Is Tennessee Basketball SEC Championship ready?

Tennessee basketball could have a bounce-back season this year after a disappointing 2019-20 season, and one analyst has high hopes.

Tennessee basketball didn’t have what one would call a great season, or even a good season, this past year, but expectations are already high for the Vols for 2020-21.

The Vols have already popped up in multiple way-too-early top 25 polls and they’re in another one with the addition of a potential SEC Championship being added to their resume.

NBC Sports’ Rob Dauster released his way-too-early top 25 rankings and Tennessee fell in the top half of those rankings at No. 13. Tennessee finds itself in between Iowa (No. 12) and North Carolina (No. 14), two teams that have been associated with Tennessee a lot recently.

Tennessee starting the season in the top 25 would be great, but staying there would be even better. I think that’s something the Vols will do this year, and Dauster does too.

One thing Dauster is going out on a limb on is that Tennessee might be ready to compete for the SEC Championship again.

“Last season, one of the biggest issues with Tennessee was a lack of firepower on their perimeter,” Dauster wrote. “This year, they will be adding five-star guards Keon Johnson and Jaden Springer to Josiah Jordan-James and Santiago Vescovi. They’ll have weapons, and that’s before you add in John Fulkerson, who was one of the best bigs in the SEC down the stretch of the season. Yves Pons will be the best defender in college basketball. If Vescovi can handle full-time point guard duties better with an offseason under his belt, the Vols are going to compete for an SEC title.”

Dauster is right. Tennessee struggled from beyond the three-point line and not only could they not consistently hit threes, but they shot them so often you’d think they’re one of the best three-point shooting teams in the country.

Josiah Jordan-James and Santiago Vescovi could very well lead the Vols in three-point shooting this year which means they’re going to need to be much better than this past season and much more consistent if Tennessee wants to actually compete for an SEC Championship.

The Vols are highly thought of throughout the national media right now along with Kentucky. The Wildcats are the only other SEC team that is in the top 25 rankings at No. 10.

Next: Tennessee Football is getting back to basics and focusing on in-state recruiting

I don’t know if I can buy into all of the hype quite yet, but I would love to see the Vols go on to win an SEC Championship and win the SEC Tournament in Nashville.

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