KNOXVILLE, Tenn. -- Tennessees Mercedes Russell wants to build on the momentum she established in the NCAA Tournament and meet the considerable expectations that surrounded the 6-foot-6 junior since her arrival on campus.Russell averaged a double-double in the tournament and had a 25-point, 15-rebound performance in a regional semifinal victory over Ohio State. She delivered the production many Lady Volunteers fans anticipated from Russell when multiple recruiting services rated her the nations No. 1 overall prospect in the class of 2013.It definitely helped my confidence, I would say, in a lot of ways, said Russell, of Springfield, Oregon.Her development is critical as the Lady Vols deal with a lack of frontcourt depth following the graduation of Bashaara Graves, one of only five players in school history to combine 1,000 career rebounds and 1,500 points.Overall depth is a concern for Tennessee, which opens the season Nov. 11 at James Madison. Tennessees roster includes 11 players, but only nine of them are available this season because of injuries to sophomore guard Tea Cooper and junior forward Cheridene Green.But the lack of proven performers is particularly evident in the frontcourt.I definitely have a lot of responsibility just because Im the only returning post, Russell said. As an upperclassman, I know I have to step up and help the other posts. I know the responsibility I have in the frontcourt is huge.Tennessees coaches have made that clear.Assistant coach Dean Lockwood says the staff hasnt set particular numbers for Russell to target but adds that she needs to be a pretty consistent double-double performer. Coaches say Russell is stronger and gained confidence and assertiveness.We need to get Mercedes the ball more, coach Holly Warlick said. Thats difficult when people are keying in on her, running a zone and packing it in on her. Thats hard because Mercedes shoots a great percentage, so weve got to find ways to try to get her the ball a little bit more, and she has to work a little harder (to get the ball). I think shes doing that right now. Its a compliment to her, but it also forces her to take her game to another level.Russell has been accustomed to dealing with high expectations. She was Tennessees highest-ranked recruit since Candace Parker signed with the Lady Vols in 2004.Injuries and inconsistency have made it tough for Russell to live up to that ranking, although she has been productive.Russell spent her entire freshman season dealing with foot problems that limited her effectiveness. She eventually underwent surgeries on both of her feet and sat out the entire 2014-15 season to recover.Last year was really truly Mercedes freshman year, Warlick said. Her (actual) freshman year, her feet were bad. She couldnt even run up and down the floor.She returned to action last season and averaged 9.9 points, 8.3 rebounds and 1.8 blocks, although her real breakthrough came in the postseason. She had 13 points and 10.3 rebounds per game and shot 68.6 percent from the floor in the NCAA Tournament.Russells emergence helped Tennessee make a surprising run to a regional final as a No. 7 seed during a season in which the Lady Vols went 22-14 and set a school record for losses. The Lady Vols need her to make even more strides as they chase their first Final Four appearance since their 2008 championship season.Her being a high school player of the year, people say, `Oh gosh, we expect to see Breanna Stewart or Tina Charles, Lockwood said. She hasnt been that yet, but at the same time, shes been very consistent. Last year she was very consistent for us in terms of productivity, field-goal percentage and rebounding.We want more -- and I think she knows shes capable of more. J.J. Hardy Jersey . This should be celebrated because it will not always be this way. With the amount of money given to players by their clubs these days, it is a wonder that so many of those teams allow the sport to continue to take away many of their assets so they can play for a different team in the middle of their season. Darren ODay Jersey . As he recorded his 23rd and 24th points of the evening, a segment of the sellout Air Canada Centre crowd expressed their appreciation for the Raptors point guard with a smattering of MVP chants. http://www.theoriolesteamshop.com/Orioles-Zach-Britton-Kids-Jersey/ . Both players have lower body injuries that will keep them out of the lineup until at least January 31, which is the first game they can be activated from IR. Anthony Santander Jersey . There are surprises among the Vezina candidates, but most of the others are standard top-tier performers, even if the two Hart Trophy runners-ups have never been quite as good as they have been through the first half of the season. Baltimore Orioles Jerseys . LOUIS -- Rookie Tavon Austin has missed another day of practice, lessening the odds hell be ready for the St. DUBAI, United Arab Emirates -- Victor Dubuisson showed his ability to compete in big tournaments when a sparkling 8-under 64 on Saturday gave him a one-shot lead in the World Tour Championship after three rounds.The Frenchmans two European Tour wins so far came at the 2013 and 2015 Turkish Airlines Open -- a $7 million Final Series event.Now 13 under after 54 holes, Dubuisson leads big-hitting Belgian Nicolas Colsaerts (66) and the English duo of Matthew Fitzpatrick (66) and Tyrrell Hatton (67).I like to play well in the big tournaments. There is more focus, Dubuisson said. Id rather win big tournaments than finish in top-10s in smaller ones.Overnight joint leader Francesco Molinari (70) was among a group of three players two shots behind Dubuisson. Also at 11-under 205 were Englands Lee Westwood (69) and Spains Rafa Cabrera Bello, who shot the best round of the tournament with a 9-under 63.After the start of the round was delayed by 50 minutes due to early-morning fog, the 26-year-old Dubuisson holed a wedge shot for an eagle two on the par-4 fifth hole, apart from seven birdies. His only blemish of the day came on the par-3 sixth, where he made a bogey.Its my best score to date. Ive played well, made the good putts at the right time, said Dubuisson, who improved to No. 93 after a third-placed finish last week in South Africa, his oonly top 10 on the European Tour in a difficult season.dddddddddddd.Fitzpatrick overcame a stretch in the middle where he made a bogey on the ninth and a double bogey on the 13th, while Colsaerts had two eagles in his round that also featured four bogeys.Defending champion Rory McIlroy shot a 4-under 68 and was frustrated he could not go any lower after a superb round of ball-striking.McIlroy, who closed with a bogey after hitting his second shot into the water on the par-5 18th, called it one of those days.He said: I think I turned a 62 into a 68 somehow ... I hit a lot of good shots and didnt really hole many putts.Race to Dubai leader Henrik Stenson (70) turned it around after being 3 over without a single birdie on the first 11 holes to close with five birdies in his last seven holes.The Swede improved to 5 under overall and managed to keep his nearest rivals within sight. Compatriot Alex Noren, third in the Race to Dubai, shot a 69 and was two ahead of him, while Danny Willett slipped to tie 51st at 1 over, virtually going out of the race.I didnt get off to a great start I would say, but came back quite nicely, Stenson said. Ive got to be pretty pleased with the way we managed to play on the way home. 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dasg234, 22.10.2018 12:35