Tennessee junior forward Grant Williams is now the first Vol to be named a First-Team All-American in over a decade.
Sporting News released three teams of All-American rosters on Monday, and Grant Williams was one of the five players named to the first-team list. He joins Duke’s R.J. Barrett, Gonzaga’s Rui Hachimura, Duke’s Zion Williamson, and Michigan State’s Cassius Winston as the first-team selections by Sporting News.
Williams is the reigning SEC Player of the Year and is the likely front-runner to repeat as the top player in the conference after this season. He finished the regular season as the top scorer in the SEC, averaging 19.3 points per game. His 19.3 points per game is currently the highest in a single season for a Vol since Kevin Punter averaged 22.2 points per game in the 2015-16 season, Rick Barnes’ first year as UT’s head coach.
Not only is Williams averaging nearly 20 points a game, but he’s also pulling down an average of 7.7 rebounds a game and is dishing out 3.3 assists per contest. He’s shooting a career-high 56.9 percent from the field and is making a career-high 83.3 percent of his free throws. His 234 free throws attempted this season are the fourth-most in a single season in UT history, and his 195 made free throws are the second-most in a single season in school history.
Earlier this season, Williams became only the 17th player in school history to eclipse the 1,500-point mark in a career.
Williams is the first Vol since Chris Lofton back in 2008 to be named a first-team All-American by any outlet. He’s only the second player to earn that distinction since Dale Ellis was named a first-team All-American in 1983. Williams is the 16th different Vol to be named a first-team All-American by at least one outlet.
Not only is Williams an All-American and potentially a two-time SEC Player of the Year winner, but he’s in the running for several major awards as well.
Williams is a 2019 Citizen Naismith Trophy Men’s Player of the Year semifinalist, a Naismith Defensive Player of the Year Award semifinalist, a Karl Malone Power Forward of the Year finalist, and was selected for the Oscar Robertson Trophy Final Midseason Watch List and the Men’s National Ballot for the John R. Wooden Award.