LadyVolNation...stand up!! Yea I know you may be a little "stunned" right now..but shake it off. This loss was bound to "come" based on the way our offense has played in the past 2 games versus Florida and Vanderbilt. Yet, even though no one wants to think about it...our defense was great, until they got the wide open lay-up to go ahead. Now I could go into how the refs allowed Robinson, and Phillips to come over the back on Glory Johnson ALL NIGHT long, but I won't. Where I will go, is to our point guard position, where Shekinna Stricklen continues to "struggle" when she is not playing at home. I am not blaming all the poor play on Shekinna, but in the game of basketball, as your point guard play goes, so does the team. Remember the point guard "leads" the team, and is a pressure filled position. In the past 3 games here are Shekinna's numbers combined: She shot 12-30fg, 30pts/12rbs/9asst/and are you ready for this..19 turn overs! I know you looking at those numbers and saying that's not "bad"..(not the turn overs) but in almost 120 minutes of play those numbers are not going to get it. Watching Shekinna in the past 3 games has been "hard" on this fan. I don't know if she is hurting or what? She looks a "step" slow, and at times just not into the game. The steals that Georgia, Vandy, and Florida got on her were just too easy. I'm not going to make excuses, all I know is the Shekinna that's out there playing, is not the Shekinna who got the triple double a few games before these three. Can someone wake up the SEC player of the week please. The 2 man game between her and Bjorklund is keyed on by the opponents defense, so they must find another way to bring Angie off the screen. She has not done much better. Her numbers for the past 3 games 9-32fg, 25pts/3asst...uh not going to get it done. I bring these two up, because they are our leading scorers, and they both dominate the ball the majority of the time. During this game I watched them dump the ball to Glory Johnson 3 times in a row, and each time she scored, so please tell me why they went away from that?
Then Kelly just simply lost her cool. A combination of playing in her "hometown" and then the refs letting them "bang" on one end and not the other. Not to mention, why are the refs so sensitive? This was a big game, give the kids a little bit of lee way. Oh and by the way, that was NOT a foul, thank goodness for DVR. Yet I digress on that point, because as tight as the game was, and in spite of the Ladyvols only getting 7 foul shots, compared to ladybulldogs 23 attempts, they were still able to keep it close. It always trips me out when people say don't blame the refs, but did you notice that Georgia was not scoring "inside" yet they got 23 foul shot attempts? And the ladyvols, who were working inside all night, only managed to get 7, and those came in the second half? Hey I'm just saying...don't act like the refs don't impact the game.
Now enter in off the bench, freshman guard Kamiko Williams, and I will honestly say, she is the X factor for this ladyvols team. As Shekinna stats has dwindled to obscurity, Kamiko has begin to show her poise on the floor. If you haven't noticed, Kamiko is on the floor at the end of games now, which says that Pat trusts her on the floor at critical times. If you want to see Shekinna Stricklen "flourish" on the floor...put her out there with Williams on the floor. Kamiko reminds me of WNBA champion, and former UNC guard, Nikki Teasley. She is 5'11 with great court vision. Some of the passes she makes are Magic esque. She also has no problem getting the ball into the post, and can break down even the quickest of defenders.
I really don't think it will be long before the LadyVols starting lineup looks like this: PG-Williams SG-Bjorklund SF-Stricklen PF-Johnson C-Cain...Stricklen can take ANY forward off the dribble, and she don't have to worry about setting up the offense. Sometimes you can't MAKE someone into something, and I know Pat want's Shekinna to "embrace" it and flow consistently in it, but she is truly having trouble, let's not make this hard. Put her where she can flow effortlessly in her game. And that bench has Spani, Brewer,Bass,Smallbone,Manning..which is sufficient. Every player is not designed to be the "franchise" player, for example Tony Romo (when the pressure is on, he continues to show inconsistency)...but then you have someone who is fearless, who wants the responsibilty of being the franchise player (go to) Glory Johnson. Angie Bjorklund can be...but she doesn't have that "killer instinct"...one thing is for sure, someone has to step up, and become that go to player...uh Angie come get the ball!
FYI: I'M THE BIGGEST LADY VOLS FAN..AND KINNA IF YOU READ THIS, MAKE A LIAR OUT OF ME! I want another triple double, heck I'll take a double double...just play your game. LadyVols 4 life. THE ROAD TO REDEMPTION CONTINUES