Both Tennessee Teams Rise In Jan. 24 AP Poll

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    Tennessee’s men’s basketball team climbed six spots in this week’s AP poll from No. 24 to No. 18 while the Lady Vols rose one spot to No. 4 in the women’s poll.

    Rick Barnes’ seventh Tennessee team turned in its first 2-0 week of SEC play, getting back in the win column at Vanderbilt before earning its first ranked win in conference play over then-No. 13 LSU.

    The strong week gives Tennessee some much needed momentum into matchups with Florida and Texas to close the month.

    Tennessee’s strong week wouldn’t have been possible if it wasn’t for the play of new starting center Uros Plavsic. Plavsic averaged 12.5 points and 6.5 rebounds in the two wins and brought a toughness and edge that the Vols desperately needed.

    The Vols are the third highest ranked SEC team in this week’s poll, coming in behind Bruce Pearl and No. 1 Auburn as well as No. 12 Kentucky. Tennessee ranks ahead of the only other SEC team in the poll — No. 19 LSU.

    While neither of Tennessee’s opponents this week are in the top 25, Texas is No. 28 and Florida is No. 39 if you count the receiving votes category.

    Photo By Emma Corona/Tennessee Athletics

    It was a short week for Tennessee’s women’s basketball team, but a very productive one nonetheless. The Lady Vols had their bye date on Thursday before traveling to Athens and defeating then-No. 13 Georgia, 63-55.

    Tennessee’s backcourt led the way in the win with Rae Burrell scoring 13 points and point guard Jordan Horston recording 19 points and 11 rebounds.

    The win is perhaps the Lady Vols best on a long list of contenders this season. Tennessee is 18-1 (7-0 SEC) and is currently projected to be a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament.

    Still, Tennessee is behind No. 1 South Carolina in the polls as Dawn Staley’s team keeps chugging along with one loss.

    No. 12 LSU, No. 15 Georgia and No. 24 Ole Miss also frequent the poll.

    Tennessee stays on the road Thursday, facing Auburn — the conference’s lone winless team. The Lady Vols then return home the following Monday to face Arkansas.

    Ryan Schumpert is a senior at the University of Tennessee-Knoxville who has covered University of Tennessee athletics since the moment he stepped on campus. He just completed a three-year stint with the Daily Beacon, the last two of which as the Sports Editor. Ryan also spent last three years at Volquest providing strong Tennessee baseball coverage of Tony Vitello's resurgent program. While the bulk of Ryan's responsibilities involved beat coverage and writing, he also recorded podcasts for both the Beacon and Volquest. Did we leave out the part about Ryan interning for the Smokies? Ryan's work ethic, versatility, and strong writing skills are but three of the reasons why Vol Nation will be hearing from Ryan for years to come.