The Tennessee Vols Fall Directors’ Cup standings and a basketball series with Wisconsin lead our Volunteers news for Friday, Jan. 11, 2019.
Happy Friday! The after math of the Tennessee Vols’ coup at the offensive coordinator position is still generating massive reactions, but this time, we finally have no new updates to bring you on it. But that still doesn’t mean this isn’t a huge news day.
Our morning update on Rocky Top heading into the weekend includes a story about the overall athletic department. That’s one of numerous news stories, though, to cover, including two men’s basketball stories and two women’s basketball stories.
We also have an update on a former Tennessee football player to get to, and there are two other scheduled events in other sports. So today brings a ton of coverage that we have to get to, but let’s start with the buzz of the week.
The final Fall Directors’ Cup standings are out, and the Tennessee Vols came in at No. 39 with 150 points. They came in at No. 6 among SEC members. However, this is a much better start for them last year, when they finished No. 85 overall and No. 11 in the SEC. By the time the spring sports were done, they moved up to No. 35 overall. This year, the spring sports should even be better for them.
Reigning champion Stanford maintains the top spot of the final fall Division I Learfield Directors’ Cup standings with 541.00 points after tallying 45 points in football, the final sport score of the fall season.
Michigan remains in second place with 380.50 points, recording 61.5 points in football. Penn State finishes in third with 337.00 points, with a 17th place finish in football coaches poll. Wisconsin comes in fourth place with 320.00 points, 45 points in football, while BYU rounds out the top five with 315.00 points, 45 coming at the end of football season.
The Tennessee Vols men’s basketball team has scheduled a home and home series with the Wisconsin Badgers set to begin next year. Wisconsin will travel to Thompson-Boling Arena on Dec. 28, 2019, and then Rick Barnes’s team will travel to Madison on Nov. 11, 2020 the next season.
Having just met four times since 1981, the all-time series between the programs is tied at 2-2. Tennessee swept the first two games, earning a win in 1981 and again in 2000 after downing a ranked Wisconsin team in Knoxville. The Badgers have since won two in a row, including a 65-62 victory over Tennessee in Madison on Dec. 29, 2001, and a more recent triumph at the 2016 Maui Invitational.
Rick Barnes speaks to media ahead of trip to Florida – Grant Ramey, GoVols247
Tennessee Vols men’s basketball head coach Rick Barnes spoke with the media Thursday about his No. 3 ranked team’s upcoming road trip to face the Florida Gators. He mentioned Tony White, who’s battling leukemia, and talked about all the other guys stepping up outside of Grant Williams and Admiral Schofield, specifically Lamonte Turner with his return to health. Here’s a snippet of the media session.
“I think it was so important having Lamonte back. I think his presence on the court and his confidence, you could tell that he and Jordan Bone and Jordan Bowden were really locked in to each other, the way they were running and moving the ball. What Kyle did for the last two games has really been phenomenal, watching him go about what he’s doing. Then you throw in John Fulkerson and Derrick Walker. I thought, again, the confidence they played with and the poise was really, really important. It’s a good thing, obviously.”
Lady Vols fall to Kentucky – WATE
The No. 13 ranked Tennessee Lady Vols lost their second straight game and third home game on the year Thursday night, this time to the No. 16 ranked Kentucky Wildcats. Kentucky was able to improve to 15-2 and 2-1 in the SEC, both better numbers than UT.
The loss marked the first time since 1996 that the program has lost back-to-back games at home.
In a game that Tennessee (12-3, 1-2 SEC) never led, the Lady Vols got as close as two points away from tying thing up in the fourth quarter but a three-pointer from Wildcats guard Jaida Roper would prove to be the dagger.
Former All-American Vol John Michels passes away – Star Tribune
John Michels, a two-time All-SEC offensive lineman and All-American in 1952 for Tennessee football passed away Thursday at age 87. Michaels helped the Tennessee Vols to the 1951 national championship and spent 27 years as an assistant coach for the Minnesota Vikings.
Tennessee was 29-4-1 in three seasons Michels started at guard, and he was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1996. He was drafted by the Eagles in 1953 but played for Grant in the Canadian Football League. Michels became an assistant coach with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers under Grant, who took over the Vikings coaching reins in 1967.
Former Tennessee Lady Vols star Nicky Anosike will represent UT part of the 2019 Class of SEC Women’s Legends. Anoskie played for the Lady Vols from 2004 to 2008 and helped them to two straight national championships.
The class will be honored at the 2019 SEC Women’s Basketball Tournament, March 6-10 in Greenville, S.C. Each legend will be honored during half-time of their teams first game of the tournament, all 14 individuals will also be honored as a group, as well as participate in an autograph session during the tournament. Complimentary posters of the Legends will be available at the session.
Track and field to attend UAB Invite – UABSports.com
The Tennessee Vols track and field program will attend the UAB Blazers Invite this weekend. UAB will be hosting a contingent of events all day today.
UAB hosts each meet annually but this season the meets are serving as a small preview to the 2019 NCAA Indoor National Championships, which will be hosted at the Birmingham CrossPlex March 8-9.
Teams that are set to compete this weekend include Miami, Auburn, Alabama, Ole Miss, Tennessee, Georgia, Mississippi State and LSU. Some of the Blazers’ conference rivals will be in town for the meet as well and include Middle Tennessee, FIU, FAU and Southern Miss.
Swimming and Diving to face Virginia – UTSports
Tennessee Swimming and Diving will take on the Virginia Cavaliers on Friday in Charlottesville. The meeting comes after the two programs split results in Knoxville last year.
Friday marks Tennessee’s first dual meet since a home meet against Auburn and the Texas men Nov. 9. The Lady Vols defeated Auburn, while the Tennessee men defeated Auburn but lost to the defending champion Longhorns. Tennessee later hosted the three-day Tennessee Invitational to close out the semester, which featured school records by Mathew Dunphy (men’s 200-yard breaststroke, 1:53.76) and Tess Cieplucha (women’s 400 IM, 4:03.81).