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USA TODAY feature on Isabelle Harrison

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Isabelle Harrison is in Uncasville, Connecticut for tonight's WNBA Draft. ESPN2 will televise the first round at 7 p.m., while ESPN3 will carry the second and third rounds starting at 8 p.m. 

Harrison's fellow UT seniors Cierra Burdick and Ariel Massengale won't be at the draft, but they'll be anxiously awaiting their futures as well.

USA TODAY writer Nina Mandell profiled Harrison in a feature in advance of the draft.

Happy Birthday - April 6

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On April 6 we're celebrating a pair of birthdays on Rocky Top! One of the newest members of the Big Orange family, football's Kyle Oliver, is blowing out the candles today, as is former women's basketball standout Kamiko Williams!

Oliver is an incoming freshman who committed to Tennessee on National Signing Day back on Feb. 4. He is a 6-4, 226-pound tight end who will arrive in Knoxville with a three-star rating in tow. He lettered in football at Oakland High School in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, and logged 102 receptions for 1,474 yards and five touchdowns in his three-year prep career. Born this day in 1997, Oliver turns 18 years old today.



Williams graduated from UT in 2013 after a four-year career on the hardwood for the Lady Vols. The guard appeared in 128 games over her four-year career, averaging 5.5 points, 2.9 rebounds, and 1.8 assists per game. During her senior year, she averaged 11.8 points and 3.5 steals per contest over Tennessee's NCAA Tournament run to the Elite Eight. Following the 2012-13 season, Williams was drafted by the WNBA's New York Liberty with the 15th overall pick. She did not play in 2014 after suffering a torn ACL. Williams is 24 years old today.



Happy birthday Kyle and Kamiko!



UT-UM Game Most Viewed NCAA Elite Eight Contest

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According to ESPN, the network's NCAA Women's Basketball Championship Elite Eight broadcast of the Tennessee-Maryland game in Spokane on Monday night was the most-viewed of the four regional finals with 1,540,000 average viewers.

In fact, it was the most viewed NCAA Women's Elite Eight game since 2012, when a Tennessee-Baylor match-up in what turned out to be Pat Summitt's final game as head coach averaged 1,654,000 viewers.

Knoxville topped all markets for Monday night's Tennessee-Maryland match-up, averaging a 12.9 rating, the highest rating this season for a women's college basketball game in the market. Hartford-New Haven was second with a 5.9 rating, followed by Baltimore (5.8), Nashville (5.0), Dayton (2.9), Washington, DC (2.5) and Memphis (2.2).   

Happy Birthday - March 17

We've got five Big Orange birthdays to celebrate on this St. Patrick's Day 2015! Today, we're wishing a happy birthday to football linebackers coach Tommy Thigpen as well as VFLs Cordarrelle Patterson and Robert Lee Suffridge. Also, today is the birthday of women's basketball's Bashaara Graves and soccer's Carlyn Baldwin

Coach Thigpen is heading into his third year at linebackers coach at the University of Tennessee. He has played and coached in seven bowl games over his career, including the Vols' 2015 Tax Slayer Bowl victory back in January. He has been considered one of the top recruiters in the country on multiple occasions, named National Recruiter of the Year by Rivals.com back in 2013. 

Tommy Thigpen

A current wideout for the Minnesota Vikings, Patterson played just one season for Tennessee back in 2012 but made an immediate and memorable impact. In 12 starts, he racked up a school-record 1,858 all-purpose yards and ranked first in the SEC. He notched 10 total touchdowns on the year, doing so in four different ways: receiving, rushing, kick return, and punt return. He was selected as the 29th overall pick of the 2013 NFL Draft by the Minnesota Vikings. 



Bob Suffridge played football at UT from 1938-40 and collected All-America honors in all three years. A two-way player, "Suff" was dominant on both sides of the ball and helped the Volunteers to a 30-0 record during his time on Rocky Top. He was drafted by the Pittsburgh Steelers in 1941, but his professional career was shortened due to his service in the U.S. Navy during World War II. Suffridge was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1961.

Bob Suffridge

A junior from Clarksville, Tennessee, Graves and her Lady Vol teammates are gearing up for another NCAA Tournament run when they face Boise State at Thompson-Boling Arena on Saturday. This season, Graves is averaging 10.1 points per game to go along with 6.8 boards per contest. She has seven double-doubles to her  name in 2014-15 and became the 40th Lady Vol to surpass 1,000 career points when she scored 17 in a win over Mississippi State.

Bashaara  Graves

A midfielder from Oakton, Virginia, Baldwin played in 21 games and saw 20 starts as a true freshman in 2014. She scored one goal and notched two assists on the season. Prior to arriving at UT, she traveled with the U.S. Under-20 Women's National Team to the 2014 FIFA U-20 Women's World Cup -- one of three incoming college freshmen to be named to the team.

Carlyn Baldwin


Happy Birthday - March 13

On this Friday the 13th of March we've got five, count 'em, five birthdays to celebrate on Rocky Top. Current student athletes Candace Flemmings (rowing), Molly Hannis (women's swimming and diving), and Gustav Aberg Lejdstrom (men's swimming and diving) will each be blowing out the candles today, as will VFLs Tonya Edwards (women's basketball) and David Martin (football). 

Flemmings is a true freshman from Cary, North Carolina, and is a member of UT's novice squad. She attended Green Hope High School where she played basketball and ran track. She is 19 years old today.

