This season, as we take a Total Access look at Tennessee, we'll also have quick visits with the Lady Vols. Junior Meighan Simmons, a 5-foot-9 guard averaging a team-high 16.3 points, stands up to our Tenn Questions survey:
1. What's your favorite TV show or movie?
Meighan Simmons: I love the movie "The Bodyguard." I was a huge Whitney Houston fan. I enjoyed that movie with her and Kevin Costner. I think she was a very shy person, but she came out of her shell in that movie. My teammates crack on me every single time I talk about it, but I watched her funeral on TV. I was kind of emotional. But I was one of the people who actually listened to her music. It was very inspiring to me. I knew she was going to a better place. My favorite song is "I'm Every Woman." That was one of those songs that when I felt down, I listened to that song. It was my ultimate favorite song by her.
2. If you could listen to only one singer or musician for the rest of your life, who would it be?
Simmons: I like a lot of music. I'm an all-around kind of person when it comes to music. Alicia Keys is another one of my favorite artists. I would have to say Alicia Keys. And Whitney Houston I could listen to all day.
3. What's the one song that gets you pumped up before a game?
Simmons: I like upbeat-type songs, it doesn't matter what song it is. It can be like a certain rap song or something. I like "Clique" by Kanye West and Big Sean and Jay-Z. That song gets me hyped. I like to listen to anything that has a really good beat to it.
4. Did you watch cartoons while growing up? If so, which one was your favorite?
Simmons: I do enjoy "Tom and Jerry." There's nobody really talking, and it's all action, running around and moving. It's kind of like me. It's really fun to watch without people actually speaking. I do feel bad for Tom. He's always getting chased. He's a spiffy little dude.
5. What's your favorite ride at Disneyland or Disney World?
Simmons: Oh man. Wow. It's been a long time [since I've been to Disney World]. It's been since I was like 8. I can't even remember. I just loved the Cinderella castle. That's what I remember the most about it. It was really fun to be there. It was a fun experience. I want to go back there someday.
6. What's your favorite food?
Simmons: I love pasta. I could eat it any time of the day. I love the mixture of vodka sauce and Alfredo sauce. It's really good.
7. Who was your basketball idol growing up?
Simmons: Michael Jordan, of course, and Candace Parker. They are two people that I knew that if I wanted to go somewhere with basketball, I wanted to be like them in order to be great. They're considered the greats in men's and women's basketball. I met Candace when we were at Texas my freshman year. We had a little shooting competition. I ended up winning, but it was all fun and games and we ended up shaking hands afterward. She said, "I'm going to get you back next time." But that was the only other time I'd seen her. (Do you remember the shot that beat her?) It was a 3-pointer. We were doing perfect 3s, it couldn't hit the rim or anything. I made mine and she ended up missing her 3.
8. Why do you wear No. 10 at Tennessee?
Simmons: It's always been my number since I was in high school. I just wanted something new my freshman year, and I ended up sticking with it. And I also graduated in the year 2010, so that number represented me stepping into a new beginning. I felt No. 10 was something I can always hold on to. If I make it to the WNBA, hopefully I can still wear it.
9. When you were younger, what was your parents' favorite saying?
Simmons: My dad used to always say to us that we were all gifted, and gifted was the word in our house. If you had a gift, you had to use it to the best of your ability. It was given by God. It was one of the big words in our house. In general, my parents consider me a very gifted person, no matter what I do. I used to do sign language in church. I used to travel around the country and do things like that. Anything I did, they felt I had a gift to do anything I could put my mind to. Basketball just happens to be my forte, something I was more gifted at more than anything else.
10. Finish this sentence: Life as a Lady Vol is …
Simmons: Amazing … but it has its ups and downs. You want to be this normal person, but when you're a Lady Vol, there's so much expectations of us, so many people who look up to us and appreciate what we do for the University of Tennessee. To be a Lady Vol, and this goes back to the gift thing, you're gifted to actually play at the University of Tennessee for somebody like Pat Summitt or Holly Warlick. We have to be able to protect our gift at all times, on and off the court.