#3 Tennessee Women's Basketball 2014-2015 Preview

Tennessee Volunteers

Overall Rank: #3
Conference Rank: #2 SEC
#3 Tennessee Women's Basketball 2014-2015 Preview

Tennessee Team Page


The Tennessee women’s basketball program under the direction of head coach Holly Warlick continues to evolve in her image as time continues to pass from the legendary Pat Summitt era. There is a still a lot of the traits of Summitt in this program under Warlick as the Volunteers are relentless defensively and still have great athletes all over the court. Now, Tennessee has not gotten to a Final Four yet under Warlick but there definitely no question that Warlick has done a great job by keeping the Volunteers in the national championship conversation while succeeding a legend like Pat Summitt.

2013-14 Record: 29-6, 13-3
2013-14 Postseason: NCAA
Coach:  Holly Warlick
Coach Record: 56-14 at Tennessee, 56-14 overall

The return of four starters, led by senior point guard Ariel Massengale and senior center Isabelle Harrison, is a great place to start for the Lady Vols. Massengale missed the final 16 games of last season due to a head injury and averaged 5.8 assists per game to go along with scoring over 12 points per contest. Harrison is projected to be one of the top post players in the nation this season and is a threat on a nightly basis to rack up a double-double. She is a big reason why Tennessee dominates the rebounding battle so easily each night. The ability to make quality shots is another strength, as the Lady Vols shot just under 46 percent from the floor last season. The shooting should be enhanced with the arrival of freshman guard/forward Jamie Nared who was the number six overall recruit in the nation according to ESPNW Hoop Gurlz. Also, the relentless defense that forced teams last season to shoot 36.6 percent from the floor is going to be a significant strength for this team.

The ability to take care of the basketball has to get better in order for Tennessee to get back to the Final Four stage. With games in the SEC and the NCAA Tournament being hotly contested, the Lady Vols have to reduce the amount turnovers per game down closer to 13-14 instead of 16.5. The return of Massengale at the point should go a long way toward addressing this issue. The amount of made three-point shots per game was a bit low last season for Tennessee, as they made 4.6 three-point shots per game. That number in an ideal world would get up closer to 6.5-7 made three point shots per game to force defenses to be more honest.

Final Projection:
A road trip to Texas to play a tough Longhorns squad awaits the Lady Vols on November 30th. The non-conference schedule ramps up even more in December as Tennessee plays at Rutgers and has showdowns with Stanford and Oregon State in Knoxville on December 20th and 28th. Then after the New Year a road stretch of four out of five games is on tap for the Lady Vols with games against Texas A&M at home on January 8th and road trips at rival Vanderbilt on January 5th and a trip to Notre Dame on January 19th. The lone battle with conference favorite South Carolina will take place in Columbia on February 23rd. The schedule overall is a challenging one but with all of the experience returning for coach Warlick it’s a schedule that should be manageable. In the end if Tennessee can stay healthy all season long they will be right there with UConn, South Carolina, and Notre Dame as national championship contenders and should finally get back to the Final Four this season.

Projected Postseason Tournament: NCAA Tournament

Projected Starting Five:
Jamie Nared, Freshman, Guard, DNP last season
Ariel Massengale, Senior, Guard, 12.5 points per game
Bashaara Graves, Junior, Forward, 9.3 points per game
Cierra Burdick, Senior, Forward, 8.7 points per game
Isabelle Harrison, Senior, Center, 13.6 points per game

By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 77.9 (24th in nation, 2nd in conference)
Scoring Defense: 62.9 (65, 5)
Field-Goal Percentage: 45.7 (14, 2)
Field-Goal Defense: 36.6 (25, 2)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 4.6 (232, 9)
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 36.0 (29, 3)
Free-Throw Percentage: 71.5 (108, 4)
Rebound Margin: 11.4 (3, 1)
Assists Per Game: 15.3 (58, 4)
Turnovers Per Game: 16.5 (217, 10)

Madness 2015 WNBA Draft Rankings:
#4 Isabelle Harrison
#16 Ariel Messengale

Madness 2014 Women’s Basketball Recruit Rankings:
#7 Jaime Nared
#29 Alexa Middleton
#84 Kortney Dunbar


See All Top 44 Women’s Basketball Previews