2012-2013 Overall Rank: #28
Conference Rank: #4 SEC
Tennessee Team Page
Well it did not take Coach Cuonzo Martin to raise the expectations at Tennessee. After a 19-15 season that saw the Volunteers playing great basketball down the stretch, this is a team that can make a dangerous run in March. The arrival of Jarnell Stokes in January really turned this team around on both ends of the floor. The 6-8, 270 pound Stokes stepped in for conference play and did an amazing job for a freshman. He averaged 9.6 points, 7.4 rebounds and 1.4 blocks. His presence completely changed what Tennessee could do. With a half year of experience under his belt, Stokes is only getting better. He will team up with Jeronne Maymon to form one of the best frontcourts in the nation. Maymon, a 6-7, 260 pound senior, averaged 12.7 points and 8.1 rebounds during the 2011-2012 campaign. He is not a shot blocker, but he knows how to use his girth to create space for himself in the paint. Add part-time starter Kenny Hall, Dwight Miller and Yemi Makanjuola to the mix and the Volunteers do not lack in talented big men.
2011-12 Record: 19-15, 10-6
2011-12 Postseason: NIT
Coach: Cuonzo Martin
Coach Record: 19-15 at Tennessee, 80-56 overall
Cameron Tatum was the only player to start all 34 games last season and is the biggest loss for Tennessee. Tatum was a big 6-7 wing who could do a bit of everything. He was a good shooter, passer and rebounder. Renaldo Woolridge, a versatile 6-9 forward, has opted to transfer after averaging 13.4 minutes per game last season. Wes Washpun has also left the program after seeing action in just 17 games last season.
The obvious need is on the wing where Tatum needs to be replaced. This group will do more than just replace Tatum. The best of the bunch, at least for now, is junior college transfer D’Montre Edwards. Edwards is a very good shooter and can use his 6-6 frame to finish around the basket. He filled up the stat sheet at Brevard Community College in Florida and should at least provide a nice spark off of the bench. Quinton Chievous is a little raw even after redshirting last year, yet has the athleticism to make an impact. Derek Reese and Armani Moore are the lone incoming freshmen. Reese is a lanky guard who can get to the basket. Moore, a combo guard, can do it all and could see minutes at either guard spot as a reserve.
Who to Watch:
Skylar McBee and Jordan McRae have a light grip on the starting wing spots. McBee is pretty much just a shooter, but he is a very good one. He knocked down over 39 percent of his attempts from long range last season and Tennessee needs a consistent shooter in the lineup. McRae is not a bad shooter either, but he is a more dynamic scorer who can get to the basket on occasion. With those two mostly shooting from long range, Coach Martin will call on the newcomers to emerge as more dynamic perimeter scorers. McRae, at 6-5, certainly has the ability to develop a more attacking offensive game on his own. Either way, there are plenty of options. Josh Richardson may not ever be a great perimeter scorer, but he is a superb defender. The 6-6 sophomore earned nine starts last season as a freshman and will once again be a shutdown defender for the Volunteers.
There is one dynamic scorer on the perimeter. Point guard Trae Golden led the Volunteers with 13.6 points per game and is a very good outside shooter and will attack the basket with ease. When he is not scoring, Golden is dishing out assists to the other scorers on the team. He is a great playmaker who can finish in a variety of ways and nobody has an easy time defending Golden. However, Tennessee did commit quite a few turnovers last year. Most of those were not Golden’s fault, but he is the floor leader and must help keep the rest of the team in a better position to keep the ball. This is also a group that does force many turnovers of their own and a bad turnover ratio will negate the likely advantage Tennessee has on the glass. And that is the one thing that could stop the Volunteers from competing for an SEC title in year two of the Coach Martin era.
Projected Postseason Tournament: NCAA
Projected Starting Five:
Trae Golden, Junior, Guard, 13.6 points per game
Skylar McBee, Senior, Guard, 6.6 points per game
Jordan McRae, Junior, Guard, 8.6 points per game
Jeronne Maymon, Senior, Forward, 12.7 points per game
Jarnell Stokes, Sophomore, Forward, 9.6 points per game
Madness 2013 NBA Draft Rankings:
#93 Jeronne Maymon