In Pat’s last book she mentioned that she met Candace and her father at a game when the “Meeks” were playing DePaul in Chicago and Mr Parker asked Pat if his daughter could have and autograph and picture with her. She was around 12-13 years old then. That’s a great memory for a kid that age to have.
While there is no doubt much effort was put in by UT on the recruiting profess that isn’t a bad way to start and it was basically by chance.
Yes, Tennessee was a very attractive school for recruits - play for a National Championship under someone who was for many years perceived as the top coach in the game. Not much not to like.
All things being equal they still recruit well. Unfortunately Pat is gone (she would still be considered one of the best of all time) and the National Championship runs are on hiatus. But Tennessee in the day was all that and then some for recruits.
While I know Geno and Pat certainly overlapped recruiting, I also think the appeal of each coach (and school, once UConn "arrived") were just wildly different.