Wed. Nov 30th, 2022

Fourth-year Tennessee Head Coach Kellie Harper has been voted as USA TODAY Sports activities Community Preseason SEC Coach of the 12 months, and three of her gamers have been named to the media group’s Preseason All-SEC Groups.
USA TODAY chosen Girl Vol seniors Jordan Horston and Tamari Key for the primary crew and classmate Rickea Jackson for the second crew. That trio had been named beforehand to SEC preseason groups by the media at-large in addition to the coaches.

Throughout her first three seasons on Rocky High, Harper has set this system on a journey towards the highest, opening the 2022-23 marketing campaign ranked No. 4 within the USA TODAY ballot and No. 5 by AP, with ESPN projecting the Huge Orange for a No. 1 NCAA seed in March. Her groups charted data of 21-10 (10-6 SEC) and 17-8 (9-4 SEC) whereas navigating pandemic limitations and elevated to 25-9 (11-5 SEC) in 2021-22 regardless of being dealt a horrible hand with accidents to key personnel. The squad opened the season 18-1, rose to No. 4 within the AP Ballot, gained the South Level Thanksgiving Shootout, completed third within the SEC for the third consecutive season and stored the Huge Orange excellent in NCAA berths as the one faculty to look in all 40 girls’s tournaments.

Harper is 63-27 total and 30-15 vs. SEC competitors throughout a fast makeover on Rocky High, rating third in profitable share in league video games behind solely South Carolina’s Daybreak Staley and LSU’s Kim Mulkey. Harper and Staley are the one SEC coaches to information their groups to top-three SEC finishes in every of the previous three seasons, and UT and USC had been the one league squads to advance into the NCAA Spherical of 16 in 2022.

Tennessee’s 18-1 begin in 2021-22 was its finest since 2007-08, its total and SEC data the most effective since 2017-18 and its NCAA Candy 16 berth its thirty fifth all-time however first since 2015-16. UT additionally defeated 5 ranked groups for probably the most since 2017-18, topping its complete of 5 from Harper’s first two seasons in Knoxville mixed. Harper matched private bests for wins in a season (25), most wins over ranked groups (5) and deepest NCAA tourney run, and he or she was a late season candidate for Werner Ladder Naismith Ladies’s Coach of the 12 months. The Tennessee Sports activities Writers Affiliation named Harper the group’s state girls’s faculty basketball coach of the yr for 2022.

Horston, 6-foot-2 guard, averaged 16.2 factors, 9.4 rebounds and 4.0 assists per sport in 23 begins final season earlier than struggling a season-ending harm at Alabama on Feb. 17.  She was a 2022 All-SEC First Staff decide by the media and coaches, and was named All-America Honorable Point out by AP and the WBCA. Moreover, Horston made the 2022 Ann Meyers Drysdale High 10, Wood Late Season Listing and Naismith Midseason Listing, and was the South Level Shootout Most Excellent Participant. She is a member of the 2022-23 Ann Meyers Drysdale Preseason Watch Listing.


Key, a 6-foot-6 heart, put up 10.5 factors, 8.1 rebounds and three.5 blocks whereas beginning all 34 contests as a junior. The college’s all-time file holder for blocked pictures and triple-doubles in a profession and season, she was named All-SEC Second Staff by the media and coaches a yr in the past and is a two-time member of the SEC All-Defensive Staff. Key additionally was named a 2022 Lisa Leslie Award High-5 Finalist and was a Naismith Defensive Participant of the 12 months Semifinalist. She is a member of the 2022-23 Lisa Leslie Award Preseason Watch Listing.


Jackson, a 6-foot-2 ahead, averaged an SEC-leading 20.3 factors in addition to 6.8 rebounds, 1.5 blocks and 1.1 steals whereas beginning all 15 video games she performed earlier than getting into the switch portal out of Mississippi State final January. Jackson has beforehand earned WBCA All-America Honorable Point out accolades twice and made the All-SEC Second Staff, SEC All-Freshman Staff and SEC All-Event Staff in 2019-20. She is a member of the 2022-23 Cheryl Miller Award Preseason Watch Listing.

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