Recruiting can make or break a coach and a program. What Rick Barnes has done for Tennessee is something special.
Rick Barnes took over a Tennessee basketball program in some pretty big trouble. Trouble as in the program wasn’t going in the right direction. The program was coming off of a 16-16 season and head coach at the time Donnie Tyndall was rumored to have trouble with the NCAA.
Not to mention Tyndall wasn’t the best recruiter either. In fairness, he was following Cuonzo Martin who actually recruited quite well. Guys like Jarnell Stokes, Armani Moore, and Robert Hubbs come to mind.
And, that doesn’t even compare to the type of player Bruce Pearl was recruiting to Tennessee. So, with not as good recruiting as fans wanted, Barnes caught early heat. Only signing three-star players and having struggling seasons to begin his tenure didn’t help.
I for one didn’t expect what we saw from the Tennessee basketball team last season. I wasn’t one that thought they would finish 13th in the conference, but, I wasn’t predicting regular season Co-Champs.
With all those three-stars, Barnes made it work. In fact, he made it work beautifully last season. I know it was the NCAA Tournament, and anything can happen, but the Vols should have made it to the second weekend.
In this post, we are going to take a look back at the past four recruiting classes and rank them. It will take us all the way back to the 2014 recruiting class. Some players aren’t with the team anymore for multiple reasons.
Most of the players are just three-star recruits and yet somehow by sticking it out together the Vols should be a preseason top ten team. And, some even have them ranked as high as 5th in the nation.
That is pretty impressive when you think about the recruiting classes compared to everyone else in the nation. Without further ado, here is our ranking.