February 23, 2023 

Locked on Women’s Basketball: Kellie Harper and Tennessee are at a crossroads but excelling 

Howard talks about behind the success in Knoxville, then talks to coach Kellie Harper herself

It’s time for another episode of the Locked on Women’s Basketball podcast. This episode features host Howard Megdal. So why is everyone disappointed in a Tennessee team with 20 wins and 12 in the SEC? Howard dives deep into the numbers behind the success in Knoxville, then talks to Kellie Harper herself about it ahead of a critical test Thursday night against top-ranked Dawn Staley and South Carolina.

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Howard talks about Tennesse’s success:

“They are 20-9. They have 12 wins already in the SEC. They are doing it in a variety of ways. This is a team that excels in a number of different areas. There is talent up and down the roster brought in by Kellie Harper. They’ve done it despite the fact that Tamari key played only nine games this year. It’s just it’s a successful season by any reasonable measure.

I think you have to evaluate Kellie Harper and Tennessee on their own terms, okay. 20 wins in the SEC is really, really impressive. Kellie Harper’s team, if you look at their best offensive ratings over the course of the season, game by game, thank you to Her Hoop Stats great job on this. Three of their top 10 had been their top three most recent games. You look at what this team is doing on the boards. Their rebound rate is eighth in the country, 57.2% their offensive rebound rate is sixth in the country.”

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Howard asked coach Harper about neutralizing South Carolina’s rebound advantage:

“I think it’s a huge stat and you know, they can really change the complexion of a game on the boards. You know, our board play has given us great opportunities this year. And I love how much better we’ve gotten. But they’re 50%? That’s just ridiculous. No, I mean, I think it’s 49%, really. But that’s another level. And so for us, I think it’s going to be critical that every single time the shot goes up, we’re disciplined and what we need to be doing. And that doesn’t mean you’re gonna get them all. You’re not gonna shut them down there. But you’ve just got to make sure that is a point of emphasis, and you’re battling in that area.”

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