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Road to the Final FourRosterThe benchAbout the schoolFlorida coach AmandaButler says?

Meet the Tennessee women's basketball team

No. Player Pos GP Min Pts Reb Ast

00 Shannon Bobbitt G 36 32.1 9.8 3.0 3.4

3 Candace Parker F/C/G 36 29.4 21.6 8.3 2.6

5 Angie Bjorklund F 36 24.3 8.8 3.3 1.4

14 Alexis Hornbuckle G 35 31.4 10.3 5.7 3.7

20 Sydney Smallbone G 28 2.9 1.1 1.1 1.4

21 Vicki Baugh F 36 13.0 5.3 4.0 0.6

33 Alberta Auguste F 36 21.2 5.1 2.8 1.3

44 Alex Fuller F/C 35 16.2 6.4 3.1 0.6

55 Nicky Anosike F/C 36 25.1 8.8 7.3 2.3

Date Opponent Result

Nov. 11 Chattanooga W 76-56

Nov. 15 at No. 8 Oklahoma W 70-67

Nov. 18 No. 22 Texas W 92-67

Nov. 21 at No. 17 West Virginia W 67-49

Nov. 26 Louisiana Tech W 81-60

Dec. 2 No. 4 North Carolina W 83-79

Dec. 5 Old Dominion W 83-51

Dec. 13 Middle Tennessee State W 84-61

Dec. 16 Gonzaga W 96-73

Dec. 19 at UCLA W 82-70

Dec. 22 at No. 4 Stanford L 73-69

Jan. 2 at No. 15 DePaul W 102-68

Jan. 5 at No. 14 Notre Dame W 87-63

Jan. 10 No. 20 Auburn W 85-52

Jan. 13 at South Carolina W 71-48

Jan. 17 at Kentucky W 65-40

Jan. 20 Vanderbilt W 79-63

Jan. 24 Arkansas W 98-55

Jan. 28 at No. 11 Duke W 67-64

Jan. 31 at Mississippi W 68-44

Feb. 3 Kentucky W 79-51

Feb. 7 at Mississippi State W 87-69

Feb. 11 No. 4 Rutgers W 59-58

Feb. 14 No. 7 LSU L 78-62

Feb. 17 at Vanderbilt W 81-68

Feb. 21 at Alabama W 85-58

Feb. 24 Mississippi State W 72-46

Feb. 28 Florida W 88-61

March 2 at No. 20 Georgia W 72-63

March 7 Florida W 92-61

March 8 No. 22 Vanderbilt W 63-48

March 9 at No. 6 LSU W 61-55

NCAA Tournament

March 23 Oral Roberts W 94-55

March 25 Purdue W 78-52

March 30 No. 19 Notre Dame W 74-64

April 1 No. 12 Texas A&M W 53-45

On any other team, arguably every player on the Vols bench would likely be a starter. Alberta Auguste has come off the bench in every game but seven, and has been a starter the majority of the postseason. And while the Vols' starters are extremely talented, Vicki Baugh and Alex Fuller help ensure there's not a significant dropoff when the Vols' starters are on the bench.

Location: Knoxville

Enrollment: 26,560

Famous alumni: Actor James Denton (Desperate Housewives); Trivial Pursuit co-originator Charles Scott Abbott; actor David Keith (Officer and a Gentleman; the Lords of Discipline)

Where do you start when talking about Pat Summitt, who is among those who helped make the women's game what it is today?

She has led Tennessee to seven national titles and, in the process, has coached 12 Olympians, 19 Kodak All-Americans and 66 all-SEC players.

Under Summitt, Tennessee is the only school to have been invited to every NCAA Tournament and has played in more tournament games than any other school (121), going 102-19.

She is legendary for her coaching, as well as the stare-you-to-death glance players have been known to dodge during games, but admits she has mellowed over the years. Well, sort of.

"I think you have to change," she said. "I'm not saying I'm not demanding, but I think my communication skills are quite different. And just getting to know each student athlete that I coach, and that starts in the recruiting process. But I've always said people don't care how much you know until they know how much you care. And I think we are family, and I think they have to understand that you have an interest in them as a person, as a student and as an athlete. But when you step over the line on the basketball court, there are certain demands."

Summitt is the winningest coach in NCAA history (men's or women's) with a 981-182 record.

Tennessee is the defending champion, but it might face the biggest question of the Final Four: Is Candace Parker healthy? If she is, the Vols can beat anyone. If not, they're vulnerable.

Why they will win: Parker wants them to. The nation's best player has a powerful will. Also, the Vols know how to win at the Final Four, and their depth and consistent scoring threats should pay off. Tennessee and LSU are very similar, each with post players who can dominate a game and a veteran supporting cast. But the Vols have the depth LSU lacks and more consistent scoring threats. And the seniors are on a mission to leave Knoxville with two national championship rings.

Why they won't: Parker isn't 100 percent. She dislocated her shoulder twice in the region final and will play hurt tonight. An injured Parker vs. a healthy LSU center Sylvia Fowles could be a problem for Tennessee, particularly if LSU is hitting from the outside.

Candace Parker

Center/Forward, junior

The best women's basketball player in the nation, at 6 feet 5, she can play every position on the floor — well. She averages a team-leading 21.6 points and 8.3 rebounds per game. A two-time All-American and 2008 ESPN player of the year, she tied a career-high with 34 points in the region semifinal game against Notre Dame. She's a threat to bring the ball up on a fast-break, can hit from the outside and dominate the paint defensively. She has seven career dunks.

Nicky Anosike

Forward/Center, senior

The emotional leader of the team, it was Anosike who took control and kept the team focused after Parker went out with a dislocated shoulder in the region final. She averages 8.8 points and 7.3 rebounds, but more importantly, coach Pat Summitt calls Anosike a coach on the floor. She has 150 rebounds in NCAA Tournament games, fifth all-time. She has played in 144 games in her career, second in school history.

Shannon Bobbitt

Guard, senior

She's only 5 feet 2, but she is a sparkplug for Tennessee. She has the ability to knock down shots from outside or penetrate inside. But she can be a lock-down defender on an opponents' guard when necessary — just ask Texas A&M. Bobbitt averages 9.8 points and 3.4 assists, but if there's a weakness, it's her assist to turnover ratio of 122-to-100.

Alexis Hornbuckle

Guard, senior

A multi-dimensional player and a defensive force, she is one of only two players in the SEC to have at least 1,000 points, 550 rebounds, 400 assists, 300 steals and 50 blocks in her career. A first-team all-SEC selection, she's not afraid to step up in the clutch. Hornbuckle averages 10.3 points per game and 3.7 assists and is third on the all-time NCAA Tournament list with 53 steals.

Alberta Auguste

Forward, senior

Auguste earned her first career start in a Jan. 21 game against Arkansas, but has been among the starting five for most of the postseason. She averages just 5.1 points but has been stellar defensively for the Vols during this postseason run. "I think my role is the same as when I'm coming off the bench," Auguste said. "To bring the defensive intensity, contribute to the ball pressure and also on the defensive end, getting offensive rebounds and driving into the paint."

"It's so hard to prepare for the unexpected, and depth is one of those things that gives you a chance when the unexpected happens. If Candace Parker goes out with a dislocated shoulder, you have Alex Fuller or Vicki Baugh who can come in, and certainly they are not going to be Candace Parker, but you still have one of the better players in the country coming off the bench. That's what makes Tennessee so amazing."

Meet the Tennessee women's basketball team 04/05/08 [Last modified: Saturday, April 5, 2008 8:23pm]
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