Stanford coach Tara VanDerveer years ago, specifically about some one-sided games in her team’s series with Tennessee. She made the point that if a team has a flaw or two, the deficiencies can really be exposed and highlighted by an opponent early in the season.
Consider the Lady Vols exposed by Saturday night’s 69-58 loss to Georgetown.
The most obvious deficiency to highlight was the 29 turnovers. But the insufficient response to what was taking place, to me, was more alarming. The Hoyas took the fight to Tennessee repeatedly throught the game and the Lady Vols never wrested the initiative away from them, not even close. And Georgetown was a team ranked No. 13 nationally, not a team with an established heavyweight pedigree. Furthermore, this happened less than 24 hours after UT’s most aggressive play of the season, against a Georgia Tech team that was similiar in style and personnel to Georgetown.
Going forward, it behooves the Lady Vols to consider assigning specific players the duty of marshalling the troops on the court during a competitive crisis. The more team huddles taking place, the better And the coaches ought to consider using more timeouts. Both strategies create the same affect as clinching in a boxing match. They also help to minimize the exposure factor.