While the Tennessee Lady Vols recently got some major recruiting commitments for next season, this season will feature a bit of uncertainty compared to recent years.
With five players leaving the program and getting drafted by the WNBA over the past two years, the team will be looking for others to step up and form a new identity. And while two exhibition games are hardly enough to say for sure what that identity will be, David Hooper of SB Nation’s Rocky Top Talk wrote that their identity might be defending and getting out in transition.
Short story: this team looks absolutely nothing like the Baby Vols era of huge, lumbering trees on the floor. They defend voraciously, force turnovers, transition quickly, and flat-out run.
The biggest difference is in the post, where Tennessee’s new interior players and Isabelle Harrison just spent two exhibition games running up and down the court all game long. All of them are fast enough to lead transition fast breaks, and Harrison in particular has decided that she loves to steal the pass from the wing to the top of the key and run uncontested layups. It comes at the cost of some height: Tennessee’s tallest players are 6′-3″, a bit shorter than the usual group of 6′-4″ – 6′-6″ gals they’ve had in the past. But for schools not named Baylor, they’re plenty tall enough, and the extra speed will against small, fast teams like Kentucky.
For more on the Lady Vols’ exhibition games and their prospects for the upcoming season, head over to Rocky Top Talk.