Vols in the Top 5? One National Writer Thinks So

Image credit: Allie Suber/RTI

Forget the leading 10; one national author thinks the Vols have the prospective to begin next basketball season ranked inside the leading 5.

Tennessee has assembled his way-too-early preseason top 25, and he has three SEC groups inside the top 10 for next year. And the Vols are inside his leading 5. His reasoning? The Vols return nearly everyone off their lineup from this season, a season that was one of the most effective in UT basketball history.”Tennessee, like Auburn, should return the majority of the crucial pieces from a group that shared the SEC regular-season title,”Parrish composes.” More specifically, the top 6 scorers are back– among them SEC Gamer of the Year Grant Williams. So it’ll come as no surprise when the Vols finish at, or near, the top of the league once again. “The Vols had one of their more successful pre-NCAA Competition seasons ever this year. Tennessee divided the SEC

regular season title with Auburn, made it to the SEC Competition Final, and connected the 1999-2000 team for the third-most total success in a season with 26 wins.And aside from guard James Daniel III, the Vols will likely return every other player off this year’s lineup for next year.Parrish has Auburn ranked slightly ahead of Tennessee at No. 4 on his list, and Kentucky is best behind the Vols at No. 6 in his preseason rankings.

Other SEC groups in his leading 25 are LSU(20th )and Mississippi State( 15th). Kansas topped his list and was followed by Duke and Villanova.Tennessee has never begun a basketball season ranked inside the leading 5 of the AP Survey. The highest the Vols have actually begun a season was No. 7 in the nation, and that was prior to the 2007-08 season.

Tennessee would go on earn their most wins in a single season that year with 31, and they were No. 1 in the nation for a week after beating No. 1 Memphis on the road.