It's been a decade since Tennessee men's basketball could claim a share of the SEC regular season title. But thanks to a 13-5 conference record and an overall mark of 23-7, the No. 13 Vols are back on the saddle.
And today, they have more than just their record to show for it. Sophomore forward Grant Williams has been Named SEC Player of the Year, while Rick Barnes has taken Coach of the Year honors.
Joining those two among this year's honorees is sophomore guard Lemonte Turner, who gets the nod as the conference's Sixth Man of the Year.
Williams enters this week's SEC Tournament averaging 15.6 points, 5.8 rebounds, and 1.4 blocks per game, while Turner dropped 10.6 points per game and shot a remarkable 91 percent from the free throw line.
First Team All-SEC Basketball:— Saturday Down South (@SDS) March 6, 2018
Jaylen Barford, Arkansas
Chris Chiozza, Florida
Yante Maten, Georgia
Kevin Knox, Kentucky
Kassius Robertson, Missouri
Chris Silva, South Carolina
Grant Williams, Tennessee
Tyler Davis, Texas A&M
Praise of the Vols' efforts on the hardwood this season cannot afford to ignore Barnes, of course. The team went just 16-16 last season, but took the leap this time around, taking full advantage of a conference that included a frustratingly up-and-down Kentucky team constantly struggling for its identity. Barnes steered UT to a run of 14 wins out of 17 after losing their first two in conference play.
Tennessee football fans ought to take notice -- you can't keep Big Orange down forever.