KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – Tennessee rising senior Rae Burrell, who had a breakout junior campaign, is among 25 women garnering attention in ESPN’s first college basketball player rankings for the 2021-22 season.
The 6-foot-1 guard/forward from Las Vegas is ranked No. 24 in a listing compiled via votes from ESPN’s Charlie Creme and Mechelle Voepel.
Here’s what Creme and Voepel wrote about Burrell: “From spot minutes as a freshman to role player as a sophomore to surprising breakout star this past season, Burrell is now Tennessee’s best player. At times, she carried the Lady Vols in 2020-21. They might not have overcome the early season struggles of Rennia Davis without her. While Burrell’s game is primarily built on energy and outworking the opponent, all of her shooting numbers have made huge improvements, most notably her 3-point percentage, which went from 32.8% as a sophomore to a team-leading 40.2% last season.”
An All-SEC Second Team selection in 2021, Burrell helped Tennessee to a 17-8 overall record, a third-place finish in the SEC at 9-4, an NCAA appearance as a No. 3 seed and final national rankings of No. 14 and 16 in the AP and USA TODAY Coaches polls, respectively. She averaged 16.8 ppg. and 4.6 rpg., ranking second on the team in scoring and fourth in rebounding as the only Lady Vol to start all 25 contests.
Burrell scored in double figures in 22 of 25 games, fired in 15 or more points 17 times and hit 20+ on seven occasions, leading the team in the first two categories and ranking second in the third. She posted career best percentages from the field (45.8), three-point arc (40.2) and charity stripe (82.5). Impressively, she made a perfect 16 of 16 at the charity stripe in the final four minutes of games in 2020-21.