Mag Power rankings: 25-21
With three potential All-SEC players, can the Vols move up from No. 25?
- Randy Sartin/USA TODAY SportsSenior SG Jordan McRae is one of the Vols' potential All-SEC players.
Joe Lunardi's projected NCAA tourney seed: 5
Returning minutes: 60 percent
What you know:The Vols return three potential All-SEC players: senior SG Jordan McRae (15.7 ppg) and senior PF Jeronne Maymon, who missed last season due to injury, and junior PF Jarnell Stokes (12.4 ppg, 9.6 rpg).
What you should know: Cuonzo Martin lacks a proven point guard; Memphis transfer Antonio Barton and frosh Darius Thompson will vie to replace Trae Golden, who left for Georgia Tech. Freshman wing Robert Hubbs III (No. 29, ESPN 100) should elevate a middling offense (No. 63 in efficiency last season in D1), while Maymon and Stokes must lift a pitiful defense that ranked 122nd in efficiency.
Post-ups: Post-ups and shots around the basket are going to blow up because of Maymon and Stokes. They will be the focal point of Tennessee's offense and will draw plenty of double-teams. They're grown men, both 6'8", 260. While Martin is more of a motion coach, he'll get them screened and isolated; the offense will run through them.
Around the basket: Don't expect long-range jumpers to go up much. McRae, who took the most threes last season (169), is a slashing shooter and athletic enough to score off the bounce. The same with Hubbs. But both will get buckets off kick-outs when the D collapses. The Vols still need a play starter, and I think Martin likes Thompson over Barton at the point.
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