Just eight days before the official start of the 2005-06 season, the Lady Vol basketball team enjoyed a two-hour practice Thursday morning in Thompson-Boling Arena. Head coach Pat Summitt and her 11-member squad will again hit the hardwood Saturday morning at 10 a.m.
The morning session consisted of open shooting drills and post-position skill work. Assistant coach Dean Lockwood kept a close eye on Nicky Anosike, Alex Fuller and Tye’sha Fluker, as they posted-up against defenders and took three-footers from both sides of the basket.
Assistants Holly Warlick and Nikki Caldwell paid particular attention to the guards and forwards as they took turns shooting from all angles outside the paint.
The team walked through several offensive plays, then combined the defense and shot clock to simulate a real game. Sidney Spencer, now cleared to play by the team trainer Jenny Moshak, was particularly effective in this drill, connecting on numerous three pointers and beating defenders to find herself open in the paint.
“We’ve cleared Sidney to participate in contact drills now,” said Moshak. “She will gradually increase her workload as the season draws closer.”
“Sidney brings a different dimension to the team,” said Summitt. “She looked good today, not hesitant at all to get right in there.”
Sa’de Wiley-Gatewood and Lindsey Moss made several beautiful passes inside the lane, zipping the ball through the traffic for easy two-pointers for the Lady Vols.
Sybil Dosty nursed a nagging left quadricep strain on the sideline most of the morning. She rode the exercise bike but did not join in the team drills.
“We are trying to rest Sybil until her injury shows signs and symptoms of dissipating,” said Moshak.
Summitt noted “it’s apparent that the team has not been practicing basketball skills in a week, and that they are in the ‘let’s start the season’ mode. We’ll work out again on Saturday and then with the exception of Monday, the ladies will have next week off in preparation for our opening practice on Friday.”
The Lady Vols will return to Thompson-Boling from 10 a.m. – Noon on Saturday. The first official practice will be in the arena from 7-9 p.m. on Friday, October 14.