We know its almost football season and a long way away from basketball time in Tennessee. However, its never too early to have discussions about the upcoming team.
We’ve been telling everyone for a while that the 2018-19 Tennessee basketball team is going to be the real deal. They are only losing grad transfer guard, James Daniel III.
A lot of people in the media are jumping on board with the Vols being a real contender to win a National Championship. There are a few preseason polls that have Tennessee in the top ten and some in the top five.
The latest praise for the Vols comes from ESPN’s Basketball Power Index (BPI) rankings. According to ESPN the BPI is determined by four factors.
- Experience on the roster
- Quality of that experience
- Recruiting rankings of incoming freshman
- Coach’s past performance
More from All for Tennessee
- How to Win a GUARANTEED $200 Bonus Betting Just $5 on the Vols vs. Florida!
- Tennessee Football at Florida: Five Keys to a Vols Victory
- Week 3 SEC Power Rankings: Did Tennessee Football’s Win Help At All?
- Week 3 AP Polls: Why Did Tennessee Football Drop in the Polls?
- Tennessee Football: Top Five Performers in 30-13 Win vs. Austin Peay
Tennessee checks a lot of the boxes. In fact, better than most teams in the country. ESPN ranks them third on the list with a 10.7 BPI. Only Kansas (12.0) and Gonzaga (10.8) are ranked higher.
Do the Vols have experience? Yes.
Tennessee returns all five starters including the SEC Player of the Year in Grant Williams. There is also the SEC Sixth Man of the Year, Lamonte Turner off the bench.
What about the quality of that experience? Yes.
We hit on it a little with the end of season awards. When the word quality is mentioned, I tend to think about how well the players play together. And, the Vols play very well together. They are a very unselfish group of players.
Recruiting ranking? Kind of yes.
D.J. Burns was the only recruit in the 2018 class. However, Burns is highly talented. According to 247Sports Composite, Burns was ranked No. 106 in the nation and the third highest player from the state of South Carolina.
Coach’s past performance? Yes.
Rick Barnes has done wonders with the Tennessee basketball program. Taking a look at the roster and how far the players have come under Barnes is rather impressive. He recruits the players he wants and doesn’t care about the star rating.
There is big stuff expected in this upcoming season. According to ESPN’s BPI, the Vols will be one of the best teams in the nation. And, as the best armchair basketball coach in all of the land, I tend to agree.