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Lady Vol Report: Getting Focused

Dec. 6, 2012



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

HEAD COACH HOLLY WARLICK

"We had so much focused on the opponents. We're trying to work on us and get better. It's a great teaching moment for us. Getting better on the defensive end and learning defensive concepts that we're not that good at. But I think we're keeping practice short and intense so we can focus."

"Massengale, she's a leader. She has grown up so much from last year and has become more of a vocal leader that we need from her. It's great to have her injury free right now and leading the team, playing hard. Her defense is solid. I know last game she didn't score a lot of points, but she distributed the ball and got everybody where they needed to be. She's a typical point guard that we need."

"I think Cierra gets better and better each day. We're playing her at the three (spot), we're playing her at the four (spot). I think she understanding she's a multidimensional player and that's where we're going to need her. I think Cierra is having to probably defend someone who is quicker than her and so she's having to learn to adjust to that on the defensive end. I think she's very smart, very heady."

JUNIOR MEIGHAN SIMMONS

"It's great for us. We missed her. With her being our point guard, we needed that extra leader out there, that extra oomph out there, and she brings it. With her being fully recovered and not trying to move too fast, just taking things slow, she just kept reminding us that `I'm coming back and I'm trying to get as better as I can and help the team out' and she's been doing an amazing job since then."

"I'm looking forward to it. I haven't seen my family since fall break so I think it's going to be a good aura with all the fans there. I have people from high school coming back and my AAU coaches are going to be there. I don't try to think about that, I just try to focus on the task at hand which is playing the game of basketball and making sure I've handled my business before that."

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. -- After a 102-57 win over North Carolina last Sunday, the Lady Vols take a two-week break from competition before traveling to the Lone Star State.

"I like this kind of break just because we can get down to some fundamentals that we're not good at," head coach Holly Warlick said. "I'm sure the players think that this is way too long, two weeks, and all they can think about is practice. But we're trying to keep it as short and intense as we can to make sure we don't wear them out, but we have to make sure they stay in shape."

"It's good to have a break at some point and time," junior Meighan Simmons said. "We as individuals and as a team, have to stick together and remind ourselves that we still have a plan and still have games that we have to focus on. We have to get in the gym and run a little extra. Make sure we're eating and staying off our feet and relaxing as much as we can. We still have to stay focused and we can't lose focus at all with this two-week break."

After the 14-day break, Tennessee will endure a three-game stretch of facing top-15 teams in No. 12 Texas, No. 2 Baylor and No. 1 Stanford.

"For me personally, I think it's a good way to end the year and for some reason, it's just in me to think of things like that and this is really going to test you to see where your mind is going to be," Simmons said. "So when the new year comes, there is going to be a lot of other teams that are going try to come and beat you, but what are you going to do? Have you learned from the preachings that you played before the end of the year? And how are you going to play the rest of the year?"

The Big Orange has already beaten three top-25 ranked teams this season, as they downed No. 22 Georgia Tech and No. 23 Miami on the road before trouncing the No. 22 Tar Heels at home. With the win over North Carolina at Rocky Top, the Lady Vols have won 15 of their last 16 games against ranked opponents at home, dating back to 2009.

"I think beating three of the top-25 teams has somewhat given us a head start proving our point," Simmons said. "As Tennessee, we always have a point to prove because we are Tennessee, and there's a lot of expectations for us. I think playing Texas, Baylor and Stanford, that's going to be the pedestal that we're going to have to overcome, and see who we are as far as when adversity hits what are we going to do. I think this is really going to be a test for us."


 

 

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