Tennessee Vols morning report: National Signing Day, Rick Barnes talks Texas A&M

Two days into February, and Josh Heupel is about to wrap up the final loose end in his first year as head coach of the Tennessee Vols football team. National Signing Day is today, meaning he will have his first full class ever at UT.

Our morning update on Rocky Top will provide an update on the day before diving into a full primer on it with another post. Beyond football recruiting, though, we’ve got continuing coverage of a huge basketball win to bring you from Tuesday night.

SEC recognition in track and field and national recognition in softball also make news, and we’ll touch on both of those. Let’s start this morning, though, with the football recruiting news and the men’s basketball recap.

National Signing Day underway – Ryan Callahan, GoVols247

Most of the work was done by the Early Signing Period, and the Tennessee Vols football team enters National Signing Day with 21 commitments, 20 of whom have already signed. They still have some targets on this final day, though.

The Vols also have one transfer commitment — offensive lineman Gerald Mincey, a Florida transfer — who joined them last month as a mid-term enrollee.

Tennessee recently has been involved with only a few Class of 2022 prospects, but the Vols still are expected to add at least one player to their class on National Signing Day.

Rick Barnes, players talk Texas A&M – Ben McKee, VolQuest

After an awful offensive performance in a 52-51 loss at the Texas Longhorns last Saturday, the Tennessee Vols men’s basketball team rebounded to beat the Texas A&M Aggies 90-80 on Tuesday. Rick Barnes, Josiah-Jordan James and Olivier Nkamhoua spoke afterward. Barnes discussed the improvement in his offense. Here’s a bit of what he said.

“We had better ball movement, I think we played with more speed. Not just speed getting the ball down the floor, speed in the half court, moving the ball, and cutting. We spread it out a little bit. I thought for the most part, we took open shots.”

Nkamhoua, who had 15 points, seven rebounds and three blocks, talked about his play. Here’s how he described it.

“Every game, I try to figure it out, try to get better at it, try to find where my niche is and try to help my team in everywhere I can. Today, I got some shots and you know, I took my shots.”

James, who had five steals and 14 points, talked about being a leader on the team. Here’s what he said on that front.

“We know our roles, but we push each other day in and day out. Even if it’s the guards playing against the guards, or the posts playing against the posts, I think we get better in practice day in and day out.”

Favour Ashe recognized by SEC – SECSports

On the heels of the Tennessee Vols indoor track and field program’s strong showing at an event hosted by the Clemson Tigers this past weekend, Favour Ashe is earning recognition from the Southeastern Conference for his performance. Ashe earned SEC Men’s Freshman of the Week.

Tennessee’s Favour Ashe set the fastest 60m time of the day at 6.58 in the Bob Pollock Meet to catapult him to fourth all-time in Tennessee history. His time leads the SEC this season and is fifth in the nation. He also ranks 13th in the world and is second in the world for U20.

Two Lady Vols named softball preseason All-Americans – D1Softball.com

Junior outfielder Kiki Milloy and senior pitcher Ashley Rogers of the Tennessee Lady Vols softball team were named D1Softball Preseason All-Americans. Milloy earned First Team, and Rogers earned Second Team.

Five schools have two representatives: Alabama, Florida, Florida State, Tennessee and Washington. The SEC leads all conferences with five players on the first team and 10 All-Americans overall.