#26 Tennessee Men's Basketball 2021-2022 Preview

Tennessee Volunteers
2021-2022 Overall Rank: #26
Conference Rank: #4 SEC
 Tennessee Logo
Tennessee entered the 2020-2021 campaign with high expectations. For the most part they failed to meet those expectations, finishing 18-9 overall and bowing out of the NCAA Tournament in the first round. Three of the seven players from the regular rotation last year are gone, but for the second year in a row Coach Rick Barnes has brought in the program’s best ever recruiting class.  
2020-21 Record: 18-9, 10-7
2020-21 Postseason: NCAA
Coach: Rick Barnes
Coach Record: 123-73 at Tennessee, 727-386 overall
Key Departed Players:
Jaden Springer, Guard, 12.5 ppg
Keon Johnson, Guard, 11.3 ppg
Yves Pons, Guard/Forward, 8.7 ppg
E.J. Anosike, Forward, 1.7 ppg
Key Returning Players:
Victor Bailey Jr, Senior, Guard, 10.9 ppg
John Fulkerson, Senior, Forward, 9.5 ppg
Santiago Vescovi, Junior, Guard, 8.7 ppg
Josiah-Jordan James, Junior, Guard, 8.0 ppg
Oliver Nkamhoua, Junior, Forward, 2.3 ppg
Uros Plavsic, Junior, Forward, 1.1 ppg
Key New Players:
Jonas Aidoo, Freshman, Forward
Kennedy Chandler, Freshman, Guard
Quentin Diboundje, Freshman, Guard
Brandon Huntley-Hatfield, Freshman, Forward
Jahmal Mashack, Freshman, Guard
Justin Powell, Sophomore, Guard, Transfer from Auburn
Isaiah Sulack, Junior, Guard, JC Transfer
Handje Tamba, Freshman, Forward
Zakai Zeigler, Freshman, Guard
Tennessee is not lacking experience in the backcourt. Victor Bailey is the team’s top returning scorer at 10.9 points per game. He was scoring in bunches at the end of the regular season and now will be asked to keep that up throughout the 2021-2022 campaign. Santiago Vescovi added 8.7 points and a team high 3.1 assists. Both Bailey and Vescovi are good outside shooters and were the top two three-point shooters on the team a season ago. Josiah-Jordan James can do it all. The 6-6 junior led the team in rebounding and steals last season and added 8.0 points and 2.0 assists on top of that. Incoming freshman Kennedy Chandler is the best point guard in this class and Auburn transfer Justin Powell should add another outside shooting threat to the roster. Freshman Jahmal Mashack has not been getting as much attention, but he is a great defensive stopper and has enough offensive firepower to be a key player right away. The frontcourt will miss SEC Defensive Player of the Year Yves Pons, but the Volunteers have certainly reloaded. John Fulkerson is the experienced senior who has proven that he can be an elite player on both ends of the floor. Brandon Huntley-Hatfield has the fans excited though. The 6-10 freshman who can stretch the defense and pass the ball. Fellow freshman Jonas Aidoo figures to add frontcourt depth. With a nice mix of experience and pure raw talent, Tennessee should have the same expectations they did a year ago. However, it needs to be remembered that their top two playmakers are gone. The talent is there, but the Volunteers need to prove that they can reach their expectations.
Projected Postseason Tournament: NCAA
By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 71.9 (152nd in nation, 9th in conference)
Scoring Defense: 63.5 (26, 1)
Field-Goal Percentage: 43.9 (180, 8)
Field-Goal Defense: 40.1 (21, 1)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 6.6 (242, 9)
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 33.0 (201, 8)
Free-Throw Percentage: 74.6 (56, 3)
Rebound Margin: 1.9 (125, 7)
Assists Per Game: 14.9 (67, 2)
Turnovers Per Game: 12.5 (118, 2)
Madness 2022 NBA Draft Rankings:
#11 Kennedy Chandler
#12 Brandon Huntley-Hatfield
Madness 2021 Men’s Basketball Recruit Rankings:
#7 Kennedy Chandler
#25 Brandon Huntley-Hatfield
#35 Jonas Aidoo
#60 Jahmal Mashack
#155 Quentin Diboundje