Lady Vol Report: Rocky Top Opening

Nov. 14, 2012

Here are a few of the most important quotes of the day from Coach Warlick and the players:


"I think UTC was an environment they weren't ready for. It was a veteran team that is well-coached. I said that if the game was close, we'd be in trouble. And we got beat. I think it's a learning experience for them. Georgia Tech was louder; there were more people, and fewer Tennessee people. I think they were so much more focused. I think we weren't ready for the UTC game but we were ready for the Georgia Tech game."

"I've said all along that I want us to make sure that we're known as a team that plays hard all the time, regardless of the score or what's going on. I want us to be sure we have the energy and we have the effort. When we have those things, we tend to play better on defense and we rebound the ball better. I want to make sure we have high energy all the time. And we're in great shape. We're not there yet, but we're getting there."

"I think their back was against the wall. At Georgia Tech, they felt like they didn't play the best at UTC. I think defining their roles and what we expect from each and every one of them, we probably should have done it before. Their expectations were that Georgia Tech was supposed to beat us. Maybe UTC was not supposed to beat us. I don't know what their motivation was, but I think we got their attention. I think the UTC game got their attention. They have to be focused for anybody, anytime, anywhere."


"We have no choice [about being leaders]. We all want to win, and that's the most important thing. So if we have to step up and be veterans on this team in order to win, that's what we'll do."

"I think we played great. Andraya is great. She's learned everything. Anything I try to tell her, she's always just a sponge of everything I try to teach her. She's probably one of the most athletic people I've ever played with. Her ability on defense and of course on offense gives me more versatility so we can complement each other."

"I think that's a great idea. There's so much for women's basketball. She has left such a legacy for not only us at Tennessee but for everyone around the country in women's basketball. That would be great."


"I kind of like it. My name starts with B, and I guess it's just the way I play."

"Coach Warlick told us we basically don't have time to be freshmen, which is understandable. We're a young team. We don't have the option to be freshmen. We have to come out and play impact immediately."

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. -- Coming off a 71-54 win at Georgia Tech Sunday, the Lady Vols return to Rocky Top for the first home opener in the Holly Warlick era.

"I'm excited to play in front of a big crowd and for everyone to see our team and how we're shaping up," head coach Holly Warlick said. "It's good to be home."

"I can't wait to be in front of this crowd, to be in Thompson Boling Arena, and just play with my teammates here," freshman Bashaara Graves said.

After getting out some first-game jitters at Chattanooga, the squad showed fire in the turnaround in Atlanta.

"It was a different mindset," sophomore point guard Ariel Massengale said. "All credit to Chattanooga; they came out ready to play. We weren't so ready. It showed us that we can't just show up on a court and expect to win because we have Tennessee on our jerseys. Now we know that we have to come out every game ready to play."

"We played like a team," Graves said. "We played together. We came together as a team and played Tennessee basketball."

Graves posted her first career double-double at Georgia Tech, tallying a team-best 18 points and 12 rebounds. The Clarksville, Tenn., native also collected SEC Freshman of the Week honors after averaging 16 points and 10 rebounds through two contests.

"We have all the confidence in the world (in Bashaara)," Massengale said. "If she misses a layup or something, I just go to her and tell her, `Bashaara, you came here an All-American. You just go out and play your game. I don't care if you miss or what not, just keep playing. I'm still going to look for you.' She's athletic; she's strong; she's fast. She just plays hard. I think she's one who's guaranteed to give us a good double-double every night."

The team takes on the Rice Owls Thursday at 7 p.m. in Thompson-Boling Arena.





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