Vols dominate SEC basketball coaches postseason awards, Rick Barnes named coach of the year
The Tennessee Vols swept Coach of the Year, Player of the Year, and Sixth Man of the Year at the SEC Men's Basketball postseason awards Tuesday.
(UTSports.com)- Tennessee swept Coach of the Year, Player of the Year and Sixth Man of the Year, as the Southeastern Conference announced its men's basketball postseason awards Tuesday.
A pair of Volunteers also were named to the coaches' All-SEC Teams.
Tennessee won the 2018 SEC Championship with a 13-5 record in league play despite being picked in the preseason (by a panel of media) to finish 13th in the 14-team league.
In just his third year leading the Vols, head coach Rick Barnes took the Big Orange from 16 total wins a year ago to 23 regular-season victories this season. Tennessee's roster was one of the youngest in the country, but it navigated one of the nation's most difficult schedules—winning 10 games away from home—and swept rivals Kentucky, Florida and Vanderbilt. His SEC Coach of the Year award marks just the ninth time the honor has gone to Tennessee's head coach. Barnes has now received six career conference Coach of the Year honors (with three different leagues).
The Volunteers are bound for the NCAA Tournament later this month, when Barnes will become just the 13th head coach ever to lead four different Division I programs to the Big Dance (Providence, Clemson, Texas and Tennessee).
Sophomore forward Grant Williams was named the SEC Player of the Year after leading the Big Orange in scoring during league play with 16.1 points per game. Including Williams, nine different Vols have now combined to win 12 SEC Player of the Year awards. Williams joins Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Famer Bernard King as the only Vols to earn that distinction as underclassmen.
The league's head coaches clearly took notice of sophomore guard Lamonte Turner's knack for explosive scoring bursts and clutch shooting, as the Florence, Alabama, native was named SEC Co-Sixth Man of the Year. He shares the award with Missouri's Jontay Porter. Turner has not started a game this season, but he has come off the bench to score 15 or more points eight times. He is the team's third-leading scorer both overall (10.6 ppg) and in SEC play (11.4 ppg), and he has held or shared the team lead in scoring eight times this season. Turner had a pair of 25-point performances in SEC play (vs. Auburn and at South Carolina).
Rounding out Tennessee's SEC honors haul for 2018 is junior Admiral Schofield, who was selected as a second-team All-SEC performer after switching from a frontcourt role as an underclassman to a starter on the wing this season. In conference play, Schofield led the Vols in minutes played (30.4 mpg) and rebounding (6.7 rpg) while ranking second on the squad in scoring (13.7 ppg). He scored in double figures in 15 of UT's 18 SEC contests, including five 20-point performances.
In SEC play this season, the Zion, Illinois, native ranked among the league's top 10 in total rebounding (7th, 6.7 rpg), defensive rebounding (7th, 4.8 drpg) and field-goal percentage (7th, .469).