The JumpOffPlus.com staff will visit Knoxville during the 2013-14 season to check in on Tennessee Women’s Basketball @LadyVol_Hoops.
Tentative Visit Date: Nov. 17
Head Coach: Holly Warlick
Campus Location: Knoxville, Tennessee
Arena Name: Thompson-Boling Arena
Practice Facility: Pratt Pavilion
Key 2013-14 Returners:
Sr. Meighan Simmons – Steele HS (Cibolo, Texas) – SEC Co-Player of the Year (2013), SEC Freshman of the Year (2011)
Soph. Bashaara Graves – Clarksville HS (Clarksville, Tenn.) – SEC Freshman of the Year (2013), All-SEC First Team (2013)
Key 2013-14 Newcomers:
Marques Burnett and JumpOffPlus.com Publisher Brandon Clay team up for the Tennessee Season Preview Podcast:
Tennessee went 27-8 in the 2012-13 season as the torch was passed from personal narrative essay for college Pat Summitt to Holly Warlick. Warlick guided the Lady Vols to an Elite Eight appearance in the NCAA Tournament. This year’s team will be led by Meighan Simmons and Bashaara Graves. Both were top 10 prospects coming out of high school and have lived up to the billing. Simmons is the go-to perimeter scorer while Graves’ game is based on the interior though she too can knockdown the open jump shot.
Depth could be a concern as the Lady Vols have just ten scholarship players to start the season. They’ll face a grueling schedule that has at least 11 games versus 2013 NCAA Tournament opponents. That said Warlick and her staff have no shortage of talent to work with as nine players on the roster were top 50 prospects as high school players. Their incoming 2013 class was ranked No. 3 overall by ProspectsNation.com. Mercedes Russell of Springfield, Ore., was the graduate school essay buy No. 1 post player in the country. Warlick’s team also gains the services of Andraya Carter who was originally a member of the 2012 class. Carter started five games before an injury to her shoulder sidelined her for the year. If they can stay healthy, this crew could find their way to Nashville for the Final Four. Please believe that the “Rocky Top Faithful” would turn the city into a sea of orange if that is the case.
Jonathan Hemingway’s take on the Lady Vols:
As Brandon indicated, staying healthy will be the key. Last season’s barrage of injuries handicapped a talented roster and prevented them from making a Final Four appearance. This year, the Lady Volunteers are forming a true inside-outside attack. That attack starts with No. 1 ranked freshman in the nation in 6-6 Mercedes Russell of Springfield, Ore. Pairing her side by side with sophomore Bashaara Graves personal essays for medical school gives Rocky Top one of the most formidable post tandems in the nation. Returning senior guard Meighan Simmons will bring her scoring ability to the backcourt thus giving coach Warlick a balanced scoring attack. The Lady Vols will tune up in pre-conference action at home versus Georgia Tech on November 17, Texas on December 8 and then will travel to Stanford on December 21.
Holly Warlick Talks About the 2013-14 Lady Vols:
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 as an evaluator, event operator and trainer. You can reach him at BrandonClay@PeachStateBasketball.com