When Candace Parker arrived four years ago, many expected Pat Summitt would add multiple championships to her legacy. But it was a perfect two-year plan that added up to titles No. 7 and 8 for the coach and her program.
No Candace Parker? No problem. At least, it wasn't Wednesday when the Tennessee star was benched. Her teammates picked her up, and if that's their New Year's resolution, it's a scary proposition for future opponents.
The Sparks weren't the only big winners in the WNBA draft lottery Tuesday. With L.A. landing the top pick for next April, it was also a big coup for the league itself ... and Candace Parker, should the superstar choose to come out.
After 33 seasons, Pat Summitt still wins because she changes with the times. And in lifting Tennessee to its 17th Final Four, who better to help the coach carry the past into the present than Candace Parker?
The Blue Raiders make basketball fun and make you want to root for them. And, with all apologies to the higher seeds ahead of Middle Tennessee in Dayton, the Blue Raiders are the kind of team the NCAA Tournament needs.
First and foremost, Tennessee needs Candace Parker at the top of her game. But at some point, if they're going to play six games, the Lady Vols will need senior Sidney Spencer to put together a fond farewell.