#30 Tennessee Men's Basketball 2019-2020 Preview

Tennessee Volunteers
2019-2020 Overall Rank: #30
Conference Rank: #6 SEC
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Rick Barnes is entering his fifth season as Tennessee’s head coach and after two straight trips to the NCAA Tournament, the expectations are getting higher. The Volunteers lost four of their top six scorers, including SEC Player of the Year Grant Williams, so there are some huge holes to fill, but this group has the talent to make it three straight tournament appearances. However, it may take some time for all the pieces to come together.
2018-19 Record: 31-6, 15-3
2018-19 Postseason: NCAA
Coach: Rick Barnes
Coach Record: 88-50 at Tennessee, 692-364 overall
Key Departed Players:
Grant Williams, Forward, 18.8 ppg
Admiral Schofield, Guard, 16.5 ppg
Jordan Bone, Guard, 13.5 ppg
Kyle Alexander, Forward, 7.3 ppg
Derrick Walker, Forward, 0.8 ppg
Key Returning Players:
Lamonte Turner, Senior, Guard, 11.0 ppg
Jordan Bowden, Senior, Guard, 10.6 ppg
John Fulkerson, Junior, Forward, 3.1 ppg
Yves Pons, Junior, Guard/Forward, 2.2 ppg
Jalen Johnson, Junior, Guard, 1.5 ppg
Key New Players:
Davonte Gaines, Freshman, Guard
Josiah-Jordan James, Freshman, Guard
Zach Kent, RS Sophomore, Forward
Olivier Nkamhoua, Freshman, Forward
Drew Pember, Freshman, Forward
Uros Plavsic, RS Freshman, Forward, Transfer from Arizona State
Victor Bailey Jr, Junior, Guard, Transfer from Oregon, not eligible
Lamonte Turner and Jordan Bowden will be the new stars of the team. Turner was playing great basketball at the end of last season and should be able to continue that momentum in 2019-2020. On the year the 6-2 senior averaged 11.0 points and 3.8 assists. Bowden added 10.6 points per game and is a very efficient shooter from everywhere on the floor. Jalen Johnson has not made much of an impact so far, but he is a good shooter and defender who will likely see an increased role as a junior. Josiah-Jordan James will step into the starting point guard role. Many suspect that James will be one and done and he will look to make the most of his opportunity to start from day one. The frontcourt does not have too many options so Tennessee may play a little smaller than usual. Yves Pons is a big 6-6 wing who can spend some time at the four spot after averaging 2.2 points and 1.8 rebounds in limited action as a sophomore. Fellow junior John Fulkerson is the bigger option at 6-9 and 212 pounds. Redshirt freshmen Olivier Nkamhoua and Uros Plavsic, who spent one season at Arizona State, will add some options. It will take some time for Coach Barnes to find his regular rotation and there will be some growing pains along the way, but by the time SEC play comes along, Tennessee will be one of the better teams in the conference.
Projected Postseason Tournament: NCAA
By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 82.0 (20th in nation, 1st in conference)
Scoring Defense: 69.7 (131, 5)
Field-Goal Percentage: 49.6 (6, 1)
Field-Goal Defense: 40.4 (24, 2)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 7.1 (242, 10)
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 36.7 (63, 3)
Free-Throw Percentage: 75.4 (26, 2)
Rebound Margin: 3.3 (73, 5)
Assists Per Game: 17.9 (6, 1)
Turnovers Per Game: 11.1 (38, 1)
Madness 2020 NBA Draft Rankings:
#25 Josiah James
#53 Jordan Bowden
Madness 2019 Men’s Basketball Recruit Rankings:
#19 Josiah James
#138 Olivier Nkamhoua