Lady Vols gear up for Senior Night at Thompson-Boling

Knoxville, TN (WVLT-TV), Pat Summitt's Tennessee Lady Vols will take to the court for the final time at home this season tomorrow night. The Ladies will play host to SEC rival Florida. It'll be a Special night for seniors, Alexis Hornbuckle, Alberta Aguste, Nicky Anosike, Shannon Bobbitt and Candace Parker, who'll be playing their final game ever in front of the ever so loyal Lady Vol fans. Parker is joining the others after deciding to pass up a final year of eligibility to turn pro. It should be a special night for the defending national champs who are very much on course to make another run at a title. Below are quotes from Coach Summitt leading up to the game.

“I think we’re getting a little bit better. In particular at our Vanderbilt game, we played with more consistency and did a better job overall with our post play. That was a good road win for us coming off the loss to LSU. At Alabama we did some good things and got our bench some good minutes. Against Mississippi State, I thought we played in spurts. We have to be a team that is more efficient. The big challenge for us now is to make sure we have consistency in our guard play in particular.”

On senior night on Thursday for the Florida game…

“With senior night coming up, we’ll say goodbye to a group that has had a great impact on our program. With Candace (Parker), Alexis (Hornbuckle) and Nicky (Anosike) and the addition of Shannon (Bobbitt) and Alberta (Auguste) - this is a special group. It will be an emotional night for a lot of folks. Certainly, this isn’t the end, but we do have quite an impressive line-up of seniors who have won a lot of basketball games and the NCAA Championship in 2007.”

On potential ripple effect on women’s basketball of Candace Parker leaving early…

“Perhaps some future players may leave early because of this, but I think it depends on the individual. For instance, you’ve got a Courtney Paris who is very committed to finishing out all four years at Oklahoma. With Candace having had the knee injury her first year and the timing with her commitment to playing in the Olympics this summer. That probably weighed heavily on her mind, being able to go and play in the Olympics and go right into the WNBA as the No. 1 pick. Candace has probably thought about this more than all the rest of us put together. I think she felt like it was the right thing to do with her schedule. You have to be a special player – which obviously Candace is – to think about coming out early, but I don’t see that becoming a common occurrence by any means.”