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Tennessee still showing signs of improvement as they head into the Sweet 16

David Hooper of SB Nation's Tennessee site Rocky Top Talk summarized "a game of runs" between the Tennessee Lady Vols and the St. John's Red Storm, highlighting a potentially significant development for the team's future in this postseason and beyond from freshman Mercedes Russell.

Russell is quietly turning into something very good and very not-quiet. A huge block in the second half and some solid passes from the post gave a window into her sophomore season.  With a year of strength and conditioning, she's going to fit in juuuuuust fine.  She had 9 rebounds on the night - one of her highest totals and third on the team behind Burdick and Harrison (11 each).  She also had 3 assists and 2 turnovers - a great night from a freshman post.

This should already have been evident from watching this team in the SEC Tournament, but it bears repeating in light of Hooper's observation: there's a very good chance that we still haven't see this team performing at peak potential this season and that could make things very interesting moving forward.

For more on this game and the Lady Vols in general, check out Rocky Top Talk. For more on the Lady Vols' path through the tournament, check out our Stanford region storystream.