Volunteer Spotlight: Jordan McRae


It only took a year and a half, but Jordan McRae has arrived for the Tennessee Volunteers. He has caught fire as of late and is averaging 12.8 PPG and 5.6 RPG in his past five SEC games. McRae, who began the year in the starting line-up, has found himself settled right at home in the sixth-man role for the Vols this season and it’s something to be embraced. Often overlooked is the role of the sixth-man, McRae has been able to sit, watch and see the tendencies of the opposing players that is guarding, and come in fresh, ready to take care of business.

Looking back McRae’s journey has been marked with tough roads as he lost his starting spot early in the year and found himself not playing much at all last year and even this year because of

inconsistent play on both ends of the floor.

His defensive lapses caught negative criticisms and were his biggest hindrance to overcome. Coach Martin’s system thrives on a man-to-man defensive alignments and often times you have to hold your own on defense. McRae struggled, often getting beaten to the hoop and many times effort seemed to be a problem, this has not been the case this season.

Many times McRae has extended plays by saving bad passes, making an extra pass, or getting a block or steal to swing the momentum in the Vols’ direction. Little things like that add up and mixed with consistent spotting of his opponent on defense, Jordan has really came into his own as a defender.

This season McRae has 22 blocks this season, second on the team, and has a chance to be the first guard to lead the Vols in blocks in their history.

He also made it all the way to SportsCenter’s Top 10 Plays with his throwdown against Ole Miss a few weeks ago. McRae has always been the spark plug for the Vols and that hasn’t changed one bit with the transition to Coach Cuonzo Martin’s system.

One thing often missed about McRae is his relationship with Vols PG Trae Golden. McRae and Golden both have been buddies since sixth grade as they played on the same AAU team for the past six years until the two joined forces again here in Knoxville.

McRae has rededicated himself and that may even transition to a starting role in the lineup as he could potentially replace Senior Cam Tatum at the Small Forward position.

Whatever the case is, Jordan McRae is a completely new player for the Vol and his consistency will be a key part as they venture through the SEC Tournament and even on to next season.