Tennessee utilized its third different starting lineup of the women’s basketball season Monday night. Wouldn’t be surprised if No. 4 reports for the opening tip Wednesday night at Chattanooga.
Given the glut of early season punishments and injuries, the uncertainty doesn’t rise to the level of concern — not yet anyway.
But the situation bears watching, particularly after the Lady Vols needed more than 10 minutes Monday night to take their first lead against Tennessee State. Wasn’t a problem against the overmatched Tigers, as evidenced by the 97-46 final. But Chattanooga will present more of challenge. The degree of difficulty will rise further at Texas on Sunday.
What to watch going forward:
— Tennessee’s commitment to its pressure defense: Is this a 40-minute strategy or will UT be more selective in its deployment? The consideration will have a bearing on the process.
— Jordan Reynolds: UT coach Holly Warlick values the sophomore guard’s knack for pushing tempo and has started her all four games. Her 5-foot-11 size and athleticism are ideal for pressing. To date, she has 23 assists and six turnovers. But she’s also shooting 26.3 percent from the floor and averaging just 4.5 points per game.
— Does Tennessee start two guards or three? How devoted UT is to pressing factors into this determination. So does rebounding and shooting. Both have been streaky so far this season.
— Do personalities come into play? There’s been no evidence of that to date. Rather than starts, a bigger problem might be spreading the playing minutes throughout a deep roster. However, Warlick considers that to be a good problem.