Vols Fielding Young and Talented Basketball Team

The college basketball season is just around the corner, and the Tennessee Vols expect to be among the nation’s top teams.

Tennessee was picked 18th in the AP preseason poll that came out Monday.

The Vols roster is loaded with freshmen, but they’re talented kids.

24-7 rates Tennessee’s freshman class as the fourth best in the nation.

As the Vols start practice, they’re glad to see many of last year’s COVID restrictions in the rear view mirror.
Said head coach Rick Barnes:”It was really fun to get back to normal as we could be. The best part of that has really been the time we’ve gotten to spend with the players now. Being able to utilize the time we have in Pratt together. Then go downstairs in the locker room. That’s two of the most important places that we can be together.”
Said guard Josiah-Jordan James:”I feel like last year with COVID was hard to get the camaraderie we wanted throughout the season, but this year with the restrictions kind of loosening up a little bit, the camaraderie has been there since day one.”
The Vols have several new faces this season, including seven freshmen, led by number one Kennedy Chandler, the nation’s top
point guard recruit.
Said James:”His speed. He’s lightning quick. He gets to wherever he wants to go. He doesn’t really let the defense affect him. Just his play-making ability. He’s able to see the court very well.”
The newcomers will have to grow up fast with the Vols schedule, which includes back-to-back non-conference games with Memphis and Arizona in December.
Said Barnes:”Are we over-scheduled with this young group? I do believe, and we do as a staff, the more we can expose them to hard competition hopefully. We think it will help us grow up quicker. We certainly hope so. We hope we can obviously win some of those games. You can’t win big games if you’re not willing to schedule them and play them.”
And Rick Barnes will get to go back home when the Vols play at Texas in January.
Said Barnes:”I just felt at this point and time there were a lot of things. I still don’t want it to be about me coming back. I really don’t. I know it will be something to that, but the fact is, where our program is, and where there program is. Now that they’re coming into the league, it makes us look like we were smart enough to get a jump on what it’s like going to Austin.” (chuckles)
Tennessee welcomes back guard Santiago Vescovi.
He gained some quality experience over the summer playing for Uruguay’s Olympic qualifying team.
Said Vescovi:”Like I said it was an honor. Gave me a lot of experience. Lot of things to learn from. Lot of people that I don’t hang around normally. It’s really good to see how professional they are, and it taught me a lot.”

Categories: Sports – Local Sports News, Sports – UT Vols