KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (UT Release) - With the official start of college hoops practice less than three weeks away, anticipation is mounting for the second year of Tennessee basketball under head coach Cuonzo Martin. That excitement continued Wednesday, as Blue Ribbon Yearbook ranked the Volunteers No. 22 in its preseason top 25 poll.
Tennessee returns four starters and six of its top seven scorers from last year’s 19-15 squad, which finished second in the Southeastern Conference standings and posted three wins over teams ranked in the top 15.
Point guard Trae Golden, who will be a junior this season, led the Vols in scoring last year with 13.6 points per game. Rising senior forward Jeronne Maymon earned second-team All-SEC honors a year ago after averaging 12.7 points and a team-best 8.1 rebounds per game as a junior.
Additionally, Memphis, Tenn., native Jarnell Stokes earned a spot on the SEC All-Freshman Team after averaging 9.6 points and 7.4 rebounds per game as a mid-year enrollee a season ago.
Senior shooting guard Skylar McBee also returns this season and boasts 12 games of starting experience from his junior year, during which he shot a team-best .391 from 3-point range.
Other Vols with significant experience under their respective belts are senior forward Kenny Hall (6.2 ppg, 4.5 rpg), junior guard Jordan McRae (8.6 ppg, 2.9 rpg), sophomore guard Josh Richardson (2.9 ppg, 1.4 rpg) and sophomore center Yemi Makanjuola (2.3 ppg, 2.8 rpg).