Tennessee Men's Basketball 2013 NIT Tournament Capsule

Tennessee Volunteers
SEC (20-12, 11-7)


In the middle of January, Tennessee looked like a team that would be lucky to end up with a .500 record. But Coach Cuonzo Martin turned his team around and ended up with a winning record in SEC play. The conference has seen better years, but the Volunteers have had some quality wins over the likes of Florida and Kentucky. They have also lost to Georgia twice.

Big Wins: 12/13 Wichita State (69-60), 2/26 Florida (64-58), 3/09 Missouri (64-62)
Bad Losses: 1/12 at Alabama (65-68), 2/06 Georgia (62-68), 3/02 at Georgia (68-78)
Coach: Cuonzo Martin (2 seasons at Tennessee)

Why They Can Surprise:
The Volunteers technically start four guards. However, freshman Armani Moore is 6-5, Josh Richardson is 6-6 and Jordan McRae could just easily be listed as a forward. The result is an athletic team that can be very scrappy when it comes to hitting the glass. While the guards help out immensely in the rebounding department, it is Jarnell Stokes who really makes things happen. The 6-8, 270 pound sophomore is one of the best rebounders in the SEC and an absolute monster on the offensive glass. When the Volunteers need a bit more size in the lineup, 6-9 senior Kenny Hall can play beside Stokes or give him a little break. Either way, this is a team that can make up for their shortcomings by getting second chance opportunities and preventing the opposition from getting second chance points.

Why They Can Disappoint:
The Volunteers are loaded with athletic talent, but it does not always come together. Trae Golden is a great point guard who can find his teammates or score by getting to the basket. Unfortunately, the rest of the team does not do a particularly good job of sharing. McRae is the best scorer on the team and a capable outside shooter who can also use his size to get to the basket, yet he has been inconsistent and, at times, careless with the ball. And the Volunteers have to rely quite heavily on McRae’s outside shooting. Skylar McBee has been a great outside shooter, but he has not gotten open looks like he has in year’s past. When Golden is not on the floor, or does not have the ball in his hands, the offense can quickly turn into one-on-one battles. Those usually do not end well. As long as Tennessee works their offense and takes smart shots, they are a very good team. Otherwise, the offense can be stagnant and the defense will have to keep them close.

Probable Starters:
Trae Golden, Junior, Guard, 11.9 ppg, 4.0 apg
Armani Moore, Freshman, Guard, 2.3 ppg, 2.6 rpg
Josh Richardson, Sophomore, Guard, 7.9 ppg, 1.5 apg, 4.4 rpg
Jordan McRae, Junior, Guard, 16.0 ppg, 4.1 rpg
Jarnell Stokes, Sophomore, Forward, 12.3 ppg, 9.5 rpg

Key Roleplayers:
Kenny Hall, Senior, Forward, 5.8 ppg, 4.2 rpg
Skylar McBee, Senior, Guard, 5.6 ppg, 1.2 rpg

By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 66.8 (194th in nation, 7th in conference)
Scoring Defense: 63.5 (100, 6)
Field-Goal Percentage: 43.3 (182, 7)
Field-Goal Defense: 41.8 (128, 9)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game:  5.2 (272, 12)
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 31.2 (232, 10)
Free-Throw Percentage: 69.5 (166, 6)
Rebound Margin: 5.5 (33, 2)
Assists Per Game: 10.8 (299, 13)
Turnovers Per Game: 12.9 (142, 6)

Last Five Postseason Appearances:
2012    NIT        First Round win over Savannah State
2012    NIT        Second Round loss to Middle Tennessee
2011    NCAA    Round of 64 loss to Michigan
2010    NCAA    Round of 64 win over San Diego State
2010    NCAA    Round of 32 win over Ohio
2010    NCAA    Regional Semifinal win over Ohio State
2010    NCAA     Regional Final loss to Michigan State
2009    NCAA    Round of 64 loss to Oklahoma
2008    NCAA    Round of 64 win over American University
2008    NCAA    Round of 32 win over Butler
2008    NCAA    Regional Semifinal loss to Louisville

*all team stats through 3/10


See All Men’s Basketball Postseason Capsules