Hoping for more from Moore

Tennessee’s Nia Moore is not starting nor is the Lady Vols junior center playing the same amount of minutes as she was earlier in the season.

The return of All-SEC center Isabelle Harrison, who missed five games with a sprained right knee, has a lot to do with that. But Tennessee assistant coach Dean Lockwood said that Moore hasn’t played recently with the same aggressiveness that she showed in scoring at least 20 points in three of UT’s first four games. She also set a new single-game career high for rebounds during that stretch with 14.

“I think the last couple of games she didn’t come out of the gate as strongly as she had been,” Lockwood said on the News Sentinel Sports Page radio show. “She wasn’t as assertive or as aggressive as she had been.”

Moore hasn’t scored more than eight points or grabbed more than six rebounds in any of her last six games. She played three minutes apiece against Rutgers and Wichita State.

It’s worth noting that Tennessee’s schedule has gotten more difficult. Nonetheless, Lockwood thinks Moore is capable of still having “a solid role.”

“We still are very, very optimistic that Nia is going to help us some,” Lockwood said.