Tennessee Men's Basketball 2012 NIT Capsule

Tennessee Volunteers
Southeastern Conference (18-14, 10-6)

In the SEC this year, there was Kentucky and everyone else. Kentucky clinched the conference regular season title so long ago that Anthony Davis was still in high school. Overshadowed by the Wildcats’ dominance though has been some solid seasons by some of the other Southeastern Conference members. Tennessee falls into this group. Not having a spectacular year, the Volunteers were able to collect a number of impressive wins on their way to a solid finish near the top of the conference. Playing a relatively hard schedule is only beneficial to a team’s resume if they are able to take down some of those high caliber opponents and Tennessee was able to do just that.

Big Wins: 1/7 Florida (67-56), 1/21 Connecticut (60-57), 2/11 at Florida (75-70)
Bad Losses: 11/28 at Oakland (81-89), 12/10 Austin Peay (70-74), 12/14 at Charleston (65-71)
Coach: Cuonzo Martin (1 season at Tennessee)

Why They Can Surprise:
Tennessee has had one of the more up and down seasons of anyone in the country. The ups are tremendous. With wins over the Big South Champion Bulldogs, a ranked Connecticut team and a home and home sweep of the Florida Gators, Tennessee has shown the ability to beat anyone, especially in the friendly confines of Thompson-Boling Arena.  Led by the only senior who sees significant minutes, Cameron Tatum, the Volunteers are a very young and energetic team. Tatum’s steadiness and ability to fill up a box score are a perfect supplement to the rest of this roster. Forwards Jeronne Maymon and Jarnell Stokes are one and two on the team in field goal percentage and rebounds. They are also the team’s second and third leading scorers respectively. Conducting the whole team is sophomore guard Trae Golden, who has really blossomed after an inauspicious freshman season. Golden has come up large in some of Tennessee’s biggest wins including a 29, 6 and 9 line in the Volunteers’ first game of the season and registering 17 points, 5 rebounds, 4 assists and 0 turnovers in their final regular season match.

Why They Can Disappoint:
Tennessee, under new coach Cuonzo Martin, is a very young squad. This is made evident by their home-road splits. UT is 14-3 at home this year and just 4-10 away from their arena. To go along with their inability to win without the fans’ support, the Volunteers also shown they are prone to lapses in concentration and can be taken down by any opponent on any given night. Early season losses to Oakland, Pittsburgh, Austin Peay and Charleston in consecutive games are proof of this. In a very top heavy SEC, Tennessee did a good job of amassing conference wins but their out-of-conference schedule was a pedestrian 8-7. In tournament play, all these factors, in addition to the fact that the Volunteers had no real team strength during the season and were simply average in a wide range of categories, could lead to an early loss.

Probable Starters:
Trae Golden, Sophomore, Guard, 13.7 ppg, 4.5 apg
Cameron Tatum, Senior, Guard, 8.3 ppg, 2.5 apg
Skylar McBee, Junior, Guard, 6.7 ppg
Jeronne Maymon, Junior, Forward, 12.6 ppg, 8.1 rpg
Jarnell Stokes, Freshman, Forward, 9.0 ppg, 7.7 rpg

Key Roleplayers:
Jordan McRae, Sophomore, Guard, 8.8 ppg, 1.5 apg
Kenny Hall, Junior, Forward, 6.2 ppg, 4.5 rpg
Renaldo Woolridge, Senior, Forward, 4.4 ppg, 3.1 rpg
Josh Richardson, Freshman, Guard, 2.7 ppg

By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense:  68.9 (151st in nation, 6th in conference)
Scoring Defense: 65.1 (116, 6)
Field-Goal Percentage: 44.7 (118, 6)
Field-Goal Defense: 41.3 (88, 5)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 6.9 (102, 4)
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 36.0 (93, 4)
Free-Throw Percentage: 70.3 (123, 5)
Rebound Margin: 3.4 (69, 2)
Assists Per Game: 13.0 (159, 6)
Turnovers Per Game: 13.9 (214, 11)

Last Five Postseason Appearances:
Tennessee    2011    NCAA        Round of 64 loss to Michigan
Tennessee    2010    NCAA        Round of 64 win over San Diego State
Tennessee    2010    NCAA        Round of 32 win over Ohio
Tennessee    2010    NCAA        Regional Semifinal win over Ohio State
Tennessee    2010    NCAA        Regional Final loss to Michigan State
Tennessee    2009    NCAA        Round of 64 loss to Oklahoma
Tennessee    2008    NCAA        Round of 64 win over American University
Tennessee    2008    NCAA        Round of 32 win over Butler
Tennessee    2008    NCAA        Regional Semifinal loss to Louisville
Tennessee    2007    NCAA        Round of 64 win over Long Beach State
Tennessee    2007    NCAA        Round of 32 win over Virginia
Tennessee    2007    NCAA        Regional Semifinal loss to Ohio State

*all team stats through 3/4

See All Men’s Basketball Postseason Capsules