Kellie Harper, Tennessee Dominating The Transfer Portal

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    Tennessee’s women’s basketball program has been very active in the transfer portal this offseason landing three commitments since its season ended in mid-March.

    Adding two talented forwards and a guard, head coach Kellie Harper and her staff have addressed a handful of needs in the portal.

    ESPN released its top 25 committed transfers and its top 10 players uncommitted in the portal this week, and the newly added Lady Vols were well represent. All three of Rickea Jackson, Jasmine Franklin and Jasmine Powell landed in ESPN’s top 10 committed transfers.

    Jackson is the No. 1 player in the rankings after starring for three seasons at Mississippi State. The 6-foot-2 junior averaged 20.3 points and 6.8 rebounds in 15 games last season. The Detroit native is one of the best players in the SEC and a game changing talent for the Lady Vols.

    “Even in new surroundings, she should be considered an early SEC Player of the Year candidate,” ESPN wrote. “Jackson gives the Lady Vols the kind of versatile scorer they didn’t have last season when they reached the Sweet 16 for the first time since 2016.”

    Power forward Jasmine Franklin comes in at No. 8 in the rankings and will bring the interior physicality the Lady Vols lose with Alexus Dye’s graduation.

    The Missouri State transfer averaged 14.9 points and 12.1 rebounds per game before a torn ACL ended her season.

    “As a junior at Missouri State, Franklin was the MVC’s Defensive Player of the Year and has averaged 11.4 points per game in a career that began playing for Tennessee’s Kellie Harper when the coach was in her sixth and final season with the Lady Bears.”

    Tennessee addressed scoring and front court needs with Jackson and Franklin, but Minnesota transfer Jasmine Powell gives the Lady Vols’ backcourt help.

    Powell averaged 12.4 points, 5.7 assists and 4.4 rebounds per game as a junior, shooting 32% from the field and 31% from three-point range.

    “The transfer portal might give Kellie Harper the best team she has had at Tennessee. With Jackson as a scorer with size, Franklin as a rebounder and defender and Powell as a pure point guard, Harper has added much more than she lost this offseason. Before leaving Minnesota last season after 19 games, Powell was averaging 5.7 assists. She was also a double-figure scorer in each of her three seasons with the Gophers.”

    Tennessee lost four key players from last season’s 25-9 (11-5 SEC), Sweet 16 team.

    Rae Burrell is off to the WNBA and Dye, Jordan Walker and Keyen Green all ran out of eligibility.

    Still, Harper will pair this talented group of transfers with the two of the best players from last season’s team — Jordan Horston and Tamari Key — as well as a sophomore group that impressed as freshman last season.

    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.