Barnes, Williams headline honors for the hoop Vols
As the Tennessee basketball team heads into post season play Friday in St. Louis, they will do some with some individual hardware.
On Tuesday, head coach Rick Barnes was named the SEC's coach of the year by the SEC coaches. Sophomore forward Grant Williams was named the SEC's player of the year. Williams is the 9th different Vol to win a conference player of the year honor.
He and Bernard King are the only Vols to win it as underclassmen.
Williams, who averaged 16.1 points a game in conference play, wasn't the only Vol to be recognized. Guard Lamonte Turner was named the co-6th man of the year sharing the award with Missouri's Jontay Porter. Turner off the bench is the third leading scorer for the Vols and 8 times this season the sophomore guard has scored 15 points are more.
Admiral Schofield, who was named the SEC Player of the Week, has been the Vols most productive player the last two weeks and hit the game winner Saturday against Georgia was named second team All-SEC by the coaches. Schofield in the last four games has scored 88 points on 33 of 65 from the field to go with 25 rebounds and 5 assists.
Barnes was asked Monday his thoughts on individual honors including those for him and Barnes quickly made it was clear it was a reward for the entire program.
"I've always believed that those awards should go to the teams that have had success. There will be a couple of players that we know that are game planned for every night, and those are guys that will get the awards, and the conference does a good job with that. But I can tell you this, any kind of individual award is a byproduct of a staff and of a program. That's why I've never been really big on individual awards, because I think that this is a team sport, but when players do get recognized, most of the time it's because they've worked hard. You are happy for them, but I'd always be disappointed if they didn't allude to the fact that their success has to do with people like Chad Newman, Garrett Medenwald, the people that help us all. Any individual award really is a staff award and a team award, and that's the way it should be."
Tennessee will travel to St. Louis on Wednesday and open tournament play Friday at 7pm est. agains the winner of the LSU-Mississippi State Thursday evening.