Tennessee’s Holly Warlick and Bashaara Graves doubled their SEC honors Tuesday.
Warlick was named SEC coach of the year by the Associated Press. Graves was named women’s basketball newcomer of the year on every ballot.
The league coaches voted Warlick coach of the year two weeks ago. Graves, a 6-foot-2 forward, was named freshman of the year by the coaches.
Tennessee junior guard Meighan Simmons, meanwhile, was named first team all-conference.
Kentucky guard A’dia Mathies was named player of the year by AP for the second consecutive season. Simmons and Mathies shared the honor from the SEC coaches.
Mathies also repeated as a unanimous first-team choice. She was joined on the squad by Simmons, Texas A&M center Kelsey Bone, LSU forward Theresa Plaisance, and Vanderbilt forward Tiffany Clarke.
Graves, who made the nine-player coaches’ first team, was named to the AP’s second team.
Warlick, who replaced Tennessee coaching legend Pat Summitt this season, is receiving consideration for national coaching honors. She was mentioned Monday night on ESPN during the NCAA tournament selection show.
WBCA Honors: Simmons and Graves were among 52 players receiving all-region honors by the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association. Graves was the only freshman on the list.
The two Lady Vols are eligible for the coaches’ 10-player All-America team, which will be announced April 6 at the Final Four in New Orleans.
Random Tweets: The Lady Vols took to social media Monday night to weigh in on the NCAA tournament after receiving a No. 2 seed in the Oklahoma City (Okla.) regional. The Lady Vols open against No. 15 Oral Roberts at approximately 1:30 p.m. on Saturday at Thompson-Boling Arena.
Warlick sounded like she couldn’t wait that long.
“Can we play tonight?” she tweeted. “Staff and team r ready! Let’s do it ... one game at a time.”
Senior forward Taber Spani tweeted, “At this time of year our coaches have prepared us and ‘furnished everything but guts’ ... its time to compete and leave my heart on the court.”
Strong Presence: Syracuse, which will play Creighton in the other first-round game in Knoxville on Saturday (11:20 a.m.), is one of eight Big East Conference teams in the 64-team field. Notre Dame and Connecticut both received No. 1 seeds.
Seven SEC teams are in the field. Tennessee and Kentucky are the high seeds at No, 2. For UT, it was the sixth No. 2 seed in program history. Kentucky is a No. 2 seed in the Bridgeport (Conn.) regional.
Tennessee is the lone SEC team in the Oklahoma City regional.
AP ALL-SEC TEAM
The Associated Press All-SEC women's basketball team released Tuesday, with name, school, position, height and class (u-unanimous choice to first team):
u-A'dia Mathies, Kentucky, G, 5-9, Sr.
Kelsey Bone, Texas A&M, C, 6-4, Jr.
Meighan Simmons, Tennessee, G , 5-9, Jr.
Theresa Plaisance, LSU, F, 6-5, Jr.
Tiffany Clarke, Vanderbilt, F, 6-0, Sr.
Jasmine Hassell, Georgia, F, 6-2, Sr.
Bashaara Graves, Tennessee, F-C, 6-2, Fr.
DaNesha Stallworth, Kentucky, C, 6-3, Jr.
Ieasia Walker, South Carolina, G, 5-8, Sr.
Hasina Muhammad, Auburn, G, 6-1, So.
Martha Alwal, Mississippi State, C, 6-4, So.; Jaterra Bonds, Florida, G, 5-7, Jr.; Kristi Bellock, Texas A&M, F, 6-1, Sr.; Jennifer George, Florida, F, 6-0, Sr.; Jasmine James, Georgia, G, 5-9, Sr.; Jasmine Lister, Vanderbilt, G, 5-4, Jr.; Adrienne Pratcher, Texas A&M, G, 5-7, Sr.; Adrienne Webb, LSU, G, 5-9, Sr.; Aleighsa Welch, South Carolina, F. 6-0, So.
PLAYER OF THE YEAR [--] A'dia Mathies, Kentucky
COACH OF THE YEAR [--] Holly Warlick, Tennessee
NEWCOMER OF THE YEAR [--] Bashaara Graves, Tennessee