Dan Fleser: Lady Vols Suddenly Have Options At Point Guard

Thursday, October 29, 2020 - by Dan Fleser
Jordan Walker
Jordan Walker

In the spring, Tennessee was dangerously low on point guards. The position was so depleted that Lady Vol forward Rennia Davis thought she’d have to moonlight as a backup.


That was then. Now the Lady Vols are three deep at the crucial position as they prepare for their women’s basketball season. Graduate transfer Jordan Walker’s arrival this summer from Western Michigan spelled relief for Davis.


The 5-foot-8 Walker has two years of eligibility left. Her poise and toughness have made an impression on Davis, enough for her to say: “She just adds something to the point guard spot that I don’t think we have had in a while.”


Davis sounded even more impressed with Destiny Salary, a 6-0 freshman from Jonesboro, Ark., who committed and signed with UT last November.

Although she didn’t preview as a point guard, Salary has shown a capability for handling the duty.


“She already has a great personality,” Davis said last week during a Zoom video conference, “but then she has this confidence about her as well. So, all that tied together, she can play and has probably done more than most of us expected.

 

“…the first thing she told me is she didn’t come here to sit on the bench.”


With that thought in mind, UT coach Kellie Harper said that Salary and returning point guard Jordan Horston both will play at off-guard as well.


Green power: Another grad transfer, post Keyen Green, will shore up another position that needed an upgrade.


The 6-1 redshirt senior came to UT from Liberty. ESPN’s Graham Hays ranked the former Big South Conference player of the year No. 15 among his Top 50 freshmen and transfers regarding potential impact this season.


Harper described Green’s work ethic as “unbelievable.”


“I think she took four charges in one practice,” Harper said. “This is a tough, hard-nosed kid that wants the basketball and if you don’t throw it to her, she’ll just go get the rebound.”


In those rankings, Hays had former Lady Vols guard Evina Westbrook, now at Connecticut, ranked third.


In other related matters:


-While Tennessee hasn’t finalized a schedule, Harper expects the non-conference game against Connecticut to go on as originally scheduled on Jan. 21 at Thompson-Boling Arena.


-Senior center Kasi Kushkituah, who’s had an underwhelming career to date, has had a terrific offseason and has been “really, really good” in preseason practice, according to Harper.


-Davis indicated she’s not thinking at present about whether to use an extra season’s worth of eligibility afforded by the COVID-19 pandemic rather than proceed to the WNBA next season. But she did say, “I’m not closed to anything right now.”


-Freshman forward Tess Darby will be back on the court next week after being sidelined for treatment of a stress reaction in her shins.


-Harper, who favors playing many players, is more comfortable with UT’s depth this season. “They come to practice every day, they want to play,” she said. “I think when they go out there and earn playing time, I want to reward them with that.”

 

----

 

Dan Fleser is a 1980 graduate of the University of Missouri, who covered University of Tennessee athletics from 1988-2019. He can be reached at danfleser3@gmail.com.


AA South Baseball Standings

UTC's Conroy Shoots 2-Over At NCAA Regionals

Covenant's Kay Named To NFCA All-Region First Team


AA-South Standings/Results (as of games of 5/15/22) North Division Team W L PCT GB Tennessee (CHC) ... (click for more)

Chattanooga Mocs sophomore Paul Conroy shot 2-over 74 to open the NCAA Norman Regionals. He went out in 36 and came home in 38 for his total at Jimmie Austin OU Golf Club. His opening tally is ... (click for more)

Covenant softball freshman third base Lauren Kay was named to the NFCA All-Region VI first team, announced the organization on Monday. Kay becomes the third Scot to collect NFCA All-Region ... (click for more)



Sports

AA South Baseball Standings

AA-South Standings/Results (as of games of 5/15/22) North Division Team W L PCT GB Tennessee (CHC) 21 12 .636 - Rocket City (LAA) 18 15 .545 3.0 Chattanooga (CIN) 17 16 ... (click for more)

UTC's Conroy Shoots 2-Over At NCAA Regionals

Chattanooga Mocs sophomore Paul Conroy shot 2-over 74 to open the NCAA Norman Regionals. He went out in 36 and came home in 38 for his total at Jimmie Austin OU Golf Club. His opening tally is tied for 39th overall. He started with a birdie on one and then just missed two more before bogeys at four, five and seven. He quickly righted the ship with three birdies in a row to ... (click for more)

Breaking News

Coppinger's Last Budget Does Not Include Tax Increase; County Revenues Are Up $11.1 Million

Outgoing County Mayor Jim Coppinger said Tuesday morning that his final budget to the County Commission does not include a property tax increase. He noted that the county schools did not ask for a tax hike, and he said county general government will not either. Spending in the current fiscal year is at $833 million. The county fund balance (rainy day fund) is at $130 million. ... (click for more)

New DA Will Have Lot Of Spots To Fill; Prosecutor Andrew Coyle Is 1st To Depart

The new Hamilton County District Attorney (either John Allen Brooks or Coty Wamp) will have a lot of room to refashion the office with many experienced prosecutors and staff choosing to either go elsewhere or retire with the change of administration. The first to go after the recent election defeat of District Attorney Neal Pinkston is Division I supervisor Andrew Coyle, whose ... (click for more)

Opinion

Student Debt - And Response (4)

“And so we come to commencement, that glorious moment of achievement when a high school or college graduate will be awarded a hard-earned diploma and venture into a complex world full of promise and fright.” Uh-huh. Except for over 40 million young Americans who are saddled with a collective debt of well over $1.5 trillion, and who are being “blamed” by conservatives like Roy ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Where Do We Stand?

Victor Davis Hanson is, in my opinion, one of the great conservative minds in America and I relish everything he has to write. I join him in my concern over so many things that are happening in our country. The violent crime that we felt this weekend in Buffalo and at a Presbyterian Church in California is for starters but deeper is the inflation, with the white supremacy hatred, ... (click for more)