Candace Flemmings

One of the senior leaders on the women's swimming and diving squad, Hannis has qualified for this month's NCAA Women's Swimming & Diving Championships. She has clocked a pair of top-three times nationally this season after earning two silver medals at the 2015 SEC Championships in late February. She ranks first in the country in the 100 breaststroke (58.42) after winning the gold medal in Greensboro last December at USA Swimming Winter Nationals and ranks third in the women's 200 breaststroke (2:06.98) after earning second place i the same pool the next night. She has collected 13 SEC medals over her storied career. Hannis is 23 years old today.

Molly Hannis

Aberg Lejdstrom is a junior from Helsinborg, Sweden. During this last season, he picked up a win in the 200 freestyle with a time of 1:44.24 to open the year at UNCW. At that same meet, he anchored the 200-yard medley relay team to a first-place finish. He earned three A final appearances at the Nike Cup in the 100 free, 200 free, and 100 fly. He turns 23 years old today. 

Gustav  Aberg Lejdstrom

Edwards played basketball for the Lady Vols from 1986-1990 under head coach Pat Summitt. She was a two-time national champion, helping the squad to national title in 1987 and 1989 and scored 1,309 points in her career. After her playing career, she went on to play professionally in Spain, Turkey, and Israel before returning to America to play in the American Basketball League. When the ABL folded, she was selected by the Minnesota Lynx in the 1999 WNBA draft. She also played with the Charlotte Sting and Phoenix Mercury in the WNBA. 

Tonya Edwards

Martin, a football VFL, played wide receiver at Tennessee from 1998-2000 before being selected by the Green Bay Packers in the 2001 NFL Draft. He would play 11 seasons in the league, including stops with the Miami Dolphins and Buffalo Bills, and amassed 152 catches for 1,519 receiving yards and 14 touchdowns. He returned to Knoxville in 2012 to accept his diploma from the University of Tennessee. 



Happy birthday, Candace, Molly, Gustav, Tonya, and David!


Happy Birthday - March 5

We have a trio of Big Orange birthdays to celebrate on this fifth day of March: football's Neiko Creamer, track and cross country's Caroline Duer, and women's basketball's Diamond DeShields!

A tight end, Creamer recently completed a redshirt season with Tennessee football -- his first with the program. Creamer came to Rocky Top from Wilmington, Delaware, as a three-star prospect at wideout. He was a second team all-state performer during his senior season. 

Neiko  Creamer

Duer recently wrapped up her junior seasons in both cross country and indoor track and field and is now setting her sights on her redshirt sophomore outdoor track campaign. The Greenville, South Carolina, native competed in six races for UT cross country this fall, notching a career-best 6K time at the NCAA South Regional (22:34.50) and a personal-best 5K time at the Bluegrass Invitational (18:56.30). During the indoor season, she established a new PR in the mile at the Tyson Invitational (5:11.23).

Caroline  Duer

A sophomore from Norcross, Georgia, DeShields is redshirting this season for Lady Vol basketball as per NCAA transfer rules. During her freshman season at North Carolina the 6-1 guard was named national freshman of the year and selected as an honorable mention All-American after averaging 18.0 ppg, 5.4 rpg, 2.6 apg, and 1.7 spg. She set four ACC freshman records, including points (648), field goals (248), and double-figure scoring games (32). 

Diamond DeShields

Happy birthday Neiko, Caroline, and Diamond!



Lady Vol Illustrated will hit the airwaves tonight at 7 p.m., on the Lady Vol Network. Lady Vol fans can tune in once a week for Lady Vols Illustrated, a weekly radio show featuring Lady Vol basketball Head Coach Holly Warlick, one women's basketball student-athlete and one other Lady Vol student-athlete or coach. The show is hosted by Voice of the Lady Vols Mickey Dearstone along with Knoxville News Sentinel sports writer Dan Fleser.

 

Tonight's Lady Vols Illustrated features head coach Holly Warlick and seniors Cierra Burdick, Ariel Massengale and Isabelle Harrison.

 

The program begins at 7 p.m. ET and fans can listen on 99.1 FM and 990 AM, as well as online at http://www.sportsradiownml.com/ or HERE on the Lady Vol Network. 

Warlick, Burdick To Speak On LVI



Lady Vol Illustrated will hit the airwaves tonight at 7 p.m., on the Lady Vol Network. Lady Vol fans can tune in once a week for Lady Vols Illustrated, a weekly radio show featuring Lady Vol basketball Head Coach Holly Warlick, one women's basketball student-athlete and one other Lady Vol student-athlete or coach. The show is hosted by Voice of the Lady Vols Mickey Dearstone along with Knoxville News Sentinel sports writer Dan Fleser.

 

Tonight's Lady Vols Illustrated features head coach Holly Warlick, hoops senior Cierra Burdick and head golf coach Judi Pavon.

 

The program begins at 7 p.m. ET and fans can listen on 99.1 FM and 990 AM, as well as online at http://www.sportsradiownml.com/ or HERE on the Lady Vol Network. 

Get To Know The Real Diamond DeShields

Kayla Johnson of ESPN spent a weekend in Knoxville following the life of sophomore basketball player Diamond DeShields. DeShields is sitting out this basketball season due to NCAA transfer rules. She goes in-depth about her decision to attend the school that always had her heart, Tennessee.

Read the full story HERE

Media preview

The Seattle Storm of the WNBA announced today the signing of former Lady Vol guard Meighan Simmons. 

Simmons was drafted 26th overall to the NY Liberty in the 2014 WNBA Draft. She appeared in all three preseason games, averaging 2.7 points and 1.3 rebounds. As an All-American at Tennessee, she was a finalist for the National Player of the Year Award as a senior. She was the fifth Lady Vol in school history to finish her career with over 2,000 career points. 

Read the full release HERE

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