May 5, 2007
KNOXVILLE - To honor the second-winningest season in school history, the Tennessee basketball team held its annual postseason awards banquet tonight at the Knoxville Convention Center in downtown Knoxville.
The Vols concluded the season with a 24-11 overall record and their 10-6 mark in the Southeastern Conference tied for the second-best in the league. UT received its 15th NCAA Tournament invitation and advanced to the Sweet 16 of the tournament with wins over Long Beach State and then Atlantic Coast Conference co-champion Virginia. Tennessee ranked fourth in the nation in attendance, drawing 19,661 fans per game which ranked as the second-largest average attendance in school history.
After the season several Vols earned regional and national honors. Junior guard Chris Lofton was named the SEC Player of the Year and was a consensus second team All-America selection after leading the league with 20.8 points per game. Three players (Wayne Chism, Duke Crews and Ramar Smith) were named to the SEC All-Freshmen team - marking just the second time in conference history a school had three players named to the All-Freshman squad. Dane Bradshaw, the lone senior on the team, was named the captain of SI.com's All-Glue team. Seven Vols were named to the 2006-07 SEC Winter Academic Honor Roll for their work in the classroom.
The Tennessee Basketball Team Awards were handed out at tonight's banquet. Lofton received the Burchfield-Moss Most Courageous Award after overcoming a serious ankle injury midway through league play. JaJuan Smith and Ryan Childress earned the Lowell Blanchard Award as the most improved players on the team. Jordan Howell and Ramar Smith received the Team Before Self Award. Childress also took home the John Stucky Lifter of the Year Award for his work in the weight room. The Thornton Athletics Student Life Center honored Bradshaw for posting the highest grade point average on the team while also honoring Justin Jackson with the Most Improved Award and Chism with the Most Consistent (Academics and Attitude) Award.