Lady Vols continue preseason prep work

The Lady Vols completed a week of work with a court session Friday and were told to use the weekend to rest. Go inside with Inside Tennessee for the latest on the basketball team.

The second week of individual workouts at Pratt Pavilion ended Friday with the coaches actually easing up a tad on the players because of a tough week of conditioning, including a 5 a.m. session Wednesday and the infamous Gate 10 ramp on Friday.

The steep ramp had been slated for demolition with the renovation of Neyland Stadium, but Heather Mason, the strength and conditioning coach, must be elated that it remains intact.

Assistant coach Dean Lockwood said the staff knew the players were nearly depleted by the time court workouts started Friday afternoon, so they decided to let up a little and used the three sessions to get in shots and review terminology.

Lockwood said Wednesday's court sessions were intense but 15 to 20 minutes into Friday's workouts, the coaches realized the players were on fumes after Gate 10 that morning.

"I saw them. (They were) game, but they've got nothing," Lockwood said. "Which was good. We got a lot more conceptually in than I had planned. Their legs are shot right now."

Head coach Holly Warlick was overall pleased with how the first two weeks went with the players, especially with five newcomers on the team.

"I am pleased with how hard they have been working, taking care of their business, and they've responded," Warlick said. "I've had to get on them pretty tough, and they've responded.

"It hasn't been all sunshine. We've had to get on a couple of them a little bit."

Warlick smiled when asked about the players getting introduced to Gate 10.

"They survived it," she said. "They got introduced to 5 o'clock conditioning workout this week as well, because we didn't take care of some things."

Warlick characterized it as "a little bit of both" as far as punitive and sending a message, and the team handled it as a whole.

"I think we got a lot accomplished in an hour," she said of Wednesday's pre-dawn gathering. "We're a team and when we don't get it right in certain areas the whole team understands we need to get it right. It was productive. They survived it."

Warlick can channel her inner Pat Summitt and she has retained her mentor's rules about class attendance and how players carry themselves in public.

"Absolutely," Warlick said. "I am not lowering the standards that Tennessee has always had. That's been a cornerstone of this program. There are not a lot of rules, and Pat has never had a lot of rules but the ones we have are pretty strict, and they're enforced.

"And they know. If the rules get broken, they know there are consequences. It's written."

The coaches' instructions to the players Friday was to rest over the next two days.

"We've told them stay off your feet as much as possible, rest, hydrate, just mentally and physically shut it down," Lockwood said. "And then come back again Monday morning."


Isabelle Harrison

Dean Lockwood

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