UNC-Tennessee Breakdown (cont.)
Posted: Sunday April 1, 2007 12:07PM; Updated: Sunday April 1, 2007 12:07PM
2. Take Care of the Ball
These are definitely two teams that like to push the tempo and force you into mistakes. And the Tar Heels will hound you into a lot of them. Ivory Latta can pressure a guard like no other. Larkins seems to have a knack for knocking away passes or simply taking them away on the inside. They've helped the Tar Heels lead the nation in steals and force teams into 24.7 turnovers a game this season. Those turnovers and rebounding are why North Carolina's transition game is so successful. The Tar Heels simply get it and go.
Shannon Bobbitt, a junior college transfer, gave it up six times against the Tar Heels in December. But that was just her seventh game with the Lady Vols. She's far more acclimated to this level of play now. Bobbitt has turned the ball over just five times during the postseason. She had just one against a quick Ole Miss team that disrupted many an offense this year.
3. The Perimeter Game
It's big for the Lady Vols. Parker notched 27 points and 10 rebounds against the Tar Heels in December. There's no question, she has the ability put up those kinds of numbers again. After all, she's taken her play to a different level during the postseason.
But Parker has to have some help on the offensive end. It's a good sign that Bobbitt is shooting 50 percent from beyond the arc during the tournament. When she or Sidney Spencer are hitting from the outside, Tennessee just doesn't lose. They have the ability to force opponents to stretch the defense, opening things up for Parker as well as others inside.
4. Transition Defense
Both teams have guards that push the tempo and post players who run the floor well, so if you give up that rebound or turn that ball over, you'd better get back quick.