My first season of covering Tennessee women’s basketball was Melissa McCray’s last season. I was just in time.
One season was enough to gain an appreciation for her, not only as a player but a teammate. I remember writing a story and describing her as the “mother hen” of the team. I sensed that she liked the story, even though she never said so.
Reconsidering Tennessee’s 82-72 overtime victory over Stanford Sunday night:
— Afterward, I tweeted that the victory wasn’t a cure-all but definitely a character-builder. The review wasn’t favorably received by some followers. No matter, I’ll stand by it. After a hot start, Tennessee’s offense nearly ground to a halt in the second half. Meanwhile, Stanford was hammering away with 62.5 percent field goal accuracy. The Lady Vols didn’t solve their problems as much as they fought through them.
At the risk of sounding like some old-timer who walked eight miles to school as a youngster, I can remember some Tennessee women’s basketball seasons that began a lot rougher than this one.
Two losses by Dec. 14. don’t equal some of the hardships I’ve seen.
Reflecting on Sunday’s 92-77 win at Texas and looking forward to Tuesday’s showdown at Baylor:
— Amazed at the role Kamiko Williams played in Sunday’s win. At one point, UT coach Pat Summitt said the 5-foot-11 sophomore wouldn’t play point guard again this season, and she plays most of her 37 minutes Sunday at the point. Her playing 37 minutes is worth a story in itself. Wondering if someone else on the coaching staff is championing her cause. At any rate, Williams didn’t hurt herself with 14 points, 7 rebounds, 4 assists and zero turnovers against the Longhorns.
Heading into a difficult two-game trip to Texas, Tennessee has yet to sign off on a signature victory.
Eight victories add up to No. 8 national ranking but none really stand out – at least not at this point in the women’s basketball season.