After helping the Vols earn victories on the road over Ole Miss and at home against No. 4 Kentucky, Grant Williams has been named the NCAA March Madness and SEC Player of the Week.
Williams averaged 22.5 points, 6.5 rebounds, three assists, two steals and one block per game last week to improve Tennessee’s record to 26-3 for the season and 14-2 in conference play.
Down 71-70 against the Rebels, the National Player of the Year candidate hit the game-winning shot with three seconds left to lift No. 7 Tennessee to a 73-71 victory on Wednesday night. It was an all-around performance for Williams, who led all scorers with 21 points on 7-of-13 shooting to go along with six rebounds, four assists, three steals and two blocks.
The Charlotte, N.C., native followed that effort up by dropping 24 points, seven rebounds, two assists and a steal to help the Vols shut down Kentucky, 71-52, and improve their home winning streak to a nation-best 25 games (tied with Buffalo).
While the stats don’t show it, Williams was crucial in Tennessee’s defense holding the Wildcats to a season-low 52 points, 31.8 percent shooting from the field and just 10 points in the paint.
As the regular season begins wrapping up, Williams is making his final push to repeat as the SEC Player of the Year. He currently ranks in the league’s top 10 in scoring (1st/19.3 ppg), field-goal percentage (2nd/.567), free-throw percentage (4th/.826), rebounding (6th/7.6 rpg) and assist/turnover ratio (9th/1.5). The junior forward also leads the SEC in player efficiency rating (31.0) and is second in offensive rating (130.7), according to Basketball Reference.
The Vols are back in action Tuesday, hosting Mississippi State for Senior Night. The game will tip at 9 p.m. ET and will be televised on SEC Network.