Lady Vols hope better unity produces better finish

 The Lady Vols believe they have the leadership and team unity to finally return to the Final Four after three straight losses in regional finals.

Knoxville, TN - January 20, 2013: forward Bashaara Graves #12 of the Tennessee Lady Volunteers during the game between the Alabama Crimson Tide and the Tennessee Lady Volunteers at Thompson-Boling Arena in Knoxville, TN. Photo By Wade Rackley/Tennessee Athletics

Knoxville, Tenn. (AP) -- The Lady Vols believe they have the leadership and team unity to finally return to the Final Four after three straight losses in regional finals.

Tennessee hasn't reached a Final Four since its 2008 national championship, which represents the Lady Vols longest absence from that event since the NCAA started running the tournament in 1982.

Warlick took steps during the offseason to address areas where she thought the team needed improvement. Warlick believed the team's leadership in the past was good, but not good enough. Coaches and players also wanted better team chemistry.

So they got to know one another better. They had cooking contests. They participated in team retreats.

The Lady Vols believe those teamwork exercises will help when they open the season Nov. 8 at Middle Tennessee.


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