Forget the young and super talented Kentucky Wildcats. Top three team? They lack the veteran leadership in returning talent, a bona fide big man, maturity at the point and overall the talent often overshadows their glaring question marks. Enter the Tennessee Volunteers.
Head coach Cuonzo Martin overwhelmingly exceeded expectations in replacing Bruce Pearl at the helm, winning 19 games with the Vols.
Jarnell Stokes, an 18 year old sophomore, who graduated high school early to join the team in January of this year, is a potential All-American forward. At 6'8" he is well-built to battle inside, yet shows great agility and skill for a player of his size that allows him to play some on the perimeter. But he is not alone in the frontcourt- senior Jeronne Maymon, completes the SEC's best duo of forwards as he averaged 12.7 points and 8.1 rebounds in just 28 minutes per game last season.
With Stoke and Maymon occupying defense's attention on the interior, point guard Trae Golden can not only deliver the ball spot on in scoring opportunities, but also knock down the jumpers to spread the floor. For every great pass and good shot, there's just the opposite at times for Golden. Hopefully with another year of seasoning, Golden will live up to his potential as a future NBA player.