League Coaches Name Nared, Russell Preseason All-SEC

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – The Southeastern Conference coaches revealed their preseason All-SEC team and poll on Thursday. Tennessee seniors Jaime Nared and Mercedes Russell were named to the first team, while the 18th-ranked Lady Vols were picked to place fifth in the league standings in 2017-18.

Nared, a 6-foot-2 forward, and Russell, a 6-6 center, were chosen to the Coaches All-SEC Second Team at the end of the 2016-17 campaign.  Russell nearly averaged a double-double a year ago (16.1 ppg. and 9.7 rpg.) and set a Lady Vol junior record with 19 double-doubles. Nared, meanwhile, posted 15.6 points and 6.9 boards per contest. They were the only UT players to start all 32 games last season.

Defending NCAA and SEC champion South Carolina was predicted to win the 2018 league title, followed by Mississippi State, Missouri, Texas A&M and Tennessee closing out the top five. The remainder of the list includes Kentucky and LSU rounding out the top half, followed by Georgia, Alabama, Vanderbilt, Auburn, Ole Miss, Florida and Arkansas.

Coaches cannot vote for their own team or players and ties are not broken, which led to nine on the second team.

The Lady Vols host an exhibition game vs. Carson-Newman on Nov. 7 (7 p.m. ET) and open the regular season on Nov. 12, as East Tennessee State comes to Thompson-Boling Arena for a 2 p.m. contest. Both contests will be online broadcasts via SECN+.


Order of Finish
1. South Carolina
2. Mississippi State
3. Missouri
4. Texas A&M
5. Tennessee
6. Kentucky
7. LSU
8. Georgia
9. Alabama
10. Vanderbilt
11. Auburn
12. Ole Miss
13. Florida
14. Arkansas

Player of the Year
A’ja Wilson, South Carolina

All-SEC First Team
Raigyne (Moncrief) Louis, LSU
Victoria Vivians, Mississippi State
Morgan William, Mississippi State
Sophie Cunningham, Missouri
A’ja Wilson, South Carolina
Jaime Nared, Tennessee
Mercedes Russell, Tennessee
Khaalia Hillsman, Texas A&M

All-SEC Second Team
Caliya Robinson, Georgia
Taylor Murray, Kentucky
Shandricka Sessom, Ole Miss
Teaira McCowan, Mississippi State
Cierra Porter, Missouri
Jordan Frericks, Missouri
Tyasha Harris, South Carolina
Anriel Howard, Texas A&M
Danni Williams, Texas A&M

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