#24 Tennessee Women's Basketball 2019-2020 Preview

Tennessee Lady Vols
Overall Rank: #24
Conference Rank: #5 SEC
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Kellie Harper takes over for Holly Warlick as Harper comes back to Knoxville after taking Missouri State to the Sweet 16 last season with wins over DePaul and Iowa State. Harper is one of the best point guards to have ever played for legendary Tennessee head coach Pat Summitt, so she gets the history, culture, and the responsibility that comes with leading the Lady Vols. Moreover, she gets to be the second head coach after Summitt, which should help because it’s never easy being the first coach to succeed a legend like Holly Warlick had to do.
2018-19 Record: 19-13, 7-9
2018-19 Postseason: NCAA
Coach: Kellie Harper
Coach Record: 0-0 at Tennessee, 285-207 overall
Key Departed Players (starters in bold)
Evina Westbrook, Guard 14.0 ppg
Meme Jackson, Guard/Forward, 10.8 ppg
Cheridene Green, Forward, 9.0 ppg
Key Returning Players (starters in bold)
Rennia Davis, Junior, Guard/Forward, 14.9 ppg
Zaay Green, Sophomore, Guard, 9.6 ppg
Kasiyahna Kushkituah, Junior, Center, 4.8 ppg
Rae Burrell, Sophomore, Guard/Forward, 3.6 ppg
Jazmine Massengill, Sophomore, Guard, 3.4 ppg
Kamera Harris, Senior, Forward, 0.6 ppg
Key New Players
Jesse Rennie, Freshman, Guard
Emily Saunders, Freshman, Center
Tamari Key, Freshman, Center
Jordan Horston, Freshman, Guard
Jaiden McCoy, Redshirt Junior, Forward
Lou Brown, Redshirt Senior, Forward
There is a lot to cleanup for Coach Harper as she takes on her second power five coaching job after being let go after five years at NC State. It will be interesting to see what she has learned as a coach from the NC State and Missouri State stints. The defense has got to be addressed as Tennessee allowed almost 70 points per game and teams to shoot 41.5 percent from the floor last year. Rennia Davis and Zaay Green are the two returning starters and they will have to carry a young, talented group of newcomers in the early stages of the season. Davis averaged 14.9 points per game and just under eight rebounds as well. Green had an excellent freshman season where she averaged just under ten points per game and should see those numbers rise a bit with increased scoring opportunities. Notre Dame, Texas, Stanford, and UConn highlight the nonconference schedule for the Lady Vols. The SEC schedule is tough but not impossible as Tennessee only has to play Mississippi State and South Carolina once and they avoid having to go to Starkville in the regular season. If the Lady Vols can clean things up defensively and buy into Coach Harper’s philosophy, you should see a 20 plus win season and a return trip to the NCAA Tournament.
Projected Postseason Tournament: NCAA
By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 74.6 (37th in nation, 3rd in conference)
Scoring Defense: 69.1 (271, 11)
Field-Goal Percentage: 43.0 (57, 6)
Field-Goal Defense: 41.5 (252, 11)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 5.2 (232, 9)
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 32.5 (122, 7)
Free-Throw Percentage: 69.5 (186, 9)
Rebound Margin: 8.6 (12, 2)
Assists Per Game: 14.2 (103, 3)
Turnovers Per Game: 15.9 (193, 9)
Madness 2019 Women’s Basketball Recruit Rankings:
#2 Jordan Horston
#50 Tamari Key
#106 Emily Saunders