Tennessee Vols morning report: Jeremy Pruitt on Paul Finebaum, basketball SEC opponents

KNOXVILLE, TN - SEPTEMBER 09: Tennessee Volunteers fans cheer during the first half of the game against the Indiana State Sycamores at Neyland Stadium on September 9, 2017 in Knoxville, Tennessee. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
KNOXVILLE, TN - SEPTEMBER 09: Tennessee Volunteers fans cheer during the first half of the game against the Indiana State Sycamores at Neyland Stadium on September 9, 2017 in Knoxville, Tennessee. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /
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Tennessee Vols coach Jeremy Pruitt going on Paul Finebaum and the men’s basketball 2019-2020 SEC foes lead our Volunteers news for Thursday, May 30, 2019.

We’re almost at the end of May, and the Tennessee Vols shockingly can’t stop creating a ton of news. It’s a very rare time in the offseason when so much is happening for UT, but this has been a unique year.

Our morning update on Rocky Top leads with another interview with Jeremy Pruitt. He just wrapped up a few days in Destin, Fla. for SEC spring meetings and then spoke Wednesday afternoon. Scheduling is also a big deal, as there’s news surrounding basketball opponents.

There’s another interview with a Lady Vols assistant that made the news as well, and then we have plenty of postseason recognition stories to cover, including two in softball and two in track and field. So it’s a big day of stories. Let’s start with the Pruitt talk.

Jeremy Pruitt speaks on Paul Finebaum – Paul Finebaum Show, ESPN.com

Tennessee Vols football had coach Jeremy Pruitt went on Paul Finebaum’s show Wednesday after wrapping up a few days in Destin, Fla. for SEC spring meetings. Ahead of going on Finebaum, he provided some updates on the program, noting that Darrin Kirkland Jr. and James Brown are retiring and the statuses of Aubrey Solomon and Deangelo Gibbs are still in question. Here’s a bit of what he said on Finebaum about the offseason.

"“I think if you’re going to have a good football program you have to have a really good environment. No different than you have to want to go to work, right? So if you enjoy where you go to work, then you’re going to show up. When you’re there, you’re going to be productive. I think with our staff and the people we have involved in our program, I think the atmosphere is very positive.”"

Men’s basketball SEC foes revealed – Dan Harralson, VolsWire.com

The Tennessee Vols men’s basketball 2019-2020 SEC opponents have been revealed. In addition to their annual home-and-home games with the Kentucky Wildcats, South Carolina Gamecocks and Vanderbilt Commodores, they’ll also play the Arkansas Razorbacks and Auburn Tigers twice. They will play the other eight SEC opponents all once.

"Seven SEC teams played in the NCAA Tournament in 2019. Four SEC teams advanced to the Sweet 16, while two played in the Elite Eight. Auburn represented the Southeastern Conference in the Final Four last season."

Lady Vols assistant goes one-on-one – Maria Cornelius, GoVols247

Tennessee women’s basketball head coach Kellie Harper’s husband, Jon Harper, is an assistant on the team and talked about their relationship and his history at Auburn. Here’s a bit of what he said about the two of them.

"“We both are extremely competitive, and it shows in different ways. When Kellie gets fiery on the sideline, that is usually when I’m the calm one. We play off each other well. Passion is something you’ll see from me that will come through pretty quick in a game. In practice, it will also, but in the games any player that we’ve ever coached will say I’m pretty passionate.”"

Aubrey Leach named NFCA All-American – NFCA.org

Tennessee softball senior infielder Aubrey Leach was named a National Fastpitch Coaches Association third-team All-American Wednesday. This was the second time in her career to pick up such an honor after hitting .411 with 72 hits, 23 RBI and 65 runs scored.

"The Southeastern Conference led the way with 15 honorees. The Pac-12 Conference had 13 representatives, while the Big 12 earned 10 plaudits. The Big Ten (5), Atlantic Coast Conference (3) and Colonial Athletic Association (3) also had multiple recognitions."

Aubrey Leach a Senior CLASS Award All-American – SeniorClassAward.com

Yes, Tennessee softball senior infielder Aubrey Leach received two All-American honors Wednesday. In addition to the NFCA award, she also was named a Senior CLASS Award second-team All-American. Kentucky Wildcats shortstop Katie Reed was the winner of the Senior CLASS Award.

"To be eligible for the award, a student-athlete must be classified as an NCAA Division I senior and have notable achievements in four areas of excellence: community, classroom, character and competition. An acronym for Celebrating Loyalty and Achievement for Staying in School, the Senior CLASS Award focuses on the total student-athlete and encourages students to use their platform in athletics to make a positive impact as leaders in their communities."

2019 SEC Community Service Team announcedUTSports

Tennessee seniors Trey Quealy and Layla White were named to the SEC Track and Field Community Service Team. The awards were announced Wednesday.

"A four-time member of the SEC Academic Honor Roll, Trey Quealy (North Huntingdon, Pa.) has dedicated more than 100 hours to community service during his time as a Tennessee Volunteer.…A three-time SEC Academic Honor Roll member and three-time USTFCCCA All-Academic Individual, Layla White (Cary, N.C.) has dedicated 138 hours of community service during her time as a Tennessee Lady Vol – the highest cumulative total of any athlete in the program."