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What the Vols football and basketball teams should be thankful for on Thanksgiving

Many are thankful for something or someone during this time of year. Our sports team breaks down the who and what the Vols teams should be thankful for.

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — It's Thanksgiving and many are thankful for something.

Members of the Tennessee football and basketball teams spoke about how grateful they were for the school, for their family and for many other things in their lives.

Our sports team took a look into what the football, men's basketball and women's basketball teams should be thankful for with their teams so far this season. Even though the real answer is all the members of their teams, we chose a couple of topics for each.


Quarterback Hendon Hooker has been the gift that keeps on giving for the Vols.

He has been a major part of why this offense has been as potent as it has. The signal-caller ranks fourth in the nation in passer efficiency and first under pressure in the pocket.  Hooke currently has thrown a passing touchdown in 10 straight games, which is tied for sixth-longest in Tennessee football history, which have all happened this season.

The record for a season is 12 games, which was set by Heath Shuler in 1993.

As soon as he came in, he started hitting the deep passes that weren't clicking in the early part of the season. His ability to run has provided a spark too.

The Vols rank 11th in the nation in scoring offense and Hooker is a big reason why.


The Vols have been guided by their guard depth in this young season.

Kennedy Chandler has been wickedly good, as many expected he would be. The future professional player has shown off his passing ability, his craftiness finishing buckets around the rim and has shown he can hit the three-ball.

Head coach Rick Barnes said Santiago Vescovi would be the most improved player on this team and he's shown it. He's averaging 15.8 points per game right now and has been nailing the deep ball too. Even in a game where the Vols didn't play well against Villanova, he has been a consistent scorer for this team.

Zakai Ziegler came in a little later than most recruits do, but he showed off in the Vols' last game against North Carolina. He wasn't very heavily recruited, but Barnes seemed to find a gem. He scored 18 against the then top 25 ranked Tar Heels in a dominant win.


The Lady Vols have been as clutch as can be to start the year and a lot of that has to do with two players.

Jordan Horston has hit so many clutch buckets and has been a consistent scorer in a time where the team needs it. When star Rae Burrell went down with an injury in the first game, the Lady Vols needed to find someone to pick up the slack and she's certainly done that. In the last game against top 15 opponent Texas, she went off for a career-high 28 points.

Tamari Key has also been a beast for Tennessee. In that last game against Texas, she finished the game with a triple-double. That was the second one of her career, which made her the first in program history to have more than one.

Key has been a force on the defensive end, contributed on the offensive end and continues to step up in big moments for this team.

Head coach Kellie Harper also deserves loads of credit for getting this team to consistently perform with an effort to keep closing out these tough, close games.

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