Set to begin a new era, the Tennessee women’s basketball Volunteers enter 2019-2020 with many questions. Here are five Lady Vols storylines.
SEC Media Days continued Thursday, and this time the focus was on women’s basketball. Of course the Tennessee Lady Vols, easily the greatest program in the history of the conference, were a major story.
Heading into the 2019-2020 season, this historically great women’s basketball program has not made a Final Four appearance since its national title in 2008, it hasn’t won a regular season or conference title since 2015, and it hasn’t gotten past the first weekend of the NCAA Tournament since 2016.
So as Kellie Harper gets set to replace Holly Warlick as only the third head coach in program history, there are lots of droughts that the Lady Vols need to overcome. But that’s not the only issue facing the program right now.
Attrition and low morale are starting to creep in. Their NCAA Tournament streak is still alive, as they remain one program to have never missed it. But that could be in danger if dramatic improvements are not made soon.
Heading into this year, they are favored to finish sixth in the SEC after going 19-13 and 7-9 last year along with losing their first game in the NCAA Tournament. That actually would show improvement, but where is everybody’s focus on Rocky Top?
After all, the ghost of Pat Summitt looms over this program, as it has gotten worse since her tragic passing in 2016. They’re still putting out talent in the pros, but the production on the court has slowly been in decline. Like the football program, it needs a reset button, and that’s what this year is all about.
Entering a new era, we’re going to go ahead and focus on what the talk of the town is. These are five key storylines to pay attention to for the Tennessee Lady Vols women’s basketball program heading into the 2019-2020 season.