The Kerry Blackshear saga is finally over, and the Tennessee basketball program wasn’t his landing spot. However, the Vols will be just fine.
Finally, the Kerry Blackshear drama is over.
The Florida Gators land the best graduate transfer of the offseason, and it’s been rumored that the Vols had a really good chance. However, late in the process, something went wrong. Tennessee wasn’t his destination.
Without Kerry Blackshear the Vols will be just fine. Now there is no question that Tennessee would have been able to contend for the SEC with Blackshear. Fans could have had the expectation of a deep(ish) run in the NCAA Tournament for the second straight year. But, now those talks fly out the window.
Now without Blackshear, the season doesn’t look as successful. At least that is when you look at the roster and schedule on paper. However, I believe Tennessee will be just fine. Just think back to two years ago when the team was projected 13th in preseason SEC standings, and they ended up winning a share of the conference title.
I’m not predicting the 2019-20 squad does the same thing, but they could have a decent season because of the strong guard play.
What wins in March?
Okay, that’s somewhat of a misleading question. Many things go into a team having success in postseason play. However, veteran guard play has consistently been a key to win and win big in the tournament.
Lamonte Turner and Jordan Bowden combined will have the most experience in the SEC. Both guys have had their fair share in the starting lineup, and both have played a lot during crunch time.
Both guys scored a combined 20 points per game while dishing out nearly six assists. Add five-star Josiah-Jordan James in the mix, and you have three pretty solid starters that should give productive minutes next season.
After that, there is a lot of unknowns. You’d think Jalen Johnson would improve in his fourth season in the program. Vol fans are high on D.J. Burns who should have a big opportunity to shine with the departure of Grant Williams and Kyle Alexander.
Again, this won’t be a 25 win team. Truthfully winning 20 games will be a stretch. However, if they can win a few games early in the season to build momentum heading into SEC play, the Vols could be the surprise team yet again. Losing out on Kerry Blackshear strings, but in the end, they will be just fine.