With only one senior on the Lady Vols 2013-14 roster, second-year head coach Holly Warlick will look for other players to expand their leadership roles this season as the team prepares to embark on their grind for the program's ninth national championship.
One player who appears ready to fit the bill is 6-foot-3 junior center Isabelle Harrison.
Despite missing nine games last season due to knee injuries, the Nashville, Tenn., native managed to put up solid numbers, with an average of 9.5 points per game, and finished second on the team with 7.5 rebounds a game.
With her healthy return, she will look to lead a deep frontcourt that could be the team's greatest strength.
"I want to lead by example and play my hardest, whether it's rebounding or running the length of the court to block a shot to show the post under me what is expected of them," Harrison said. "I want to be vocal as well since I'm going to be one of the main posts on the team."
Alongside the former Hillsboro High School standout down low this year will be returning SEC Freshman of the Year Bashaara Graves, sophomore Nia Moore and elite newcomer Mercedes Russell.
This preseason, her head coach has seen the development in her leadership abilities.
"Isabelle has been a great leader for the post inside," Warlick said. "She went through the same thing with Vicki Baugh helping her out when she was a freshman. I think she feels a responsibility of taking those players under her wing, especially Mercedes."
As a mentor and the eldest of the group, Harrison said she wants her three other counterparts to embrace consistency as the most important aspect of their game.
"Post players carry a large load on how the games go and the outcomes," she said. "We have to hold our standards high and have good games no matter what the guards do, (and) just to keep the game steady. We are very talented down low this year and if we can stay consistent we will be very tough to beat."
Despite possessing a great deal of talent, Harrison said increased communication among the group has brought a quiet confidence to all of UT's post players heading into the season.
"Not only are we all athletic but every one of us is vocal with one another," she said. "It helps us with communication and I think we are all very confident in our roles as a post group. We know what we can do we just need to go out there and take care of business now."
With the Lady Vols first game of the season set to tip-off on Friday at Middle Tennessee, the team's leading shot blocker from last season is excited to start a journey she hopes will end in her hometown, as Nashville's Bridgestone Arena will host the 2014 Final Four.
"Having the Final Four in Nashville this year is a huge motivator for me, especially since I grew up there," she said. "I have passed that arena many times growing up and just to know I could win a national championship somewhere I've grown up is amazing.
"We have to take every opportunity and everyday to get better in order to get there. This year is really going to test us to see how mentally and physically strong we can be."