Lady Vols' Meighan Simmons, Bashaara Graves sweep weekly SEC honors

Tennessee's Meighan Simmons tries to move the ball under pressure from North Carolina's Antoinette Bannister at Thompson-Boling Arena in Knoxville, Sunday, Dec. 2, 2012. Tennessee won the game 102-57. Simmons led the night with 33 points.(AMY SMOTHERMAN BURGESS/NEWS SENTINEL)

Photo by Amy Smotherman Burgess

Tennessee's Meighan Simmons tries to move the ball under pressure from North Carolina's Antoinette Bannister at Thompson-Boling Arena in Knoxville, Sunday, Dec. 2, 2012. Tennessee won the game 102-57. Simmons led the night with 33 points.(AMY SMOTHERMAN BURGESS/NEWS SENTINEL)

Know your Lady Vols: Ariel Massengale

Tennessee’s Meighan Simmons and Bashaara Graves swept the SEC’s weekly honors for women’s basketball.

Simmons, who had the highest point total in the conference this season with 33 against North Carolina on Sunday, was named the player of the week.

Graves, who averaged 13 points and 10 rebounds per game in two victories, was named freshman of the week for the second time this season.

Simmons, the 5-foot-9 junior guard, shot 12-for-22 from the floor in the 102-57 victory over the Tar Heels, setting a career scoring high and surpassing the 1,000-point career milestone. She also had six rebounds, four assists and three steals.

In last Wednesday’s 88-81 overtime victory over Middle Tennessee State, Simmons scored 19 points and added four rebounds, three assists and two steals.

For the season, she’s first in the conference in scoring (17.9 points per game) and free-throw percentage (91.3).

Graves’ big game of the week was 15 points and 12 rebounds versus MTSU. She scored 11 and had eight rebounds against North Carolina.

The 6-foot-2 forward is the league’s top freshman in terms of scoring (15.1 ppg), rebounding (7.9 rpg) and field goal percentage (53.2).

Moving Up: Tennessee moved up two spots to No. 14 in the Associated Press’ weekly top 25 poll.

Going by this week’s poll, Tennessee’s next three games are as follows: At No. 12 Texas on Dec. 16, at No. 3 Baylor on Dec. 18 and hosting No. 1 Stanford on Dec. 22.

North Carolina’s victory against then-No. 15 Ohio State last Wednesday apparently carried more weight with the voters than its loss to the Lady Vols. The Tar Heels moved up a spot to No. 21.

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Comments » 17

SoddyVol writes:

So NC moved up a spot to #21. If they are that good, then Tenn must be even better than a #14. They sure have a chance to prove so with playing three teams ranked above them the next 3 games. I will be a little nervous watching those games.

10seVol85_Part_Deux writes:

Well, at least the Lady Vols get an easy schedule for December. Merry Christmas, ladies.

vettefool writes:

winning one of these games, utx probably, would be a good accomplishment. we have always played stanford well at home, so there is hope for that game. baylor, uh don't think so.

golfman1975 writes:

Three tough games in a row...but that is why we are always tough in the NCAA tournament.

maxvolfan#217855 writes:

Every team wants a good look at Baylor so they can try to prepare come tourney time. Still the team to beat. We will have to beat Griner down the court on a few fast breaksand disrupt Sims game to have a chance. Gotta shoot better than 40%

AllforTenn writes:

Ohio State is always overrated, goes into the NCAA tournament as a rather high seed then fizzles. Apparently AP writers are very fond of them.

golfman1975 writes:

in response to AllforTenn:

Ohio State is always overrated, goes into the NCAA tournament as a rather high seed then fizzles. Apparently AP writers are very fond of them.

Good thought!
Much like John Adams...AP thinks they are King phooey on Turd Island.

Volinflan writes:

While reading this thread I took a few minutes to watch the Lady Missiouri team play UT Martin. Horrible basketball - bunch of three point shooters doing set shots. Reminded me of the half court 3 on 3 game of the 50S. So how does this expanded conference work? Now instead of playing home and home angainst Kentucky, the Lady Vols will have to play at Missiouri in front of all four hundred of their fans? Can't wait!

SummittsCourt writes:

Congrats to the Lady Vols! Looking good!

ps11824 writes:

The thing about freshmen, they think they can beat anybody. That's a good thing. No fear attitude. There's absolutely NO REASON we can't. Takes hard work, heart and determination. Prepare for the best, beat the best, become the best.

maxvolfan#217855 writes:

This 3 team challenge will be a tell tell sign to see if we can be elite 8 finalist or big in the Big dance. Right now based off of inexperience we look like a sweet sixteen with a slight chance at the elite 8. A final four would be a huge accomplishment. I'm enjoying the season so far

ps11824 writes:

I guess we could improve tremendously between now and March. This stretch of our season would truly be a challenge for any one of the top 5 or 10-ranked teams. If we play hard and come away with the conviction that we left it all on the court, we won't need to sweat the small stuff. It's December. We shoot for a good SEC showing, the Kats & Dawgs & Dores; the Tigers & Gators & yes, the Gamehens. Those are ones we want to knock off for now. We'll deal with the Bears & Cardinal & Genos in the Big Dance.

johnlg00 writes:

in response to ps11824:

I guess we could improve tremendously between now and March. This stretch of our season would truly be a challenge for any one of the top 5 or 10-ranked teams. If we play hard and come away with the conviction that we left it all on the court, we won't need to sweat the small stuff. It's December. We shoot for a good SEC showing, the Kats & Dawgs & Dores; the Tigers & Gators & yes, the Gamehens. Those are ones we want to knock off for now. We'll deal with the Bears & Cardinal & Genos in the Big Dance.

That is, as usual, a very sensible attitude. Although we fans think the LVs were drastically underrated, the ones who did that had valid reasons. The coach is new--not all long-time assistants can succeed when in charge--and following a legend, a difficult task in itself. The team is young, with only three players with starting experience, none full-time and none in starring roles, except maybe Simmons. Finally, the general level of women's basketball seems to be improving all the time. Given all this, it is wise to temper expectations a bit. I think the gals will acquit themselves well all season, but they will go into several games yet as underdogs, specifically in at least two out of their next three games. Let's just enjoy the development of this team while looking forward to what they will be in coming years, when all these talented players will be more experienced and joined by even more talent.

SoddyVol writes:

The next three games, against proven tough competition, can help in the Vols development whether they win or lose as long as they have the right attitude. If they are unfortunate and lose one or two of those, I believe the current coaching staff has the ability to keep the team level headed about it. That said, I do believe with their ability and effort and head smarts, they can beat anyone on a given night.

Theo writes:

Great article - Thanks for the link.
Nice look into how current LV program is working. Also enjoyed the quick link interview with "Bee" Graves.
Thanks again.

maxvolfan#217855 writes:

@Theo I was surprised at how the conditioning changed so drastically. I hope it changed for the better because quickness and stamina is our strength this year not having a player over 6'3 with bulk. We'll need to be more athletic .

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