Lady Vols earn an off day

The players erupted in cheers at the end of practice, not because a stretch of six consecutive days had ended, but because Kathy Harston, the director of basketball operations, reminded them to set their clocks back an hour, thus giving everyone an extra hour of sleep overnight.

"I need to sleep to get my mind together," freshman Isabelle Harrison said with a smile after Saturday morning's practice ended at Pratt Pavilion.

It was a tough stretch for the Tennessee players as it began Monday with an exhausting defense-only practice followed by Tuesday's exhibition game and then three straight days of up-tempo and full court sessions that focused heavily on defense. On Saturday, the coaches kept the majority of the drills in the half court and emphasized offense.

Izzy Harrison's routine is to take a few minutes each day – before even changing into her workout gear – to get mentally ready for practice.

"I've got to gather myself," Harrison said. "I will sit there for like 10 minutes thinking about what I've got to do and come up here and go to practice."

Her methods are working, because Assistant Coach Dean Lockwood has mentioned Harrison's work ethic and willingness to listen.

"She's got an eager and receptive mind," Lockwood said. "All coaches love players like that. She is not going to question. You ask her to do something, and she tries it. She gets reps at it and she starts to get good at it."

Harrison also has been an eager participant in extra sessions with Lockwood after practice, and she lofted extra shots Saturday, even at the end of a long week. Sunday will be an off day for the players.

Junior guard Kamiko Williams, who is recovering from ACL surgery last July, continues her remarkable progress. She is not practicing but did loft jump shots Saturday.

Harrison's teammates let out shouts Saturday as they gathered in a circle at center court after practice ended, as they were reminded by Kathy Harston to change their clocks overnight.

"I wanted to scream, but she was too close to me," Harrison said. "Another hour of sleep! I'm happy."

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