A lot of attention is being paid to who the Kentucky Wildcats are bringing in next season. Without knowing how any of their multiple AAU all-stars’ games will translate to college, people already want to anoint them as the greatest thing to hit the realm of college basketball since the implementation of the shot-clock.
Sure, that is all boats and gravy, but it is also ignoring that the SEC as a whole should be a much stronger league (again) next season. While last season may have been considered a down year for the conference, many of the teams who had the potential to be good next season have enough coming back to have a perceived feel of being contenders.
None more so than the Tennesee Volunteers, who made it though the NBA Draft deadline situation unscathed. Their top four scorers are all returning, as well as over 80 percent of their offense. That is from a team who won over 20 games last season before being bounced from the NIT.
You would have to assume — because that is all we can do — each of their top four scorers will improve during the offseason. Not to mention the fact the chemistry that they have built will carry through to next season, making Cuonzo Martin‘s job more about development than it is to get these guys to play together.
In total, Tennessee will once again have Jordan McRae, Jarnell Stokes, Jeronne Maymon and Trae Golden all returning for another year. I don’t know if that will be enough to compete with the apparent juggernaut Kentucky is throwing out next year, but it sure is a great way to start.
Joe is a Senior Writer for Rant Sports. Follow him on Twitter @JosephNardone