Starter: Victor Bailey Jr.
Senior; 6’4″ 179 pounds; Hometown: Austin, Texas
Last year, Victor Bailey Jr. had the role that we just said Santiago Vescovi would now have. He was the scoring punch off the bench who could spell both Vescovi and the recently departed Jaden Springer as a combo guard. Now, though, the product of McNeil High School in Texas’ Travis and Williamson Counties should become the primary scorer.
After transferring to Tennessee basketball from the Oregon Ducks, Bailey enters his second year playing and third year with the program. He averaged 11 points and shot 33.8 percent from the three-point line and 82.8 percent from the free throw line this past year. With a better rhythm as the starter and more experience, he should be more consistent and become a superstar.
Backup: Justin Powell
Sophomore; 6’6″ 185 pounds; Hometown: Prospect, Ky.
Rick Barnes’ only pickup in the transfer portal, Justin Powell brings length and more scoring to the Vols. The Auburn Tigers transfer will be the perfect guy to add scoring off the bench, and he’s got great length to do it. Last year, Powell averaged nearly 12 points a game while shooting 44.3 percent from the three-point line and hitting nearly two threes a game.
The graduate of North Oldham High School in Kentucky then suffered a season-ending injury 10 games in, but his potential was clear. Bailey’s health and experience is why Powell will be the backup, but Powell’s versatility will make him a valuable player off the bench. He also averaged over six rebounds and nearly five assists last year, so he could move to point as well if needed.