KNOXVILLE – With eight national championships in the trophy case, the Lady Volunteers are one of the nation’s preeminent women’s basketball programs. That said, the last championship came at the conclusion of the 2007-08 season. That’s a drought that Tennessee fans nationwide want to end this year in Nashville. Here’s a look at reasons why after a win versus Georgia Tech that the Rocky Top faithful should be excited about the 2013-14 version of their team.
1) Bashaara Graves is hard to guard.
Bashaara Graves was named 2013 SEC Freshman of the Year for good reason. The 6-foot-2 power forward is both athletic and skilled. Add to that Graves ability to consistently rebound as well as any player in the country and she could very well challenge teammate Meighan Simmons the league’s Player of the Year. Graves finished the game with 23 points to go with 18 rebounds. That rebound number is higher than we expect most nights but a definite sign that Graves is still progressing as go-to post. She’s played like a two-game HS All-American narrative writing essay help from Day One upon arriving in Knoxville and that’s a good sign for this team.
2) Ariel Massengale is playing like an All-SEC first team selection.
The junior point guard appears to be clicking on all cylinders. When Massengale shoots the basketball as well as she has to start the season, it puts immense pressure on opposing defenses to either trap or fight over every on ball screen. This game was a perfect example of how the former HS All-American can take a game over with her shot after getting her team involved early. Georgia Tech made a run to cut the lead to five in the second hand. Massengale calmly hit two mid range jumpers on consecutive possessions that effectively ended the ball game as Tech never got it within five again. Tennessee will need that steady point guard play in major games throughout the season.
3) Holly Warlick has settled into the first chair.
A year ago marked Warlick starting her season as the head coach of the Volunteers after 25 as an assistant to Pat Summitt. It was a whirlwind process in which Warlick took over and one essay writing service guarantee that she handled as well as possible. That said she looks much more comfortable entering her second season at the helm of the Lady Volunteers. Her pre game and shoot around demeanor was that of a veteran coach. She even took time before tip off to meet and greet standout prep with Crystal Dangerfield of Murfreesboro, Tenn. Dangerfield, a 5-6 point guard, is the nation’s No. 1 ranked point guard according to ProspectsNation.com. The same can be said for Warlick’s assistant coaches in Kyra Elzy, Jolette Law and Dean Lockwood.
4) A healthy Andraya Carter means matchup problems for opponents.
Carter’s value is hard to measure in statistics alone. The 5-9 redshirt freshman guard can play either guard position even sliding to the small forward position at times when need be for additional ball handling or defensive pressure. She started five games before a shoulder injury prematurely ended her 2012-13 season. Carter is more assertive with her open jump shot these days and appears to be fully healthy for the first time dating back to her underclass days at Buford High (GA). She’s a lynchpin defensively even spending a major portion of the second half good ways to conclude a research paper guarding former HS teammate Kaela Davis.
5) Meighan Simmons’ all around play is vital in key games.
It is hard to believe that Simmons is already a senior. Best known for her scoring ability, Simmons will have to emerge this season as a sound defender for the Lady Vols to make the deep championship run that the fan base is hoping for. We had her as a top-five caliber prospect coming out of Steele HS in Cibolo, Texas. So far, Simmons has had a career in line with that projection. The thing that the 5-9 guard is missing is a trip to the Final Four that has eluded her the first three seasons. Look for a determined Simmons to rise to the occasion defensively and lead the Lady Vols to Nashville.
Brandon Clay is the owner of the JumpOffPlus.com International Report, Peach State Basketball, Inc., and ProspectsNation.com. The JumpOffPlus.com is picked up by more than 200 colleges and universities nationwide. He serves as the Executive Camp Director for the Elite Basketball Academy Camps. Clay has been involved in the community since 2001. You can reach him at BrandonClay@PeachStateBasketball.com