Image credit: Anne Newman/RTI
The Vols snuck up on people during the 2017-18 season and was among the most significant surprise stories throughout the season. Tennessee went from being picked 13th out of 14 groups in the SEC to winning a share of the routine season conference title, making it to the SEC Tournament last, and earning a No. 3 seed in the NCAA Tournament.Tennessee’s basketball team stunned people this year. But they won’t be sneaking up on anyone next year.Unlike this past season, the Vols will have plenty of expectations to measure up to in the 2018-19 season. The Vols return everyone however James Daniel III from their roster this year for next season, and they’ll likely be among the 3 or four favorites to win the SEC next season.The 2017-18 season is nearly over. The NCAA Tournament Final is tonight, and after that video game it will formally be the offseason for every college basketball group throughout the nation. And although we’re still half a year far from the start of next season, one publication has currently comprised their way-too-early preseason leading 25 for next year. And Tennessee discovered themselves inside the leading 10. Sporting News released their way-too-early preseason leading 25 in males’s basketball on Monday, and Tennessee not only made it inside the top 10, however they were second only to Kentucky among SEC teams.The Vols put No. 8 in the very early preseason rankings, and Sporting News thinks Tennessee belongs there due to the fact that of the lineup continuity from this year’s surprising team.
“The Vols stunned practically everyone this season, and they return basically everyone next season, including SEC Gamer of the Year Grant Williams,” Sporting News says.
“When you return everybody from a team that made a No. 3 seed in the NCAA Competition, that’s a top-10 group.”Tennessee had the SEC Player of the Year, SEC Sixth Guy of the Year( Lamonte Turner), and SEC Coach of the Year(Rick Barnes)this season. And both players and the head coach will be with Tennessee
next season as well.Mississippi State (21st), Florida (16th), LSU (13th ), Auburn (11th), and Kentucky (3rd) are the other SEC groups to make the preseason leading 25. Kansas edged out Duke for the No. 1 spot.The highest the
Vols have actually ever been ranked in the AP Survey to start the season was when they earned the No. 7 ranking in the nation prior to the 2007-08 season. That season would go on to be among the most effective years in Tennessee history. The Vols won a school record 31 video games that year, reached No. 1 in the country for a week, and made it to the Sugary food Sixteen of the NCAA Tournament.Tennessee has only been ranked inside the top 10 of the preseason AP Poll 4 times. They were ranked No. 7 in 2007 and earned the No. 9 spot in 2000, 1998, and 1975. Time will inform where the Vols eventually start the season ranked. One thing is clear: Expectations for next year’s group will be monumentally various than they were this season.