Xavier also did not dance last year. The Musketeers finished the season with an overall record of 17-14. Regardless, the team will be playing in the Big East in the upcoming season and they will have the talent to compete for a conference title.
Tennessee will be losing Trae Golden, but plenty of other talent is coming back. For instance, Jordan McRae and Jarnell Stokes will both be back. McRae averaged 15.7 points per game last season and could be the best scorer in the SEC. Stokes put up 12.4 points per game and 9.6 rebounds per game.
The Volunteers will also be getting back Jeronne Maymon, who averaged 12.7 points per game and 8.1 rebounds per game in the 2011-12 season.
Tennessee will have the talent to compete for an SEC title, but it has to take care of business in its non-conference schedule. Xavier will be one of Tennessee’s toughest out-of-conference schedule opponents and winning that game would give it a huge resume builder right off of the bat.
Plus, it is never good losing the first game of the season, but that very well could be the case.
Tennessee will have too much talent to not make the NCAA tournament in the upcoming season, but that has kind of been the case over the last couple of years. Losing to Xavier would not be the end of the world, but the Volunteers need to win that matchup to start their season off right.