It’s finally basketball time in Tennessee! Basketball teams across the country began practice for the upcoming season on Tuesday.
It's getting real.
PRESEASON PRACTICE STARTS TODAY. pic.twitter.com/eoeguJOujq
— Tennessee Basketball (@Vol_Hoops) September 24, 2019
With the struggles of the football team, I’m sure a number of Vol fans have already switched gears and are looking forward to basketball season.
This last year has been a wild one for the Vols. They are coming off of one of their most successful seasons in history, going 31-6. For the second time in school history, the Vols held the No. 1 spot in the country, but this time, they held that spot for four weeks.
The Vols couldn’t get over the Sweet 16 hump, as they suffered a crushing defeat against the Purdue Boilermakers, ending their magical season.
This offseason featured a number of ups and downs. In total, the Vols lost four starters from last year’s team, but also added six more players to the roster.
The Vols lost assistant coach Rob Lanier, as he was hired as Georgia State’s head coach. The Vols added Kim English from Colorado to replace him.
In April, a number of major media sites around the country stated that Vols head coach Rick Barnes was interested in the UCLA head coach opening. UCLA offered Barnes a “lucrative deal” but Barnes’ buyout for the Vols was too expensive for the Bruins to continue to go after him.
These talks brought turmoil to the fanbase, and understandably so, as Barnes openly said he thought he was going to be the Bruins’ future coach. Despite all of that talk, athletic director Phillip Fulmer offered Barnes an extension. Barnes now has a five-year, $26 million deal with the Vols.
With that, I will give you an outlook at the 2019-2020 Tennessee Volunteers basketball program.