KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — The long-anticipated first day of official practice arrived on Tuesday for the 2022-23 Tennessee women’s basketball team, and fourth-year head coach Kellie Harper and her staff put their squad through a high-spirited, workout of more than two hours at Pratt Pavilion.
UT returns four starters and 10 letterwinners from an outfit that started 18-1 and finished 25-9 overall and 11-5 in the SEC (3rd). That unit advanced to the NCAA Sweet Sixteen despite season-ending injuries to three key contributors.
Leading the way are All-SEC/All-America Honorable Mention guard Jordan Horston and All-SEC/All-Defensive Team center Tamari Key. Additional regular contributors include returning starters in point guard Jordan Walker and wing Tess Darby, as well as two others with starting experience in 2022 SEC All-Freshman wing Sara Puckett and 2021 SEC All-Freshman forward Marta Suárez.
The Lady Vols also bring aboard four gifted transfers and a five-star freshman, including starters and previous all-league performers in forward Rickea Jackson (Mississippi State), power forward Jasmine Franklin (Missouri State) and point guard Jasmine Powell (Minnesota), as well as a pair of McDonald’s All-Americans in sophomore transfer forward Jillian Hollingshead (Georgia) and true freshman wing Justine Pissott.
Featuring a program-high 16 players on the roster, all but Jessie Rennie participated in drills. The senior guard was working with director of women’s basketball sports performance Bryan Tatum and continuing to rehab her knee after undergoing a procedure over the summer.
The Lady Vols, who are ranked No. 4 in ESPN’s “Way-Too-Early” Top 25, will make their debut at Thompson-Boling Arena on Oct. 30, as they host Carson-Newman in an exhibition game. Tennessee opens the campaign on the road at 8:30 p.m. ET on Nov. 8 at Ohio State (Big Ten Network) and welcomes UMass to Rocky Top for the home-opener on Nov. 10. Tip times for home games will be released soon. Season tickets are available at AllVols.com.
Prior to the workout, Harper met with the media. See the transcript here.