No former Tennessee basketball players will be draft in the 2018 NBA Draft. However, the 2019 Draft could be a massive success for the program.
Admiral Schofield was the only Tennessee basketball player to enter his name into the 2018 NBA Draft. Of course, Schofield entered without an agent, so he was able to withdraw his name and come back to Tennessee.
Schofield was coming off the best season of his career scoring 13.9 points per game with 6.4 rebounds. This was the first season with the Vols that Schofield was able to play more of a forward position rather than a post. Which all that did was help his game tremendously.
There were a couple of other Vols that had good seasons last year. Grant Williams for one. He was voted as the SEC Player of the Year scoring 15.2 points per game. And, was the go-to player in most games for Tennessee last season.
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Rick Barnes has a lot to do with the player development in which almost every player has shown signs of development in each offseason. And, as they continue to develop, or at least have one more offseason, the 2019 NBA Draft could be an opportunity for multiple players to make that leap to the pros.
Of course, Admiral Schofield will attempt it again, only this time he can’t come back to school. He already seems like he is a man on a mission and we wouldn’t be surprised if he contends being the SEC Player of the Year next season.
As we mentioned above, Grant Williams will be one of those players. The 6-foot-7 wizard down low will likely build on an outstanding season. Odds are he isn’t going to go back-to-back and win another SEC Player of the Year, but he should improve.
Williams will only be a junior next season, so he could opt to do exactly what Schofield did this season. In fact, we look for Williams to test the waters and honestly why shouldn’t he?
Another player to watch of for next season is Jordan Bone. It is hard to compare him to John Wall, but it looks like he has John Wall speed with the basketball. Time after time last season, defenders failed to stay in front of Bone going to the rack.
Tennessee fans saw signs of Bone’s shooting, like in the Arkansas game in the SEC Tournament last season. He shot 3-for-4 from the three-point line and 8-for-11 from the field. If Bone can improve his shot, watch out for him to take a shot at the 2019 NBA Draft.
Finally, another player that should get a shot at the NBA is Kyle Alexander. If you paid attention to us during the basketball season you know, we were high on Alexander. He brought so much to the team, especially defensively. We saw just how much he meant to the team with the Vols defensive effort in the NCAA Tournament.
Each season, Alexander has improved in almost every statically category. He only averaged 5.6 points per game but that was up two more points. He also improved his steals, blocks, assists, and rebounds per game.
There was one point in the season where Alexander had at least one block in eight games in a row. And, during that eight-game span, he totaled 21 blocks.
Yes, it’s over a year away but the 2019 NBA Draft could be a special one for a couple of players and Tennessee fans. If they can continue to improve like they have the past couple of season, there will be some Vols’ names called during the Draft.