KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – Rennia Davis became the 43rd Tennessee women’s basketball player, and the first of the Kellie Harper era, to be taken in a WNBA Draft, with the 6-foot-2 guard/forward going to the Minnesota Lynx with the No. 9 pick of the first round.
The three-time All-America Honorable Mention and All-SEC selection became the 18th Lady Vol to be chosen during the first round. UT’s numbers include two players (Dena Head and Daedra Charles) who were first-round selections in the 1997 WNBA Elite Draft and another (Diamond DeShields) who played overseas in Turkey before being chosen in the 2018 WNBA College draft.
Davis’ selection nudged Tennessee back in front of UConn (40) for most alums taken exclusively in the college draft with 41. UT is second in first-round picks in the college draft with 16, trailing only UConn’s total of 26. No SEC school comes close to sending as many players on to the next level.
Davis, who is the highest Lady Vol selection since Diamond DeShields went at No. 3 to the Chicago Sky in 2018, is the first Lady Vol ever to be chosen at No. 9 and the fifth UT player to be drafted by the Lynx. The others were Tonya Edwards (1st Rd., 7th, 1999), Tasha Butts (2nd Rd., 20th, 2004), Nicky Anosike (2nd Rd., 16th, 2008) and Bashaara Graves (2nd, 22nd, 2016).
“I am so pleased for Rennia and look forward as her college coach to following her WNBA career as a fan,” Lady Vol head coach Kellie Harper said. “She has worked very hard to develop herself physically and improve every area of her game. I’m really proud of her and excited to see the effort and dedication she put in pay off with tonight’s pick by the Lynx. I know she is ready to go to work.”
Davis led UT to a 17-8 final record, a third-place mark of 9-4 in SEC play, a No. 13 AP national ranking and advancement to the NCAA Tournament Second Round for the first time since 2018. Along the way, UT carded wins over four ranked teams, including No. 2/3 South Carolina, which advanced to the Final Four semifinal round before falling to eventual champion Stanford.
Davis, who hails from Jacksonville, Fla., averaged 17.3 points and 8.8 rebounds per game to pace Tennessee in both categories in 2020-21. She shot 48.0 percent from the field and 85.3 percent at the free-throw line. Even better in SEC play, Davis put up 20.0 ppg. and 9.0 rpg. while shooting 52.3 percent from the floor and 85.2 at the charity stripe. Her worksheet also included 10 double-doubles and 10 games of 20 or more points.
From a career standpoint, Davis concluded her UT tenure fourth all-time among Lady Vols in double-doubles with 39, trailing only Chamique Holdsclaw (57), Mercedes Russell (46) and Candace Parker (45). She was fifth in career 20-point scoring games with 23.
Davis wound up ninth in scoring (1,815) and points per game (15.4), 10th in rebounds (947) and sixth in rebounds per game at 8.03 rpg. Additionally, she finished sixth in free-throw percentage (.816), eighth in field goals attempted (1,477) and ninth in field goals made (696). Davis joined Holdsclaw, Parker and Catchings as the only Lady Vols to currently rank in the UT career top 10 in points, points per game, rebounds and rebounds per game.