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Lady Vol Report: One Game At A Time

Nov. 27, 2012


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

HEAD COACH HOLLY WARLICK

"I think when Meighan is solid on her offensive game, her defensive game takes a step up. I am trying to get Meighan to focus on her defense as well as her offense. When she is playing the way she plays, I thought she was solid, did some good things, didn't get in foul trouble, I think she is a difficult player to guard and is unbelievably quick with the ball. When she puts her mind to it she can be one of our better defenders. I think she understands the importance of defense and the emphasis we are putting on the defensive end. I think Meighan has at times let her offense control her defense, and we are trying to change that mentality. We are about there."

"I am not going to put them through something that I didn't do. I survived. We always say Kyra and I survived it so you can do it. I think that when you are in great shape and you know your back has been against the wall and pushed and you survive it, you know you can do just about anything. The conditioning between high school and college is not even close. It is tough. It is not about physical, it is more mental and it is a mental challenge. When they decide to put their mind to it and they can do it then they think, `Wow, I can do anything.'"

"Tremendously from day one. I think their skill level has gotten better. I will say this: there hasn't been too many days where we have not competed and been competitive and worked hard in practice. As a coach, that needs to be a given so you can teach and coach, and this team seems to get it. When there are some days that they don't, we have to run, do suicides, to get their attention. I think this team overall gets it that they have to bring it to practice every day. That is the only way we are going to get better."

JUNIOR MEIGHAN SIMMONS

"She just reminds me all the time that defense comes first before offense. To not let your offense dictate your defense because it should be the opposite way around. She knows that I am quick enough to get in the passing lane to get steals and gives me easy buckets to just get the ball and run down the court and get in on a fast-break."

"It is the same, but now I can benefit a lot, because we are playing tougher teams now and I have to get down and play defense a lot better than I did before. I have actually learned a lot from the past years, and I know I need to get better. I know I have one more year left to be here so just trying to make sure every aspect of my game is at its highest peak."

FRESHMAN BASHAARA GRAVES

"I've learned a lot. That loss, I think everybody took it to heart. I think we learned from it and moved on to the next game. With the games coming up we are not going to worry about our first loss and keep trying to get wins."

That is great, I am not really worried about me scoring, I'm just worried about getting wins and being with my team. When I am scoring they are passing me the ball and I love it."

"I knew I was capable of it, just working hard and getting to that point and getting to start was all I wanted to do here."

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. -- As the Lady Vols get settled into the season, the competition begins to heat up. Tennessee continues its three-game home stand, as the Lady Vols welcome Middle Tennessee Wednesday and No. 22 North Carolina on Sunday to Thompson-Boling Arena.

"It is not going to be too much of a piece of cake, you could say," junior guard Meighan Simmons said. "It is going to be a lot more intense. We have to make sure we don't just wear Tennessee across out chest and (make sure to) give it our all in order to win."

"That is one thing as upperclassmen we have been trying to do is encourage the younger girls that it is not going to get easier as the season goes on. It is going to get more and more difficult and you are going to feel drained every once in a while but you have to push through everything."

"We are definitely looking forward to these games," freshman Bashaara Graves said. "We are just taking them one by one with MTSU tomorrow."

Graves is currently second in the SEC in scoring, averaging 16.0 points per game. The Clarksville, Tenn., native also is leading all freshmen in the league in rebounding, averaging seven boards per game.

"I would consider Bashaara as a silent assassin," Simmons said. "She is one of those girls who doesn't speak as much but she does put her best foot forward and she gives 100 percent whether it be a workout with Heather (strength coach Heather Mason), in the classroom, on the floor or off the floor, she is just an all-around person. I think her dedication to the program and her dedication to want to work hard made her stand out more than anything."

"I expected her to come out and play the way she is doing. I always joke with her that she is another Glory (Johnson). Glory did put her best foot forward, and she was just like that. It just reminds her that she could be an All-American just as Glory Johnson was, and I think that is why she is putting up better numbers is because she believes in herself and knows we need her out there on the floor."

Tennessee has moved up in the rankings and now sits in 16th in the AP Poll and 14th in USA Today Coaches Poll.

"It is a challenge, it is about competing, getting mentally and physically ready and that is up to our staff to do that," head coach Holly Warlick said. "Get our kids ready to play in all of these different environments. These different skilled kids, whether they (the teams) are ranked one or 20 we have to come out and compete every game. It is one game at a time. That is how we have to look at it. Our schedule does not get any easier. After we get through this tough (non-conference) part of our schedule, we get to start the SEC. We understand what it is and we are trying to compete in every game."


 

 

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