The Southeastern Conference helped the Lady Vols stock their already illustrious trophy case with some nice hardware when the league's annual awards were handed out Tuesday.

But there's one honor that has yet to be handed out.

The league's tournament champion won't be crowned until after Sunday's 6:00 p.m. game between whichever teams can survive the rigors of the five-day affair in Duluth, Ga.

A tournament championship for No. 1 seeded UT would be its fourth consecutive, a streak dating back to Bashaara Graves' sophomore year of high school.

"Awards don't matter," said Graves, a 6-foot-3 forward, who was named SEC Freshman of The Year. "I think we just need to come in and play as a team. Individual awards have nothing to do with how we're going to play."

In 2012 it was the effort of Graves' predecessor in the UT frontcourt, Glory Johnson, that played a defining role in the Lady Vols' three day run through the tournament.

Johnson was named the tournament's MVP after falling an opening game rebound shy of posting a double-double in each of her team's three double digit victories.

With Johnson graduated and UT suffering from a case of the injury bug that has center Isabelle Harrison listed as doubtful for the tournament, the Lady Vols will need Graves to avoid the foul trouble that plagued her in UT's 78-65 loss at Kentucky on Sunday.

"We don't have that many posts to back me or Cierra (Burdick) up so I've just got to keep my breath, not get in foul trouble, be ready to play 40 minutes if I have to," said Graves, who averages 14.3 points and 8.5 rebounds a game.

One remedy for the short bench could be to work little-used freshmen Jasmine Phillips and Nia Moore into the lineup.

Neither Phillips, a guard, nor Moore, a center, saw action in any of UT's final three regular season contests.

"I think they're going to be valuable for us to try to sneak them in for a few minutes," head coach Holly Warlick said Wednesday. "I think it goes back to who we're playing and the tempo, what the situation is at the time of the game."

First up for the Lady Vols, who have a bye until the quarterfinals, will be the winner of Thursday's No. 8 Arkansas vs. No. 9 Florida game.

UT will tip off against either the Gators or Razorbacks at noon Friday with the winner advancing to Saturday's semifinals where they'll likely be pitted against Texas A&M.

The Lady Vols (23-6, 14-2 SEC) slipped by both in the regular season, needing overtime to corral the Gators (17-10, 6-10 SEC).

"We can't look at Saturday and Sunday if we don't take care of Friday," Warlick said. "So I think that's our goal, to focus on either Florida and Arkansas and then we'll move on, and that's the most important thing for us, because this team cannot look ahead, cannot prepare ahead."

If the bracket plays out with the top two seeds advancing to Sunday's finale, UT would meet Kentucky for a second time in a week, with the chance to avenge Sunday's loss which helped the Wildcats jump the Lady Vols in the polls.

"We moved on from that game, so if we end up playing them it's just another game," Graves said. "It'll be the championship game, but we're going to play our hearts out.

"And that game we played against Kentucky last time, it won't happen again."