Tennessee Preview Capsule
Last season: 16-16, hasn’t reached NCAA Tournament since 2014.
Coach: Rick Barnes
Who’s gone: G Robert Hubbs III, G Kwe Parker (transfer to Cape Fear Community College), G Shembari Phillips (transfer to Georgia Tech).
Who’s back: F Grant Williams earned freshman all-SEC honors from the league’s coaches and is the Vols’ top returning scorer (12.6) and rebounder (5.9); F Admiral Schofield averaged 8.2 points and 4.4 rebounds last season; G Jordan Bone (7.2 ppg), G Lamonte’ Turner (8.2) and G Jordan Bowden (7.9) all had their moments last season; F Kyle Alexander has started 34 games over the last two years.
Who’s new: G James Daniel III averaged 27.1 points per game for Howard in 2015-16 to lead all Division I scorers before playing just two games last season due to an ankle injury; G Chris Darrington averaged 20.7 points and 5.1 assists last season at Vincennes (Ind.); F Derrick Walker (6-8), F Zach Kent (6-foot-10) and F Yves Pons (6-5) are freshmen who should add size and athleticism to Tennessee’s frontcourt.
The skinny: Tennessee was in NCAA Tournament contention last season before fading down the stretch. The Vols are hoping their improved depth will help them avoid a similar fate this year. If Tennessee gets more consistent production from its backcourt and Williams builds off his impressive freshman season, the Vols have a chance to earn the NCAA or NIT bid that has eluded them the last three years.
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