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Many travel programs are constructed to help elite individuals shine brightly. When the Knoxville Lady Panthers take the court, it is the team that shines.
“I can’t tell you how many coaches have come up to me over the years and told me that they love to watch our teams play,” said Coach Don Brown. “We are very disciplined, our kids are high IQ players, and they share the ball. It’s not at all unusual for us to score 70 points in a game, and our high scorer will have 12 points.
“We have a lot of good, hardworking kids who grew up on farms. They are a joy to watch because they want to play for each other. When I see Butler’s men, I think they play like we do — hard nosed, tough, and with more skill then you expect to see.”
That unique style will be on display this spring at the 2015 Deep South Classic, which will be played in Raleigh, NC on April 24-26. The Deep South Classic, which annually features the nation’s top travel programs, will once again have the entire tournament in one facility — the tremendous Raleigh Convention Center.
The 2015 edition of the Lady Panthers will be paced by a talented perimeter trio that includes Kayla Mullins (2016, 5-9, 2G), Sydni Lollar (2018, 5-11, CG) and Taylor Land (2018, 5-10, SG).
“I have had eight Division I players the last three years, and Kayla is the best shooting guard I’ve ever coached,” Brown said. “She is the most complete scorer I’ve ever coached. She can shoot off the dribble, pull up, post up and shoot the three. She is also an all-around player who is an excellent rebounder and defender.
“Sydni could play any of the perimeter positions, but she is a natural scorer. She hits a high percentage of her three-pointers, but the biggest thing with Sydni is that every time I watch her, she has added something new to her game. She has improved exponentially in the past few years.
“Taylor is one of the best slashers I’ve coached. She can really just get to the basket at will. She has a nice pull-up jumper, she is an incredible rebounder, and she is working hard on improving her percentage from three-point range.”
Bret McCormick, the analyst with the All Star Girls Report, is very familiar with the Lady Panthers.
“Lollar is a good athlete with an excellent skill set,” McCormick said. “She can post you up or put the ball on the floor. I think she has a chance to be a major DI recruit. Mullins is a very smart player who can shoot it, and she has all-around abilities. Land is very athletic and strong in the open court. She likes to attack the basket, and she is developing more offensive skills.”