March 7, 2017
Announced Tuesday, on the eve of the 2017 SEC Men’s Basketball Tournament, Tennessee’s Robert Hubbs III and Grant Williams were voted onto All-SEC teams by the league’s coaches.
Senior guard Robert Hubbs III was named second Team All-SEC — the first all-conference nod of his career — while forward Grant Williams became the first Vol to pick up SEC All-Freshman team honors since Jarnell Stokes in 2012.
With Hubbs and Williams’ selections, Tennessee has now had at least one player appear among the postseason All-SEC teams — whether first team, second team or all-freshman — in 33 consecutive seasons.
The Vols’ senior leader, Hubbs was UT’s top scorer during the 2016-17 season, averaging a career-high 13.9 ppg. He tallied seven 20-point performances on the year, none more impressive than a 25-point, seven-rebound outburst in Tennessee’s 82-80 upset victory over No. 4 Kentucky in late January.
An efficient scorer, Hubbs shot 47.3 percent from the field on the season — good for the sixth-best field-goal percentage in the SEC. The Newbern, Tenn., native became the 48th Vol to join Tennessee’s 1,000-points club on Feb. 22 when he finished with 16 points against Vanderbilt.
Williams’ recognition comes after a true freshman campaign in which he ranked second on the team in scoring (12.8 ppg) while also pacing the Vols in both rebounding (6.0 rpg) and blocked shots (1.9 bpg). Standing just 6-5, Williams shattered the previous Tennessee freshman blocks record of 39, swatting 60 shots on the year. Williams is only the third Vol in history to tally 60 blocks in a season and currently ranks in a tie for second on UT’s single-season blocks list.
The Charlotte, N.C., native closed the regular season on what may have been his best stretch of basketball for the year, posting three double-doubles over Tennessee’s last four games. He averaged 12.8 points and 10.5 rebounds per game in that span and was a menace on the offensive glass, collecting 24 offensive boards over those four games. He finished the year with four double-double efforts and two 30-point performances to join Bernard King and Allan Houston as the only players in Tennessee history to record multiple 30-point games as freshmen.
Williams’ 396 points on the year rank sixth all-time among Tennessee freshmen, just behind King (661), Houston (609), Tobias Harris (521), Ernie Grunfeld (453) and Chris Lofton (410).
Hubbs, Williams and the rest of the Vols trek to Nashville for the SEC Tournament on Thursday. The ninth-seeded Vols appear in the first game of the day, taking on eight-seeded Georgia at 1 p.m. ET on SEC Network.