The Preseason Women’s Basketball Coaches Poll and All-SEC Teams were announced Tuesday with a pair of Lady Vols landing on the two teams.
Senior guard Rae Burrell landed on the eight-player first time while junior center Tamari Key came in on the second team.
Burrell was a breakout star in the 2020-21 season, increasing her scoring average from 10.5 to 16.8 points per game. The Las Vegas native shot a stellar 40% from three-point range while adding 4.6 rebounds and 1.8 assists per game.
Burrell’s strong showing helped bolster the Lady Vols’ strong season and helped her earn All-SEC Second Team honors.
Key— a 6-foot-6 center— has been a high level defender for Tennessee her first two seasons in Knoxville. Key averaged 8.9 points, 5.6 rebounds and 2.9 blocks per game a season ago. The then-sophomore’s 72 blocks were good for 11th nationally and second in the SEC.
The North Carolina native has recorded 158 blocks in two seasons and will look to shoulder more offensive responsibility this season with the departure of Rennia Davis.
The SEC’s coaches predicted the Lady Vols to finish third in the SEC, behind South Carolina and Texas A&M. Georgia, Kentucky, Ole Miss, Arkansas, LSU, Mississippi State, Missouri, Florida, Alabama, Auburn and Vanderbilt follow Tennessee.
The conference’s media picked Tennessee to finish second in the SEC last week— ahead of Texas A&M but still behind South Carolina.
Tennessee came in at No. 15 in the preseason AP Poll. That was good for the third highest rating amongst SEC teams, though it was Kentucky (13) that came in higher than the Lady Vols.
The Lady Vols are just over two weeks from opening their season against Southern Illinois.
Kellie Harper’s third Tennessee team plays a grueling non conference schedule including matchups with a pair of preseason top three teams — Stanford and UCONN.