KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — With official practice under way and the season fast approaching, the University of Tennessee men’s and women’s basketball teams invite Big Orange fans to Thompson-Boling Arena on Oct. 19 to celebrate the occasion at Rocky Top Tip-Off.
After a highly-successful debut a year ago, the latest edition of Rocky Top Tip-off will take place the night before UT’s home football game with Alabama and offer Tennessee fans a chance to see their 2018-19 Vols and Lady Vols up close. Doors open at 6 p.m., and both admission and parking for the event are free. Fans are encouraged to park in the G-10 garage on the east end of the arena. The G5/S30 lots located north of Phillip Fulmer Way will not be available.
The excitement level for Tennessee basketball is extremely high, with both teams included in the preseason top 10 by several publications. The Vols return all five starters from a team that finished 26-9 and captured the SEC regular season championship, including 2018 SEC Player of the Year Grant Williams and All-SEC performer Admiral Schofield. Head coach Rick Barnes returns for his fourth season on Rocky Top with his most-experienced and talented team yet.
Before Barnes and company defend their conference title, they will take one final curtain call. The Vols will share a special moment with their fans at Rocky Top Tip-Off, as they accept their 2018 SEC Championship rings.
The Lady Vols, meanwhile, return three starters from a squad that went 25-8 overall and 11-5 in the SEC, including senior Meme Jackson and 2018 SEC All-Freshman honorees Rennia Davis and Evina Westbrook. Seventh-year head coach Holly Warlick also welcomes the No. 4 recruiting class in the nation on the heels of last year’s No. 1-rated group to form a young, but talented, roster.
Members of both teams will be available to sign autographs on court level from 6:30 to 7:15, and both Barnes and Warlick will be there as well to meet and pose for photos with fans.
Emcee Trennie Williams and DJ A-Wall will host the festivities and provide music and introductions, while the Tennessee Spirit Squad and Dance Team, the UT Pep Band and Smokey also will play roles in energizing the crowd on what is a fun showcase of Vol and Lady Vol basketball at T-BA.
In addition to autographs and introductions of team members, players will take part in a three-point contest, half-court shot competition and dunk contest. Activities for the entire family include fan contests, a prize wheel, kids’ corner activities and a photo booth with life size cutouts of the players. The UT Spirit Squad, Smokey and members of the teams also will be mingling on the concourse as fans are arriving.
To top it all off, fans will have an opportunity to take part in a handful of on-court promotions as well as get a chance to win season tickets for Vols and Lady Vols games.
SCHEDULE OF EVENTS
6:00 p.m. – Doors open
6:30-7:15 p.m. – Autographs
7:15-8:30 p.m. – Activities on the court