Tennessee Women's Basketball 2012 NCAA Tournament Capsule

Tennessee Lady Volunteers
SEC (24-8, 12-4)

Tennessee has not reached the Final Four since 2008. By Lady Volunteer standards, that is a long time. The talent has been there, but things have never quite worked out for Coach Pat Summitt and company. The Lady Vols have had an up and down season spurred on by the usual tough non-conference schedule and a solid group of teams in the SEC.

Big Wins: 11/15 Miami (92-76), 12/13 at Rutgers (67-61), 2/13 Kentucky (91-54)
Bad Losses: 11/20 at Virginia (64-69), 2/2 South Carolina (60-64), 2/23 Arkansas (71-72)
Coach: Pat Summitt (38 seasons at Tennessee)

Why They Can Surprise:
The Tennessee frontcourt has two very experienced players in Shekinna Stricklen and Glory Johnson. Stricklen is 6-2 wing and her size and strength are a matchup nightmare for any opposing defender. Stricklen is a capable outside shooter and that makes her even more dangerous. The defender has to respect her ability to shoot from long range and she will run right past a slower defender or shoot over a smaller defender. Either way, Stricklen will score a lot of points. Johnson is the traditional forward for the Lady Vols. The 6-3 senior is a great interior scorer and a superb rebounder. With Johnson working in the paint, the rest of the offense opens up for shooters like Taber Spani, Meighan Simmons and, of course, Stricklen. Spani is one of the best shooters in the country and is one of the few consistent and experienced guards on this team.

Why They Can Disappoint:
And it is that lack of experience in the backcourt that is the biggest problem for Tennessee. Nobody can question the amount of talent, but the Vols youth does show in big games and the biggest games of them all are still coming up. Ariel Massengale has done a very good job running the show as a freshman. She is a decent scorer and defender and a very good passer, but she is still young. Massengale will be a great player, but the expectations are unrealistically high for Massengale right now. Simmons is a decent scorer, but she too is a young player and prone to inconsistency. The good news is the young players have been playing all year and the freshmen are hardly freshmen anymore. But they have not experienced the pressures of March and that may be what knocks Tennessee out of the NCAA Tournament.

Probable Starters:
Ariel Massengale, Freshman, Guard, 7.5 ppg, 5.1 apg
Meighan Simmons, Sophomore, Guard, 10.6 ppg, 1.4 apg
Shekinna Stricklen, Senior, Forward, 15.4 ppg, 6.4 rpg
Glory Johnson, Senior, Forward, 14.1 ppg, 9.4 rpg, 1.2 bpg
Vicki Baugh, Senior, Center, 7.5 ppg, 6.6 rpg

Key Roleplayers:
Briana Bass, Senior, Guard, 2.0 ppg
Cierra Burdick, Freshman, Forward, 5.1 ppg, 2.9 rpg
Isabelle Harrison, Freshman, Center, 3.3 ppg, 2.7 rpg
Alicia Manning, Senior, Forward, 4.1 ppg, 4.2 rpg
Taber Spani, Junior, Guard, 7.4 ppg, 1.3 apg
Kamiko Williams, Junior, Guard, 3.0 ppg, 1.2 apg

By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 75.0 (14th in nation, 2nd in conference)
Scoring Defense: 60.2 (138, 8)
Field-Goal Percentage: 44.3 (15, 2)
Field-Goal Defense: 36.9 (82, 6)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 5.3 (117, 3)  
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 34.8 (30, 2)
Free-Throw Percentage: 69.3 (157, 3)
Rebound Margin: 8.1 (15, 1)
Assists Per Game: 15.4 (32, 2)
Turnovers Per Game: 15.8 (76, 4)

Recent Postseason Appearances:
Tennessee    2011    NCAA        Round of 64 win over Stetson
Tennessee    2011    NCAA        Round of 32 win over Marquette
Tennessee    2011    NCAA        Regional Semifinal win over Ohio State
Tennessee    2011    NCAA        Regional Final loss to Notre Dame
Tennessee    2010    NCAA        Round of 64 win over Austin Peay
Tennessee    2010    NCAA        Round of 32 win over Dayton
Tennessee    2010    NCAA        Regional Semifinal win over Baylor
Tennessee    2009    NCAA        Round of 64 loss to Ball State
Tennessee    2008    NCAA        Round of 64 win over Oral Roberts
Tennessee    2008    NCAA        Round of 32 win over Purdue
Tennessee    2008    NCAA        Regional Semifinal win over Notre Dame
Tennessee    2008    NCAA        Regional Final win over Texas A&M
Tennessee    2008    NCAA        National Semifinal win over LSU
Tennessee    2008    NCAA        National Final win over Stanford
Tennessee    2007    NCAA        Round of 64 win over Drake
Tennessee    2007    NCAA        Round of 32 win over Pittsburgh
Tennessee    2007    NCAA        Regional Semifinal win over Marist
Tennessee    2007    NCAA        Regional Final win over Mississippi
Tennessee    2007    NCAA        National Semifinal win over North Carolina
Tennessee    2007    NCAA        National Final win over Rutgers

*all team stats through 3/1

See All Women’s Basketball Postseason Capsules