When experts make their Final 4 picks for the 2019 college basketball season, many will choose Kansas, Duke or Kentucky, teams that have been hyped up since this summer. You'd be remiss not to throw Tennessee in that mix, however.
The Vols were ranked sixth in the nation in the latest preseason college basketball AP Poll. It's a high spot on the list, but it still means that Tennessee will be an underdog compared to the likes of the Jayhawks or Wildcats.
But the Vols can definitely win it all this year. Tennessee returns almost all of its players from the last season, when the Vols won a share of the SEC regular season title with Auburn. The Vols' best player, junior Grant Williams, averaged 15.2 points and six rebounds last season.
Three Biggest Questions for Tennessee Basketball In 2018-2019 https://t.co/5ZdG3isCS6— RockyTopTalk (@RockyTopTalk) November 2, 2018
6. One of the most physically imposing post players in the country, Grant Williams was the biggest reason for Tennessee’s surprisingly stellar 2017-18 season.https://t.co/0L9vtvq8l1 pic.twitter.com/SKmMeoaonG— SB Nation (@SBNation) November 2, 2018
The bench remains largely intact, with reigning SEC Sixth Man of the Year Lamonte Turner leading the way. Turner averaged 10.9 points last year, the highest of any playing not in the starting five.
The offense is there, and with a strong core that was left intact, the Vols' experience together will make them formidable on the defensive end. Rick Barnes' squad ought to be one of the frontrunners to cut down the nets in March.