Tennessee basketball projected to have top-10 lineup for 2024-25 season

Tennessee basketball lost eight players from last season but is still projected to have a top-10 roster next season.
Jan 3, 2023; Knoxville, Tennessee, USA; Tennessee Volunteers head coach Rick Barnes speaks with
Jan 3, 2023; Knoxville, Tennessee, USA; Tennessee Volunteers head coach Rick Barnes speaks with / Randy Sartin-USA TODAY Sports

It's been a rough offseason for Tennessee basketball. The Vols lost eight players from last year's roster. Four graduated, including superstar Dalton Knecht and super senior leaders Josiah-Jordan James and Santiago Vescovi. The Vols also had four players enter the transfer portal, including two starters. That didn't stop Rick Barnes from entering the portal and assembling an elite roster. 

Tennessee has entered the transfer portal to round out its roster for the 2024-25 season, and Barnes could have a top-10 team next season. Barnes replaced outgoing players with more efficient players, which has helped Tennessee make the list of top-10 rosters for next season

Bart Torvik accounts for many of the same statistics as Kenpom to determine team efficiency and rankings. Adjusted offense, defense, and efficiency are all taken into effect. While it's hard to predict how each team will mesh with incoming transfers, you can look at each new addition to Tennessee's roster as a positive at each position, at least offensively. 

To break down where Tennessee ranks, Torvik has the Vols ranked 9th in the nation for the 2024-25 season, with an adjusted offensive efficiency ranking of 63 and adjusted defensive efficiency ranking of two, which is on par with most Barnes-coached teams. 

Torvik also projects Tennessee will finish with a 22-9 record, which would rank them second in the SEC, one game behind Auburn, with a 23-8 record. Barnes dipped into the portal last year, and it worked out, thanks to finding a generational player in Dalton Knecht. 

Barnes is trying to repeat his success this year on a larger scale, with the additions of Darlinstone Dubar, Felix Okpara, and Igor Milicic Jr, all through the transfer portal. All three players excel in efficiency and can potentially exceed their predecessors at their positions. 

This could help Tennessee's offensive efficiency ranking next season, which is currently outside the top 60 in the country. Offensive efficiency was a big issue for this year's team, so if Barnes can fix that issue while putting a top-three defense on the court, Tennessee could be poised for a run beyond the Elite 8 next season. 

The teams that rank ahead of the Vols are North Carolina, UCLA, UCONN, Gonzaga, Duke, Houston, Iowa State, and Kansas, who sit at No. 1 on next year's projections list. While the transfer portal is closed to players entering, Barnes could still look for another addition to the roster before next season.