#27 Tennessee Volunteers: College Basketball 111 in 111


tennessee volunteer cheerleaders

Welcome to The Sports Bank’s third annual college basketball season preview series.  Two years we looked at 99 teams in 99 days.  Last year, we were slightly more aggressive and expanded to 111 teams in 111 days and will do so again as we look ahead to the 2012-2013 season.

We will rank the 75 power conference teams and top 36 mid-majors in reverse power ranking order.  We’ll break down rosters, transfers, incoming freshmen, non-conference schedules, and pick a player to watch for each team.

Despite finishing in a second place tie in the SEC last year, the Tennessee Volunteers missed out on the NCAA Tournament because of their struggles during the non-conference portion of their schedule.  With only one starter gone from that squad, even bigger things are expected this year from the Vols.

TENNESSEE VOLUNTEERS
Last Season: T-2nd, 10-6 in SEC, 19-15 overall
Predicted SEC Finish: 4th

Projected Depth Chart
F/C: Jarnell Stokes (So)Kenny Hall (Sr)/Yemi Makanjuola (So)
PF: Jeronne Maymon (Sr)/Dwight Miller (Sr)
G/F: Jordan McRae (Jr)/D’Montre Edwards (Jr)/Derek Reese (Fr)
SG: Skylar McBee (Sr)/Josh Richardson (So)/Quentin Chievous (Fr)
PG: Trae Golden (Jr)/Brandon Lopez (Fr)

Gone: SG-Cammeron Tatum, F-Renaldo Woolridge (transfer-USC), PG-Wes Washpun (transfer-Northern Iowa)

2012-2013 Outlook:
If Tennessee proved anything under first year head coach Cuonzo Martin, it is that they are going to be a very physical team that will play hard for forty minutes.  Backing up that talk with be the undersized though extremely strong frontcourt of Jarnell Stokes and Jeronne Maymon.  The 6-8, 270 pound Stokes decided to graduate from high school and enrolled at UT midway through last year.  He and Maymon are one of the most physical post duos in college basketball, relying on their thick bodies to out-muscle opponents in the paint.

Kenny Hall, Dwight Miller, and Yemi Makanjuola all return to add depth down low.  Hall was a starter prior to Stokes’ arrival and is more of an athletic shot blocker.  Miller and Makanjoula played sparingly a year ago and will once again find minutes hard to come by.

Further fitting the mold of Martin’s rugged style is point guard Trae Golden.  Built like a linebacker, Golden is the team’s top returning scorer but needs to improve his decision-making as a floor leader.  He did undergo off-season surgery to repair a meniscus injury in his left knee but appears to be at full strength.

Flanking Golden on the wing will likely be Skylar “I have the worst facial hair in college basketball” McBee and Jordan McRae.  McBee is primarily a three-point shooter while McRae is most effective slashing to the basket.  There is quality length and athleticism behind those two on the wing with returning role player Josh Richardson and JUCO transfer D’Montre Edwards.  Brandon Lopez figures to back up Golden at the point while redshirt freshman Quentin Chievous adds even more depth.  Lengthy freshman wing Derek Reese will likely redshirt this season due to a torn labrum in his right shoulder.

Tennessee doesn’t have the talent of a Kentucky, Florida, or Missouri but their aggressive style of play has them not only climbing back up the ranks of the SEC, but the national scene as well.

Player to Watch: Jarnell Stokes
It’s unfair to say that Stokes’ arrival on campus was single-handedly the reason for the Vols turnaround last season but they did win ten of their final fifteen regular season games after the young’en suited up in the orange.  He spent this summer playing for the U.S. U18 team that won gold at the FIBA Championships and that experience should make him even more effective in his first full season of college basketball.

Key Non-Conference Games:
11/15 vs. UNC-Greensboro (Puerto Rico Tip-Off)
11/16 vs. Oklahoma State/Akron (Puerto Rico Tip-Off)
11/18 vs. N.C. State/Penn State/UMass/Providence (Puerto Rico Tip-Off)
11/30 at Georgetown (Big East/SEC Challenge)
12/5 at Virginia
12/13 vs. Wichita State
12/29 vs. Xavier
1/4 vs. Memphis

OTHER 111 IN 111’S:
#29 New Mexico Lobos
#30 St. Mary’s Gaels
#31 Georgetown Hoyas
#32 North Texas Mean Green
#33 Ohio Bobcats
#34 Texas Longhorns
#35 Miami Hurricanes
#36 Purdue Boilermakers
#37 Alabama Crimson Tide
#38 St. Joseph’s Hawks
#39 Murray State Racers
#40 VCU Rams
#41 Davidson Wildcats
#42 Stanford Cardinal
#43 UMass Minutemen
#44 St. John’s Red Storm
#45 Butler Bulldogs
#46 Florida State Seminoles
#47 Drexel Dragons
#48 St. Louis Billikens
#49 West Virginia Mountaineers
#50 BYU Cougars
#51 Temple Owls
#52 Washington Huskies
#53 California Golden Bears
#54 Kansas State Wildcats
#55 Nevada Wolfpack
#56 Colorado Buffaloes
#57 Iowa State Cyclones
#58 Northern Iowa Panthers
#59 Colorado State Rams
#60 Iowa Hawkeyes
#61 South Florida Bulls
#62 Valparaiso Crusaders
#63 Illinois Fighting Illini
#64 Arkansas Razorbacks
#65 Wichita State Shockers
#66 George Mason Patriots
#67 Virginia Cavaliers
#68 Villanova Wildcats
#69 Maryland Terrapins
#70 Marshall Thundering Herd
#71 Iona Gaels
#72 Northwestern Wildcats
#73 Oklahoms State Cowboys
#74 Rutgers Scarlet Knights
#75 USC Trojans
#76 UConn Huskies
#77 Harvard Crimson
#78 Xavier Musketeers
#79 Ole Miss Rebels
#80 Clemson Tigers
#81 Oregon State Beavers
#82 Texas A&M Aggies
#83 Providence Friars
#84 Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets
#85 Oklahoma Sooners
#86 Lehigh Mountain Hawks
#87 Washington State Cougars
#88 Long Beach State 49ers
#89 Belmont Bruins
#90 Vanderbilt Commodores
#91 Dayton Flyers
#92 Houston Cougars
#93 UCF Knights
#94 Old Dominion Monarchs
#95 Oregon Ducks
#96 LSU Tigers
#97 South Carolina Gamecocks
#98 Seton Hall Pirates
#99 Georgia Bulldogs
#100 DePaul Blue Demons
#101 Boston College Eagles
#102 Penn State Nittany Lions
#103 Arizona State Sun Devils
#104 Virginia Tech Hokies
#105 Texas Tech Red Raiders
#106 Auburn Tigers
#107 Wake Forest Demon Deacons
#108 TCU Horned Frogs
#109 Mississippi State Bulldogs
#110 Utah Utes
#111 Nebraska Cornhuskers

David Kay is a senior feature NBA DraftNBA, and college basketball writer for the Sports Bank.  He also heads up the NBA and college basketball material at Walter Football.com and is a former contributor at The Washington Times Communities.  David has appeared on numerous national radio programs spanning from Cleveland to New Orleans to Honolulu.  He also had the most accurate 2011 NBA Mock Draft and the most accurate 2012 NBA Mock Draft on the internet (Yup, repeat champ… #humblebrag.)

You can follow him on Twitter at David_Kmiecik.

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