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Lady Vols Earn WBCA Academic Special Mention

Kellie Harper’s Tennessee
program was one of 29
NCAA Power Five schools,
including only five from the
Southeastern Conference, to
earn academic recognition
from the Women’s Basketball
Coaches Association.
The Lady Vols earned
“Special Mention” status for
their collective 3.048 grade
point average as part of the
WBCA’s Academic Team
Honor Roll released this
week. Earlier this season,
the UT women placed nine
members of their 15-player
roster on the SEC Academic
Honor Roll. The UT women’s
program continues to
reflect Harper’s commitment
to pursuing and achieving
excellence on the court and
in the classroom. Her squads
consistently rank among the
SEC’s and nation’s leaders
in grade point average and
percentage of student-athletes
on academic honor
rolls. On the court, Harper is
one of only seven coaches to
lead her team to the NCAA
Sweet 16 in each of the past
two seasons and one of only
two to post top-three SEC
finishes in each of the past
four years. She also helped
Tennessee become the only
school featuring two different
coaches with players being
drafted in the WNBA first
round in three consecutive
seasons (Harper, 2021-23),
tying the late Pat Summitt’s
achievement from 2001-03.
The WBCA Academic Top
25 recognizes NCAA Division
I, II and III, NAIA and
two-year college women’s
basketball teams across the
nation that carry the highest
combined GPAs inclusive of
all student-athletes on their
rosters for the entire season.
The 2022-23 season is the
28th in which the WBCA
has compiled the honor rolls.
“The WBCA is pleased to
recognize those women’s
basketball programs that
have committed themselves
to excellence on the court
and in the classroom,” said
WBCA Executive Director
Danielle Donehew. “The
119 teams we honor
this year strive to achieve
all-around success and we
commend their efforts.

Joe Milton III Tabbed To
Maxwell Award Watch
The Maxwell Football
Club announced Monday
that Tennessee redshirt
senior quarterback
Joe Milton III is one of
85 players named to its
watch list for the 87th
Maxwell Award, presented
annually to the
most outstanding player
in college football.
The strong-armed signal
caller from Pahokee,
Florida, enters his sixth
collegiate season and
third at Tennessee
in 2023. Serving as Tennessee’s
quarterback last fall,
Milton was thrust into
action as the starter in
the final two games of
the 2022 campaign. He
engineered the Tennessee
offense to a 56-0
victory at Vanderbilt
to close out the regular
season before capping
the year with an MVP
performance in the Capital
One Orange Bowl as
the Vols took down No.
7 Clemson, 31-14. Milton
was marvelous in
Miami Gardens, firing
19-of-28 passes for 251
yards and a career-high
tying three touchdowns
to lead UT to its first
New Year’s Six bowl
victory during the College
Football Playoff
era (2014-present). The
win punctuated Tennessee’s
first 11-win season
since 2001 and first
win in the Orange Bowl
since defeating Oklahoma
in 1939. The veteran
quarterback has made
17 appearances for Tennessee
with four starts
over the past two seasons,
and he finished the
2022 campaign completing
53-of-82 (.650)
passes for 971 yards and
10 touchdowns with no
interceptions. Of the
114 FBS quarterbacks
to throw 10 or more
touchdowns last year,
Milton was the only one
to have zero picks.
Semifinalists for the
Maxwell Award will
be announced Nov. 13,
2023, while the three
finalists for the Maxwell
Award will be unveiled
Nov. 28, 2023.
The winner of the 87th
Maxwell Award will be
announced as part of
the ESPN Home Depot
College Football
Awards Show held on
Dec. 7, 2023. The formal
presentation of the
Maxwell Award will be
made at the Maxwell
Football Club Awards in
March 2024. The Maxwell
Award is a member
of the National College
Football Awards
Association (NCFAA),
which encompasses
college football’s most
prestigious awards. The
NCFAA’s 24 awards
have honored more than
900 recipients since
1935. This season, 12
NCFAA awards will
honor national players
of the week each Tuesday.
Sixteen NCFAA
members are unveiling
preseason watch lists
over a two-week period
as the association
spearheads a coordinated
effort to promote
each award’s preseason
candidates. Following
is the remaining 2023
preseason watch list
Thursday, Aug. 10: Butkus
Award/Paycom Jim
Thorpe Award
Friday, Aug. 11: Walter
Camp Award
Monday, Aug. 14: Bednarik
2023 Tennessee Football
Preseason Honors
Sr. DE Tyler Baron
All-SEC Fourth Team
Sr. LB Aaron Beasley
All-SEC Third Team
Sr. OL Cooper Mays
All-SEC Third Team
All-SEC Fourth Team
(Athlon, Phil Steele)
Sr. WR Bru McCoy
All-SEC Second Team
(Athlon, Media, Phil
Sr. QB Joe Milton III
Maxwell Award Watch
All-SEC Third Team
(Media, Phil Steele)
Sr. OL Javontez Spraggins
All-SEC Third Team
So. WR Squirrel White
All-SEC Fourth Team
Sr. RS Dee Williams
All-American Fourth
Team (Phil Steele)
All-SEC Third Team
(Athlon, Phil Steele)
Jr. RB Jaylen Wright
All-SEC Fourth Team

Fueled by an explosive
offensive attack, the
Tennessee basketball
team posted its second
win over the Lithuanian
U21 National Team in as
many days Saturday, collecting
a 116-90 victory
at Palacoverciano.
The Volunteers improved
to 2-0 during their threegame
exhibition tour of
Italy after previously defeating
the Lithuanian
squad, 97-57, on Friday.
Saturday saw the Big
Orange shoot .488 as a
team, including a .432
clip from 3-point range.
Tennessee drained 16 triples,
with Santiago Vescovi
going 5-for-7 from
long range and Dalton
Knecht shooting 4-for-7.
Vescovi and Knecht
shared the team lead
with 19 points apiece,
while forwards Jonas
Aidoo and Tobe Awaka
each scored 16. Aidoo
added a team-high 11
rebounds to log a double-
double, and Awaka’s
night was highlighted by
a perfect shooting performance—
5-for-5 from the
field and 6-for-6 from the
free-throw line.
As a team, UT made 20
of 21 free-throw attempts
Saturday, with eight different
players hitting
from the foul line.
Redshirt freshman guard
Freddie Dilione V built
off his stellar showing on
Friday with a 10-point,
10-assist double-double
off the bench Saturday.
Jordan Gainey finished
with 13 points, and Josiah-
Jordan James added
10 to go along with five
In the fourth quarter,
Tennessee reserves Colin
Coyne, Grant Hurst and
Kaylan Makan saw their
first action of the foreign
Nojus Kuliesa starred for
the Lithuanian U21 National
Team. He fired off
13 3-point attempts and
connected on seven of
them en route to a gamehigh
25 points. Fellow
guard Paulius Velutis
added 20 points on 8-for-
11 shooting.
Tennessee departs Florence
Sunday morning,
traveling to Rome via
train. On Monday, the
Vols conclude their summer
exhibition schedule
against Rome-based professional
team A.S. Stella
Azzurra at Stella Azzurra
Basketball Academy.
Tipoff is set for 7:30 p.m.
local / 1:30 p.m. ET, and
fans can access a live video
stream of the game by
purchasing a one-month
subscription to FloHoops

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