Advertise with usContact UsRTI Team

Lady Vols Pick Up Third Portal Addition Under Kim Caldwell

Tennessee Lady Vols
Tennessee transfer commit Samara Spencer. Photo via @SamaraSpencer on X.

Kim Caldwell was announced as the fourth head coach in Tennessee women’s basketball program history in early April and the former Marshall coach has hit the ground running from a transfer portal perspective.

Tennessee only had one departure through the portal following Kellie Harper’s firing as rising senior forward Karolina Striplin is headed to Indiana next season.

On the flip side, though, Tennessee has hauled in a trio of players from the portal with the most recent announcement happening on May 5.

The Lady Vols’ first portal commitment came on April 21, two just weeks after Caldwell was hired, with 6-foot-2 forward Alyssa Latham from Syracuse. In her first and only year with the Orange, Latham averaged 8.6 points, 7.0 rebounds, and 1.3 blocks per game in an average of 27.6 minutes on the court in 32 contests. Latham was Syracuse’s leading rebounder on the team last season, hauling in a total of 224 boards for an average of 7.0 per game. Latham’s rebounding ability is a strong part of her game and makes for a good building block for Kim Caldwell early on.

During her introductory press conference at Tennessee, Caldwell used some light-hearted humor to get a point across when it comes to recruiting.

“Everyone I text has responded to me, so that’s the difference,” Caldwell said with a laugh, answering a question about the expectations of recruiting for an SEC team. That statement came less than two weeks before Latham’s commitment.

More from RTI: What Impresses Rick Barnes About New Tennessee Lady Vols Coach Kim Caldwell

Miami transfer Lazaria Spearman announced her commitment to Caldwell’s program just days after Latham on April 24. Spearman spent two years with the Hurricanes program, averaging 6.3 points, 6.0 rebounds, and 50 percent shooting from the field during 30 games in her sophomore season. Spearman also led her team in rebounding last season with 179 total and an average of 6.0 per game.

Caldwell’s third commitment out of the portal came over the weekend on May 5 with the addition of Samara Spencer from Arkansas. Spencer spent her first three years with the Razorbacks’ program and was Arkansas’ second-leader scorer as a junior with 13.9 points per game. The 5-foot-7 guard also averaged 4.6 rebounds and 3.5 assists last season.

“Never personal just business, that’s the way I keep it,” Spencer said on social media. “#committed.”

With sharpshooting guards Jewel Spear and Tess Darby returning to Tennessee next season, the Vols have added great size and rebounding to the roster with their first two portal pickups and another solid guard with their third.

“We want to be the hardest-playing team in the country,” Caldwell said during her introductory press conference. “We want to establish our culture. We want to score a lot of points and be an exciting brand of basketball in the SEC. We want to make people proud. We want to make sure that we get back on top.”

Similar Articles


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Tweet Us