The Southeastern Conference announced its All-Conference Teams this morning, and four Lady Vols were honored, as voted upon by the league’s coaches.
For the second straight year, senior Rennia Davis was named to the All-SEC team with first team distinction. It’s also the third all-conference honor that Davis has garnered in her career.
Junior Rae Burrell joins Davis on the All-SEC team, but with second team distinction. It is the first all-conference honor in her career.
Sophomore center Tamari Key was named to the All-Defensive Team, and freshman Marta Suárez earned a spot on the All-Freshman Team.
Davis, Tennessee’s superstar forward, averaged 16.9 points per game and 8.7 rebounds in 20 games. She shot 49% from the field and 83% from the free-throw line. In SEC play, Davis put up 20.0 points and 9.0 rebounds per game, shooting 52% from the field and 85% from the charity stripe.
Davis’ full season numbers ranks 10th in the SEC and her conference scoring ranks third in the SEC. Her rebounding mark is ninth in both full season and league play. Davis’ shooting percentage is seventh in all games and third in league play, while her free throw percentage is first in all games and second in SEC play.
Davis rose up the all-time Tennessee leaderboard for her efforts this season. She recorded eight double-doubles this season, bringing her career total to 37; fourth in school history. Davis also had eight 20+ point games this season, ending the season with five in a row. Her 21 career 20+ point games is fifth in Tennessee history. She is also on track to finish in the top 10 in scoring, scoring average, rebounds, rebound average and free-throw percentage at UT.
After starting just nine games a year ago, Burrell burst on the scene for the Lady Vols. She averaged a team-high 17.1 points per game and 4.3 rebounds, shooting at 47% from the field, a team-high 42% from three-point range and 80% at the free-throw line. Burrell is second on the team in steals (1.0), fourth in rebounding (4.3) and fourth in assists per game (1.9).
In SEC play, Burrell averaged 17.3 points per game, shooting at a 47% from the field and 81% from the charity stripe. In the SEC, Burrell ranks ninth in full season scoring and tenth in conference play.
Burrell has six 20+ point games this season, and has led the Lady Vols in scoring eight times. Combined with fellow All-SEC teammate Davis, they are one of the best one-two punches in the country.
“What a talented list of All-Conference players, both first and second team,” head coach Kellie Harper said. “I think (Davis and Burrell) definitely deserved to be on that. I think they did a terrific job this year; had the stats to back it up.”
Key flourished in a larger role this season. One of her biggest improvements from a year ago was cutting down on personal fouls. She had 76 last year, which severely limited her playing time, but cut the number to 65 this season.
Key emerged as one of the best defenders in the conference, particularly with her blocking ability. She increased her blocking rate to 2.8 blocks per game, which ranks second in Tennessee history. Key totaled 60 blocks this season, ten of which came in her triple-double against Florida, the fourth in school history. Additionally, it was Tennessee’s first triple-double to include blocks. Key has 146 blocks in two seasons, which is already eighth all-time at UT.
Key is the second in the SEC in blocks, and has helped Tennessee’s defense rank among the nation’s top in blocks per game (5.4), field goal percentage defense (36.0), scoring defense (61.5) and rebound margin (+13.3). She is just the fourth Lady Vol named to the All-SEC Defensive team, joining Alexis Hornbuckle (2008), Kelley Cain (2010) and Glory Johnson (2011, 2012).
“I’m also really proud that Tamari Key was on the All-Defensive Team, a very well deserving honor for her,” Harper said.
Suárez, a native of Oviedo, Spain, made an immediate impact in her first season at Tennessee. She started the first 14 games as a true freshman, before a lower extremity issue in late January reduced her playing time and effectiveness. She averaged 6.4 points and 5.6 rebounds per game as a starter, while shooting 41% from the line.
Suárez made large strides as a shooter, particularly from deep. She made 32% of her three-point attempts, which was second on the team among those who took at least 20 attempts. Suárez is the third member of the current Lady Vols team to be named an all-freshman, joining Davis (2018) and Jordan Horston (2020).
“I’m really excited for Marta to be on that freshman team,” Harper said. “Unfortunately, her season doesn’t look like we thought it was going to, based on her injury, but I think people noticed there.”
The Lady Vols’ postseason begins Friday, in the quarterfinal round of the SEC Tournament from Greenville, South Carolina. As the No. 3 seed, Tennessee will face either No. 6 Arkansas or No. 11 Ole Miss. The game will begin approximately 8:15 p.m. ET and will be broadcast on SEC Network.