Tennessee women's basketball isn't having the start to the season it envisioned when it loaded up its roster this past offseason. After a promising season the previous year, the Vols added WNBA prospect Rickea Jackson from Mississippi State, guard Jasmine Powell from Minnesota and Missouri State forward Jasmine Franklin through the transfer portal. After a 2-4 start and dropping 12 spots in the latest AP poll, the Vols are searching for answers.

“They're hurting right now,” Kellie Harper said after Tennessee's most recent loss to Gonzaga.

Even after their loss to Ohio State to begin the season, the Vols' talent on the roster suggested they just had a few screws to tighten before they could embark on the year most thought they would have. Instead, they have only outscored opponents by seven through six games, which looks worse considering they blew out an up and down Rutgers team by 40 on Nov. 19.

After Tennessee's loss to Indiana five days before that, Harper felt confident the team getting tested earlier on in the year was a positive thing for her squad.

“I still think that the best thing for this team is to play teams that are going to punch us in the mouth. I really think that is the best thing for us,” Harper said following the loss to Indiana on Nov. 14. “I would rather win, but I don’t want any false ideas of who we are. I know exactly who we are, and exactly where we need to go.”

Heading into their next game vs. Colorado, Harper and the Vols are going to try to prove they can shake off their ugly start to the season.