Lady Vols get back to practice

After taking a break between the SEC and NCAA tourneys, the Lady Vols were back on the court Thursday at Pratt Pavilion. Go inside with InsideTennessee for the latest on the team.

When Isabelle Harrison walked into Pratt Pavilion on Thursday with a brace on her right knee, head coach Holly Warlick gave her a hopeful look, but the sophomore post shook her head.

Harrison was due for a rehab session with Jenny Moshak, and is not yet cleared to take the court. Warlick remains hopeful that Harrison will be released soon.

"She's still rehabbing," said Warlick, who turned to handle media interviews moments after Harrison arrived. "She's not doing anything yet. I think it's a day-to-day thing for her.

"I anticipate that she'll be back but I don't know. It was the first time I saw her since we've been back just this minute ago, but she's still rehabbing it."

That puts Harrison in a clear day-to-day status when the head coach has to ask about her availability right before practice begins. Harrison didn't play in the final regular season game. She was able to practice last Thursday in Georgia, but collided with a teammate and re-aggravated the knee injury. That mishap kept Harrison out of the SEC tourney.

Harrison's surgically repaired left knee is fine. She missed most of February to recover from meniscus surgery and healed fast. But she landed awkwardly against Texas A&M on Feb. 28 and injured the MCL in her right knee. She also sustained a bone bruise. Rest and time are what is needed.

Warlick took that approach with the entire team as they took off last Sunday – and traveled back from Duluth, Ga. – Monday and Tuesday. The team returned to the court Wednesday but in individual workout formats. They practiced Thursday and will hold light sessions Friday and Saturday with a team-building exercise scheduled for Sunday.

Warlick said next week will be used for full scale sessions. Her team won the SEC regular season but was battered all season. The staff decided this week needed to be one of less pounding physically and more work on fundamentals and in film study.

"There's no way we could come back and have three-hour full-blown practice because we're just banged up right now," Warlick said.

"I think it was important for us to get some time off, heal, get some rehab in and focus on individual needs that we thought we needed to address."

Tennessee has to wait until Monday to learn who its next opponent will be. The Lady Vols are hosting the early rounds with play set to begin March 23. Warlick expects to be a three seed when the brackets are unveiled.

"I think we'll probably be a three, which is fine," Warlick said. "I'm good with that."

Tennessee won the SEC regular season in a year when its roster was gutted by graduation and injury and it faced stiff competition, as six other conference teams should get an invite to the NCAA Tournament.

Texas A&M gets the automatic invite by winning the league tourney and at-large bids are expected for Tennessee, Georgia, Kentucky, LSU, South Carolina and Vanderbilt.

The team and media won't gather at Pat Summitt's house for the Selection Show, a longtime tradition. Instead, the event will be held in the East Club of Neyland Stadium.

"It will be weird, it will be strange," Warlick said. "It'll be different, but it'll be fun for these young ladies to experience Selection Monday and I'm anxious to see where they send us."

Warlick's full remarks can be viewed at the video link below.


Holly Warlick

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