#14 Tennessee Women's Basketball 2016-2017 Preview

Tennessee Lady Vols
Overall Rank: #14
Conference Rank: #3 SEC
Tennessee did not have a great regular season, by their standards at least, but the Lady Vols beat some good teams on their way to the Elite Eight where they fell to Syracuse. Diamond DeShields will again lead the way after averaging a team high 14.3 points per game. DeShields, an All-American candidate, still needs to be more consistent from beyond the arc, but even if she is not, DeShields will have a big season.
2015-16 Record: 22-14, 8-8
2015-16 Postseason: NCAA
Coach: Holly Warlick
Coach Record: 108-34 at Tennessee, 108-34 overall
Key Departed Players (starters in bold)
Bashaara Graves, Forward, 10.3 ppg
Andraya Carter, Guard, 4.8 ppg
Nia Moore, Center, 2.0 ppg
Key Returning Players (starters in bold)
Diamond DeShields, Junior, Guard, 14.3 ppg
Mercedes Russell, Junior, Center, 9.9 ppg
Jaime Nared, Junior, Guard/Forward, 8.3 ppg
Te’a Cooper, Sophomore, Guard, 8.6 ppg
Jordan Reynolds, Senior, Guard, 4.8 ppg
Kortney Dunbar, Junior, Forward, 3.5 ppg
Alexa Middleton, Junior, Guard, 3.0 ppg
Meme Jackson, Sophomore, Guard/Forward, 1.0 ppg
Key New Players
Cheridene Green, Junior, Forward, JC Transfer
Kamera Harris, Freshman, Center
Schaquilla Nunn, Senior, Forward, Graduate Transfer from Winthrop
It was not just DeShields who struggled from beyond the arc. The team as a whole ranked 312th in the country with 3.6 three-point field goals per game and 330th in three-point field goal percentage. Sophomore Te’a Cooper and junior Jaime Nared are capable of being more consistent shooters and they will need to be this year if Tennessee wants to compete for an SEC title. In the paint, Mercedes Russell is a big 6-6 junior center who averaged 9.9 points and 8.3 rebounds. With Bashaara Graves gone, this is Russell’s frontcourt. However, junior college transfer Cheridene Green and Winthrop transfer Schaquilla Nunn, where she averaged 11.2 points and 10.3 rebounds in 2014-2015, will make a big impact up front. With those newcomers and a host of talent returning, Tennessee has the depth and the talent to get back to the Elite Eight.
Projected Postseason Tournament: NCAA
By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 65.6 (134th in nation, 7th in conference)
Scoring Defense: 59.0 (65, 7)
Field-Goal Percentage: 40.8 (116, 8)
Field-Goal Defense: 36.9 (48, 5)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 3.6 (312, 12)
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 25.4 (330, 14)
Free-Throw Percentage: 70.9 (130, 4)
Rebound Margin: 5.3 (47, 4)
Assists Per Game: 13.5 (129, 8)
Turnovers Per Game: 16.1 (182, 8)
Madness 2017 WNBA Draft Rankings:
#4 Diamond DeShields