KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Tennessee women’s basketball head coach Kellie Harper confirmed that she has received an SEC Grant-in-Aid (GIA) and Institutional Financial Aid Agreement (IFAA) from highly-regarded transfer point guard Destinee Wells.
The 5-foot-6 Wells, a three-time all-conference performer while at Belmont University, hails from Lakeland, Tenn., and Houston High School. The No. 10-ranked player on ESPN’s list of top players in the transfer portal will be a senior in 2023-24 but retains the option of using the additional year the NCAA granted to players due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We are excited to add Destinee Wells to the Lady Vol family,” Harper said. “She possesses a wealth of experience at the point guard position and is a three-level scorer who shoots with impressive accuracy in each of those phases. We are so pleased to have a person and basketball player of Destinee’s caliber joining our program.”
Wells started 90 of 91 games during her time at Belmont, averaging 18.1 points, 4.7 assists, 3.2 rebounds and 1.4 steals while shooting 46.7 percent from the field, 38.3 percent on threes and 83.4 percent on free throws. She amassed 1,648 points, 427 assists, 292 rebounds and 125 steals while connecting on 381 three-pointers during her time at BU.
Over her three seasons in Nashville, Wells carded 35 games where she scored 20 or more points, including 15 as a junior, 11 as a sophomore and nine as a freshman. She scored 30 or more five times in 2022-23 and once in 2020-21. She registered 115 assists as a rookie, 140 as a sophomore and 172 this season, with a career 1.70 assist/turnover ratio. She has two double-doubles to her credit, carding both as points/assists efforts in 2021-22.
Scoring 32.4 points over the last five games this season, Wells finished with career-best averages of 19.5 ppg. and 4.9 apg. in 2022-23 while shooting career-high percentages of 48.6 from the field and 45.5 from three-point range. She also connected on 86.1 of her free throw tries and added 3.0 rebounds per contest en route to All-Missouri Valley Conference First Team and MVC All-Tournament accolades in BU’s first season in the league. She was a three-time MVC Player of the Week and a member of watch lists for the Nancy Lieberman Award, the Jersey Mike’s Naismith Trophy, Wooden Award and the Becky Hammon Mid-Major Player of the Year Award.
During each of her first two seasons at Belmont, Wells was an All-Ohio Valley Conference First-Team selection and was named OVC Tournament MVP and All-OVC Tournament as well being chosen 2020-21 OVC Freshman of the Year and to the OVC All-Newcomer Team. She was selected as the Tennessee Sports Writers Association Player of the Year in 2021-22 and was once again on the Becky Hammon Mid-Major Player of the Year Watch List that season.
Her statistical production included 16.7 ppg., 4.5 apg. and 3.6 rpg. as a sophomore while shooting 44.6/30.3/76.2, and 17.8 ppg., 4.6 apg. and 3.0 rpg. as a freshman while hitting 46.6/39.8/86.7. Wells helped Belmont to NCAA Second Round appearances in 2021 and 2022 and to the WNIT in 2023.
Tennessee fans may recall that Wells already has appeared and performed extremely well at Thompson-Boling Arena. During the 2022 NCAA First and Second Rounds in Knoxville, the crafty floor general dropped 16 points, seven assists, four rebounds and two steals as the Bruins upset No. 5 seed Oregon, 73-70. She then produced 22 points, six rebounds, four assists and two steals as BU pushed the Lady Vols before Puckett’s corner three-ball with 18 seconds remaining lifted the home team to victory, 70-67. Wells committed single turnovers in each game.