Bashaara Graves named SEC freshman of week

Tennessee's Bashaara Graves wasted no time in earning her first SEC honor.

The 6-foot-2 women's basketball forward was named the conference's freshman of the week Monday after debuting with two strong performances.

Graves made her first start on Sunday and made the most of it, leading UT with 18 points and 12 rebounds in a 71-54 victory at Georgia Tech. She became the 20th freshman in program history to record a double-double. Graves had seven offensive rebounds, which led to five of her nine baskets. She also gathered four steals.

"Her toughness was what was most impressive," Tech coach MaChelle Joseph said. "She went after every ball. That's one of the things I've been talking to our freshmen about."

Graves had 14 points and eight rebounds in Friday's 80-71 loss at Chattanooga. Through two games, she leads Tennessee in scoring (16 points per game) and rebounding (10 rpg).

UT's home opener is Thursday versus Rice.

Ranking: Despite the loss to Chattanooga, Tennessee stayed in the Associated Press' weekly top 25 poll, dropping four spots to No. 24. UT has been ranked every week since week No. 14 of the 1984-85 season.

Chattanooga was among the unranked teams receiving votes.

Freshman Report: Graves and Andraya Carter became the second freshman duo Sunday to start for UT in as many seasons. Cierra Burdick and Ariel Massengale started Feb. 2 of last season versus South Carolina.

Graves and fellow freshman Jasmine Jones combined for 23 of UT's 48 rebounds against Georgia Tech. Carter played a team-high 36 minutes.

Recruiting: Tennessee apparently still is in the running for guard Tyler Scaife from Little Rock, Ark.

Scaife, the lone remaining uncommitted recruit from the Class of 2013 who visited Tennessee this fall, is expected to announce her decision on Friday. Rutgers and UT are believed to be the frontrunners for Scaife, who's ranked No. 9 in the class by ESPN HoopGurlz.

Notebook: Burdick set single-game career highs for points (16), field goals (six) and 3-pointers (three) against Georgia Tech. ... Tennessee held Tech scoreless for more than nine minutes in the second half. ... Point guards Carter and Ariel Massengale, who occasionally played together on Sunday, shared equally in combining for eight assists and two turnovers.

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Comments » 13

snowpeapod#263184 writes:

We have three Freshmen in this class who have really distinguished themselves in the early going. If we should be fortunate to pick up Scaife with the three who have already committed we should be good/great for years to come. GO LADY VOLS !!!!!

pcorange writes:

Good to see them rebound from the UTC game so well. Congrats to Graves on her honor.

VFL70 writes:

Graves looks like a player.

tnluv2play writes:

Congratulations, Bashara! It's going to be a lot of fun watching this class.

Millisa writes:

Congrats Bashara :) :) :)

underthehill writes:

I expect Burdick to be the go to player in clutch situations..she has excellent shooting touch and range...

Volinflan writes:

In comments on the Chattanooga game I said Graves was the best player on the team, that night. Maybe I should have dropped "that night". Even the other players says "she's a beast". Congratulations to her achievement, the first of many, many I'm sure.

Other comments on earlier posts put the Lady Vols proposed recruitment list in the top few. With the addition of Scaife I would agree with that. Right now, just going on "commitments" looks like North Caroling, Duke and Notre Dame would be 1 - 3. If Scaife joins Russell, Reynolds and Tucker I'd say the Lady Vols Vault to the top. Go gett'em Holly, Kyra and Jolette!

maxvolfan#217855 writes:

Tyler Scaife is the truth. I'm going out on a limb and saying she's better than Strickland was as a freshman and soph. We need impact girls that are unstoppable any given night to compete in the upcoming years. We need girls that don't need coached up like Graves. Don't need games off or just roll with the punches. I like Graves drive, I like Harrison's hustle and will, I like Jasmines Jones shot and Burdick. This is a good young team that will dominate very soon. With Russell, Reynolds and Scaife wow!! They will be hard to beat! A little surprised Tyler had Rutgers. I was thinking LSU. Glad we are still in the mix. I say she likes Orange

butch31 writes:

I couldn't be happier for both UT and Bashaara, I hope this type of level of play continues throughout the season.

madrigal writes:

Good for Bashaara! She is the real deal. I think this edition of the Lady Vols will be just fine now that they are getting their feet under them.

Mama_Also_Calls_Me_Precious writes:

Anybody hear anymore on Jasmine Phillips? She hasn't played yet and I'm wondering how much longer she will be out. She could prove to be one of the most explosive players they have, so I'm excited to see her play. And yes, Graves will be a future AA, and Burdick should be as well. Also, Massengale and Carter on the floor together is fun to watch..they run the offense very well..

Volinflan writes:

in response to Mama_Also_Calls_Me_Precious:

Anybody hear anymore on Jasmine Phillips? She hasn't played yet and I'm wondering how much longer she will be out. She could prove to be one of the most explosive players they have, so I'm excited to see her play. And yes, Graves will be a future AA, and Burdick should be as well. Also, Massengale and Carter on the floor together is fun to watch..they run the offense very well..

I haven't seen an update on Phillips. What makes us think she will be explosive? I just don't know much about her. I do think that if she can come in as a rootin, tootin, shootin No. 2 guard she will get a lot of playing time (IMHO of course). After the first four games, counting the exhibition games, there is room for improvement on outside shooting. We really need a dead-eye three point shooter. Of course every team does. Burdick has done well but should she be outside shooting the three?

maxvolfan#217855 writes:

Scout: watching the UK Baylor game and I don't see a very good at least a #6 team in UK. I know its Baylor they are playing but they are looking very average to me. I like our potential with a deep bench of talent in the SEC. And oh yeah its not Griner you have to worry about for Baylor . It's that feisty ice in her vein O.Sims. She runs that team.
Kara Lawson is hot!

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