The Tennessee Volunteers finished the 2012-2013 season in disappointing fashion after losing to the Mercer Bears in the first round of the NIT. The Volunteers and head coach Cuonzo Martin were extremely disappointed that they didn’t make the NCAA tournament, but it’s time to start looking towards the 2013-2014 season. Tennessee will be the team most equipped to win the SEC next year.
The Volunteers will return an extremely talented but inconsistent point guard in Trae Golden. They also received a huge boost when Jordan McRae, one of the best scorers in the country last season, announced he would return for his senior season to play for the Vols.
Defensively, Josh Richardson and Armani Moore will be huge and contribute to the teams’ victories. However, the two most important returning players are Tennessee’s big men. Jarnell Stokes, who led the SEC in double-doubles last season, has not yet said if he would return or declare for the NBA draft, but his return seems imminent. Jeronne Maymon, who was injured after beginning last season as a preseason All-SEC member, will return as well.
Along with the returning talent, Martin has recruited an outstanding group of incoming freshman who will immediately give the Volunteers depth from the bench. Tennessee is the team in the SEC that returns the most talent and experienced players for the 2013-2013 season. Expect the Volunteers to win the SEC next season, and Martin to finally win the SEC Coach of the Year award that he has deserved for the past two seasons.