No Tournament Hopes Left for the Tennessee Volunteers

By Taylor Sturm
Randy Sartin-USA TODAY Sports

The Tennessee Volunteers started the season with high expectations and a returning All-SEC player. At this point in the season, the high expectations seem to be a long time ago and Jeronne Maymon has been redshirted. Where can the Volunteers go from here?

Barring a miracle Tennessee is out of the picture for the NCAA tournament after the loss to the Georgia Bulldogs. Tennessee would have to win out to make it to the tournament and that includes games against the Kentucky Wildcats, the Texas A&M Aggies, the Florida Gators, and the Missouri Tigers.  It is time for Tennessee to look towards next season.

Next year Tennessee will be a title contender in the SEC, but the injury to Maymon and Trae Golden’s offensive struggles was too much for the Volunteers to overcome. The NIT is still a possibility and would be good for this relatively young team. If Jarnell Stokes stays in Knoxville rather than going to the NBA, Tennessee returns the most starters in the SEC and should be one of the best teams next year.

Cuonzo Martin is a great coach and, although the Volunteers’ season has been disappointing, will have this team right on track for next year. He has to address the Volunteers’ offensive struggles and adding a few five star recruits including Robert Hubbs will greatly enhance the Vols’ offense. Tennessee is on the rise in the SEC under Martin, far sooner than anyone would have expected after the NCAA sanctions after coach Bruce Pearl was fired. However, this season’s tournament hopes should be too far out of reach.

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