For those of you who haven’t been tuned in to college basketball all year, this may come as a big surprise to you, but Tennessee is showing the country that it might have a say in who the best team in the country is. The Volunteers currently sit at #3 in the AP Poll with a record of 14-1, winning their last ten games.
Tennessee is lead by stars Grant Williams and Admiral Schofield, who are each averaging 18 points a game in the early part of the season. The catch for this Tennessee basketball team is that it doesn’t end with these two. Jordan Bone and Kyle Alexander are also key role players for the Volunteers, averaging 14 and 10 respectably. This puts Tennessee with four starters averaging ten or more points a game, allowing the Vols to change their game plan and lean on a few other guys if one of their stars are having an off night. Shooting 51% as a team, the depth for the Volunteers shows itself in the stat book.
The biggest threat for Tennessee is the lack of competition that SEC basketball presents at times. Outside of Kentucky, the SEC hasn’t been something for people to fear over the past few years. If there is one key takeaway so far, it is that the Volunteers have looked very competitive against top tier schools, beating #5 Gonzaga on December 9th by a score of 76-73. I’ll be interested to see how they fare against ranked opponents the rest of the way, but so far, so good in Knoxville.
When looking for a weakness on this Tennessee basketball team, I was left scratching my head because I couldn’t find one. The one knock could be that they are shooting 35% as a team from three, but by all means that’s very respectable and as I dove into the player stats, they get even better where it counts. Grant Williams, Admiral Schofield, and Kyle Alexander all shoot over 40% from downtown. It appears that even three pointers aren’t a problem in Tennessee, so i’ll leave it to you guys to find their weakness.
As this season continues, college basketball fans need to keep their eyes on this Tennessee team. With a mixture of two great stars in Williams and Schofield, with a great mix of depth in Bone and Alexander, it will come as no surprise to me if the Vols find a way to get a bid in the National Title game.