Tennessee Vols morning report: Players speak ahead of Auburn

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) /

Interviews with Tennessee Vols football players lead our Nov. 18 Volunteers news.

We’re over halfway through the month of November, but in this unusual year, the Tennessee Vols football season is barely halfway over just as basketball season is about to start. We continue with coverage on all of those fronts today.

Our morning update on Rocky Top leads with football players giving interviews ahead of this weekend’s matchup at the Auburn Tigers. In terms of basketball, we have scheduling updates on the men’s side and preseason recognition on the women’s side, mainly for one player.

A recap of a soccer postseason game that took place Tuesday and a preview of a volleyball event are also on the table for the day. So let’s go ahead and dive in, starting with the football news that came out.

Three players speak ahead of Auburn – Austin Price, VolQuest.com

With the Tennessee Vols football team set to visit the Tigers this weekend, seniors Deandre Johnson, Velus Jones Jr. and Brandon Kennedy all spoke with the media Tuesday. Kennedy talked about how the team used the open week to get back on track. Here’s a bit of what he said.

"“This week, when we didn’t play, fundamentals were a big part for us. We were able to get back to the basics and bring some of the young guys along. Those were two things we were able to work on this bye week.”"

Jones discussed his experience at UT so far. This is how he described it.

"“Bonding with my brothers, my teammates, the offense, the QBs, it’s been a great experience. There’s nothing like SEC football. This is something I’ve dreamed about ever since I was a kid coming up, just making dreams realities, so it’s been a great experience.”"

Johnson addressed the team’s pass rush. Here’s a bit of what he said on that front.

"“I feel like we are improving each week. It is definitely something we have to get better at and there are things we can get greater at, but we are pretty decent.”"

Tipoff times, TV set for some basketball games – Grant Ramey, GoVols247

TV channels are set for five Tennessee Vols men’s basketball games, and tipoff time is set for four of them. Non-conference games against the Charlotte 49ers, Appalachian State Mountaineers and Tennessee Tech Golden Eagles will be on SEC Network. The USC Upstate Spartans will be on SEC Network Alternate. They will face the VCU Rams, meanwhile, on ESPN2.

"Tennessee so far has announced only a 25-game schedule but there are expected to be 27 games in total. Notre Dame announced a December 4 game against the Vols in South Bend. It has been widely reported that Tennessee will play Gonzaga in Indianapolis on December 2 as part of the Jimmy V Classic, but the game has not yet been officially announced."

Women’s basketball picked sixth in SEC – SECSports.com

Kellie Harper’s second team was picked to finish in the top half of the league this year but close to the middle of the pack in a vote by SEC Coaches. Rennia Davis, meanwhile, earned First Team All-SEC, the only Tennessee Lady Vols player to do so.

"South Carolina tops the order of finish, with Kentucky, Texas A&M, Arkansas, Mississippi State, Tennessee and LSU rounding out the top half the league. Alabama, Georgia, Missouri, Ole Miss, Florida, Vanderbilt and Auburn round out the bottom half.The Wildcat’s Rhyne Howard was voted as SEC Women’s Basketball Preseason Player of the Year. South Carolina’s Aliyah Boston also received votes."

Rennia Davis named to Naismith Trophy Watch List – Naismithtrophy.com

For the second straight year, Tennessee Lady Vols forward Rennia Davis was named to the Naismith Trophy Preseason Watch List. Davis was among 50 players on the list, and last year, she advanced to become one of the midseason 30 finalists.

"The midseason 30 team will be announced in early February; players who do not make the watch list are still eligible to be selected for the midseason 30 team. Then, the competition will be narrowed down to 10 national semifinalists on March 2, 2021, and four finalists will be named on March 19, 2021. The winner of the 2021 Jersey Mike’s Naismith Trophy for Women’s Player of the Year will be announced on April 3, 2021."

Wade Watch List includes Rennia DavisWBCA.org

Tuesday was a day of preseason recognition for Rennia Davis. In addition to being named First Team All-SEC and to the Naismith Trophy Preseason Watch List, she was named by the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association to the Wade Trophy Preseason Watch List.

"The Wade Trophy — now in its 44th year — is the oldest and most prestigious national player of the year award in college women’s basketball. It is named in honor of the late, legendary Delta State University head coach Lily Margaret Wade, who won three consecutive national championships with the Lady Statesmen."

Soccer loses SEC Tournament game to Vanderbilt – Ken Lay, VolsWire.com

In the quarterfinals of the SEC Tournament, the No. 2 seed Tennessee Lady Vols soccer team was upset 4-2 by the No. 7 seed Vanderbilt Commodores. This was the first, and now will be the only game of the 2020 tournament for UT.

"UT closes out the fall portion of its schedule with a 4-4-1 record. The Lady Vols surrendered a season-high four goals in the contest as four different players tallied for the Commodores (6-4)."

Volleyball to finish up season at Auburn – UTSports

Wednesday and Thursday mark the Tennessee Lady Vols volleyball program’s final two games of the fall. UT will face the Auburn Tigers in both games and enters the week with a 2-4 record.

"First serve Wednesday is slated for 8 p.m. ET, while Thursday’s match gets underway at 6 p.m. Wednesday’s matchup will be televised on SEC Network, with Eric Frede (play-by-play) and Katie George (color) describing the action. On Thursday, Kele Eveland will call the match for SEC Network+."