Friday, February 15, 2008

Players-only meeting follows 30-minute chat

Rather than practice, the Tennessee women's basketball team convened for a meeting Friday afternoon in advance of Sunday's game at Vanderbilt.

The meeting was more about Thursday's 78-62 loss to LSU. The coaches shared their thoughts and then left the players to talk among themselves. Assistant coach Dean Lockwood estimated that both sessions lasted approximately a half-hour.

"Our staff is very disappointed,'' UT coach Pat Summitt said. "We'd like to hope our players are as disappointed."

Summitt said the coaches shared more than their feelings.

"We probably gave them more information,'' she said. "It was more about what we've been seeing."

In Summitt's case, she likely mentioned shoddy defense and suspect guard play.

"Our lack of commitment to defense last night, quite honestly, was embarrassing,'' Summitt said.

Regarding the backcourt, she mentioned starters Shannon Bobbitt and Alexis Hornbuckle, who shot a collective 5-for-21 from the floor and combined for two assists and six turnovers.

"When Shannon and Lex play that way, we shouldn't expect to win," Summitt said.

Summitt didn't speculate about what the players might have said to each other.

"I didn't send any hints to anyone on what they needed to do,'' Summitt said.

Mindful of Matchups: Summitt acknowledged that backup forward Alex Fuller got stuck with some difficult defensive assignments Thursday, guarding either LSU center Sylvia Fowles or guard Quianna Chaney, who burned Fuller for consecutive baskets during a pivotal stretch.

"We may have to move Candace (Parker) or Nicky (Anosike) to the perimeter,'' Summitt said, "because Alex struggles on the perimeter defensively and we need her offense."

More Shots: Summitt had some simple advice for Hornbuckle, Bobbitt and fellow guard Alberta Auguste, who shot 1-for-7 Thursday.

"I'd like to see them get in the gym and shoot more,'' Summitt said. "I think we're going to have to insist that they do."

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