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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) - Holly Warlick and the Tennessee Lady Vols are more in their comfort zone going into the season.

Warlick is no longer adjusting to the role as Pat Summitt's successor and rookie head coach, and the Lady Vols are once again Southeastern Conference favorites.

After a summer when every player remained on campus, Warlick is optimistic about her team's chemistry, work ethic and of course talent level.

She said Thursday at SEC media days that last season "was different for our players, it was different for me."

Warlick has five of her top six scorers returning, led by Meighan Simmons. She also welcomes prized recruit Mercedes Russell.

The Lady Vols still have to contend with Kentucky, which returns four starters from a team that went 30-6 and was the SEC runner-up.

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