Big things are expected out of the Lady Vols’ basketball team in coach Kellie Harper’s fourth season. Tennessee opens the season at No. 5 in the preseason AP Poll.
Tennessee is one of just three SEC teams in the preseason top 25. The defending national champions South Carolina top the preseason AP poll while LSU comes in at No. 16 in coach Kim Mulkey’s second season in Baton Rouge.
Tennessee is coming off a 25-9 (11-5 SEC) season were it returned to the Sweet 16 for the first time since 2016. The Lady Vols started red hot before stumbling down the stretch of the regular season. Harper’s third team eventually gained its footing to defeat Buffalo and Belmont in the first two rounds of the NCAA Tournament.
More From RTI: Tennessee Men’s Basketball Right Outside Top 25
As the top five preseason ranking shows, there’s an abundance of optimism around this year’s Tennessee team. The Lady Vols return a myriad of talent including senior leaders Jordan Horston, Jordan Walker and Tamari Key.
Horston and Key, as well as Mississippi State transfer Rickea Jackson, landed on the preseason All-SEC First Team. Tennessee has the most players of any team in the preseason first team. The league’s media also picked Tennessee to finish second in the league behind South Carolina.
Harper and her staff added one of the top transfer classes in the country. There’s four new transfers on this Tennessee team led by Jackson.
Tennessee opens up its 2022-23 season on Nov. 8 at Ohio State. The road season opener starts a challenging non conference slate that includes matchups against No. 2 Stanford and No. 6 UConn.