On this week’s Rocky Topics, writers Allie Norris and David Bradford discuss whether the Lady Vols had a successful season or not.
Norris: The Lady Vols finished 22-14 (8-8 in the SEC), which is unlike them when you look at their program’s history. The program was at an all-time low this season, including earning a program-low No. 7 seed in the NCAA Tournament. My question for you is, how do you look at the stats and think they had a successful season?
Bradford: Well, Allie, I think it’s unfair to compare the program’s current state to the past. Just because the program has been great doesn’t necessarily mean it will always live up to those lofty expectations. Pat Summitt, a coaching legend, is no longer the coach, so it is time to erase those expectations because you can’t duplicate that kind of success. A program can only hope to approach it, and even though the Lady Vols set program lows this season, where did they finish? One win away from the Final Four. How is that a failure by your estimation, madam?
Norris: David, just because Pat Summitt isn’t the coach does not mean that the program should be anything less than what it was when she was the coach. The program should be able to keep going and keep being what it has been. The Lady Vols have been unable to live up to that legacy. Also, what happened to their size inside the paint being an advantage against other teams? Holly Warlick was under Pat Summitt’s wing for a long time and was set up perfectly for success. Why do you think the program has been successful under Warlick?
Bradford: Hold the phone Allie, hold the phone! So 18 Final Fours and eight titles is something you expect a program to keep up? That is so unfair that I am struggling to type the rest of this paragraph. Give Warlick some time to build this program. It’s not like she’s off to a bad start. The Lady Vols have appeared in three Elite Eight’s in four seasons. This past season was tough, but it’s not how you start, it’s how you finish. Tennessee played excellent in the postseason. The momentum and chemistry they developed over the late-season push will carry over into next season. Rocky Top… the Lady Vols will be back.
Featured image by Donald Page, courtesy of Tennessee Athletics
Edited by Cody McClure