Tennessee Basketball won Saturday afternoon against Jacksonville State. However, the Vols lost so much as Lamonte Turner announced during a post-game interview that he played his final game for the Vols.
Turner, who averaged nearly double figures for his career, is overshadowed by Admiral Schofield and Grant Williams.
However, Turner was a vital piece of the foundation who launched the Vols back into national prominence. He meant just as much to the program as the other players.
Turner’s injury is a massive blow.
With the injury, the program is down to eight scholarship players. And, half of the players are freshmen.
After another offseason surgery, Turner’s shoulder troubles were noticeable. He underwent surgery in the offseason for the second-consecutive season in an attempt to finally attain a solution.
An effort that ultimately has come out to be unsuccessful.
Although the severity of Turner’s injury wasn’t known at first, it was apparent it hindered his performance.
To make matters worse, even with Turner (who is a more natural shooting-guard), the Vols already had a deficit on the roster.
Now, the Vols have even more urgency to show their ability to adapt.
Turner can still lead the Vols and help the young players adjust. Accordingly, Tennessee will desperately need them to step up to preserve a successful season.
Jordan Bowden is now the lone-senior for the Vols and has to take the lead. Although Josiah James and Davonte Gaines are freshmen, their developmental urgency is now at an all-time high. Rick Barnes recently stated that mid-term enrollee Santiago Vescovi was “highly unlikely” to play this season.
However, Barnes should change his mind.
Vescovi arrives on campus on December 28th.
Inevitably, the effect of Lamonte Turner’s absence will be felt, but to what degree, is honestly up to them.
One thing is for sure; we will find out soon enough. Maybe.
In the meantime, Vol faithful should celebrate Lamonte Turner’s accomplishments at Tennessee. Take notice that he leaves the Vols basketball program in a condition worlds ahead from where it was his freshman year and that he was an integral part of the revival of Tennessee basketball.