Nov. 26, 2013
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. -- Three Lady Vols have been named to the Naismith Trophy Early Season Watch List. Included in the nation's top-50 players are sophomore Bashaara Graves, junior Ariel Massengale and senior Meighan Simmons.
Tennessee is one of only four schools with three or more players on the list.
Five games into the season, these Lady Vols have already posted impressive stats which secured their spot on the watch list. Graves, a 6-foot-2 forward from Clarksville, Tenn., is averaging 12.2 points per game and 9.6 rebounds per contest. She had a stellar performance against Georgia Tech on Nov. 17, scoring 23 points and 18 rebounds. Of those 18, 14 were offensive rebounds, enabling Graves to set a Lady Vol record.
Massengale has led the Tennessee women through their first five games, recording a career-high 20 points and seven assists against North Carolina and 16 points against Chattanooga. Those games, along with her performance against Georgia Tech helped secure her the honor of being named SEC Player of the Week for the week of Nov. 11-18 as well as NCAA Women's Basketball Player of the Week during the same time frame.
Simmons, who was chosen as 2014 media preseason SEC Player of the Year, 2014 media and coaches first-team All-SEC, Wooden Award Preseason Top-30 and 2014 "Wade Watch List," just to name a few, also was chosen as one of the top-50 for the Naismith Watch List. Simmons has averaged 10.8 points per game through five games, scoring in double figures in her past three contests.
All three Lady Vols who were named to the list have started all five games for No. 3/4 Tennessee.
The Lady Vols traveled Tuesday to Freeport, Bahamas, where the team will play Virginia on Thanksgiving Day at 2 p.m. ET, followed by the finals, Friday, Nov. 29, either at 8 p.m. for the championship game, or at 5:45 p.m. for the third-place contest.
Tennessee will either face SMU or Kansas State Friday. Both UT games during the tournament will be broadcast on the radio by the Lady Vol Network with a stream of that audio available on UTSports.com.