Knoxville, TN – Tennessee Lady Volunteer basketball player, and former Clarksville High School stand-out Bashaara Graves has been named the SEC Freshman of the Year it was announced today.
Graves, a 6-2 forward/center, became the program’s eighth SEC Freshman of the Year. She joins Angie Bjorklund (2008), Tamika Catchings (1998), Bridgette Gordon (1986), Dena Head (1989), Chamique Holdsclaw (1996), Candace Parker (2006) and Meighan Simmons (2011). She also follows the path of Catchings, Gordon, Holdsclaw and Parker as the only five Tennessee rookies to make the Coaches All-SEC First Team.Not only has Graves been the top SEC freshman in scoring (14.3), rebounding (8.5) and field goal percentage (51.2), she stood out among all players in the league. She ranks fourth in rebounding and field goal percentage and is eighth in scoring through 29 contests and rates among the nation’s top freshmen in all three categories.
Additionally, Graves ranks third overall in the SEC in double-doubles this season with nine, impressively posting double-figures points and rebounds totals against top-three teams Notre Dame and Stanford. She has started 28 of 29 games for Tennessee this season and has scored in double figures 26 times. Currently, Graves has the No. 3 rebounding average and No. 5 scoring average among all freshmen who’ve played at Tennessee.
“Bashaara showed up ready to work from day one, and she has continued to display that important characteristic all season long,” Warlick said. “She has battled inside for us all year and put in a lot of minutes against some very talented players in this league and around the country. You certainly don’t find that kind of consistent production from a freshman very often, and it became obvious fairly quickly that she was going to be one of those players for us.”