NCAA Basketball Tennessee Volunteers

Tennessee Basketball: 5 Observations From Release of 2014-15 SEC Schedule

Tennessee Basketball: 5 Observations From Release of 2014-15 SEC Schedule

Josh Richardson Tennessee
Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

Much has changed for the Tennessee Volunteers between last season and the 2014-15 college basketball season. A new coach, Donnie Tyndall, will be on display in Knoxville, as will a completely revamped team led offensively by Josh Richardson. Tennessee’s hopes at first-year success under a new coach increased after the SEC released their schedules for the 2014-15 season, and here are five observations from the Vols' SEC schedule release.

5. No Home-and-Home Against Kentucky and Florida

Coach Cal
Mark Zerof-USA TODAY Sports

5. No Home-and-Home Against Kentucky and Florida

Coach Cal
Mark Zerof-USA TODAY Sports

Florida and Kentucky are hands-down the two best o teams in the SEC. Luckily, the rebuilding Volunteers only play these two teams once each after mid-February.

4. Should Be Favorites in 10+ Conference Games

Robert Hubbs
Randy Sartin-USA TODAY Sports

4. Should Be Favorites in 10+ Conference Games

Robert Hubbs
Randy Sartin-USA TODAY Sports

Tennessee has lost many of its starters and expected starters, but the Vols will have ample opportunity to work their record towards 20 wins. Several SEC teams will be fairly poor next season, and Tennessee plays a few of them twice.

3. Two Games Against Both Arkansas and LSU

Arkansas Basketball
Paul Abell-USA TODAY Sports

3. Two Games Against Both Arkansas and LSU

Arkansas Basketball
Paul Abell-USA TODAY Sports

The LSU Tigers are a young team who will be trying to find an identity in the 2014-15 season, while the Arkansas Razorbacks are a dark horse to possibly win the conference. If Tennessee can win three of their four matchups with these teams, the Vols could go from a rebuilding team to a bubble team very quickly.

2. NIT Lock, Bubble Team Probable

Donnie Tyndall Vols
Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports

2. NIT Lock, Bubble Team Probable

Donnie Tyndall Vols
Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports

Tennessee has enough talent and an easy enough schedule to be considered a lock for the 2015 NIT Tournament. However, the Vols are a team to watch moving forward, because if Robert Hubbs III and Josh Richardson have the kind of season offensively that they are capable of producing, Tennessee will raise a lot of eyebrows come crunch time.

1. The Return of Bruce Pearl to Knoxville

Bruce Pearl Auburn
John Reed-USA TODAY Sports

1. The Return of Bruce Pearl to Knoxville

Bruce Pearl Auburn
John Reed-USA TODAY Sports

Probably the biggest storyline of the SEC schedule release, former Tennessee and current Auburn coach Bruce Pearl returns to Knoxville on January 31.