Team USA has set a couple of exhibition matchups as a tune-up to the next summer’s Olympic Games in Paris. While they’ll play Duke on Nov. 12, the first exhibition is against Tennessee on Nov. 5.
Both teams have things to accomplish with this matchup, with Team USA essentially trying out players to see who should be seriously considered for the Olympics and the Lady Volunteers using the game as a measuring stick.
Team USA is at the peak and wants to stay there; it is important to find out who can help them stay on the mountaintop. Fortunately, the team is stacked. They have a bevy of options, like veteran superstars Diana Taurasi and Britney Griner, or up-and-coming players such as Kahleah Copper and Sabrina Ionescu. National team head coach Cheryl Reeve and acting court coach Tanisha Wright won’t have a problem doling out a rotation of top-level talent.
“We’ll try to top that.”— USA Basketball (@usabasketball) November 4, 2023
Dee looks back on her 26-point night from the 2007 exhibition win over Tennessee.
Dee & the #USABWNT meet @LadyVol_Hoops again tomorrow (6 pm ET, SEC Network) pic.twitter.com/57VtezDQdZ
Tenneesse has some work to do to contend with college basketball’s top teams, like LSU, South Carolina and Iowa. It also will be an uphill battle to compete with a dream team of WNBA players. But the 11th-ranked team in the country will give it a go, hoping for big games from Rickea Jackson and Tamari Key. And who knows? Maybe they can pull off an upset if Team USA, which has been tripped up by college teams in the past, comes out with a lackadaisical attitude.
Internationally known— Lady Vols Basketball (@LadyVol_Hoops) November 4, 2023
With the exhibition vs. @usabasketball approaching, Rickea and Jewel recount their experience repping the Red, White & Blue this summer at the FIBA AmeriCup! pic.twitter.com/LgYNp6SkCf
Regardless of the outcome, this should be an entertaining game. Tennessee is gearing up for their college basketball season and Team USA players are vying for a spot on the best basketball team in the world. As long as both teams leave this game healthy, there will be lessons learned. For Team USA, that’s a clearer understanding of who should be considered for the Olympics. For the Lady Vols, it’s how close they are to contending for a national title.
Team USA vs. Tennessee Lady Volunteers
When: Sunday, Nov. 5 at 6 p.m. ET
Where: Thompson Boiling Arena in Knoxville, TN
How to watch: SEC Network