Tennessee Preview-Capsule

No. 6 Tennessee

Last season: 26-9, lost 63-62 to Loyola-Chicago in second round of NCAA Tournament

Nickname: Volunteers

Coach: Rick Barnes

Conference: Southeastern

Who’s gone: Guards James Daniel (exhausted eligibility) and Chris Darrington (transferred to Toledo)

Who’s back: Forward Grant Williams returns for his junior season after being selected by coaches as the 2018 SEC player of the year. He averaged 15.2 points and 6 rebounds last season. Forward Admiral Schofield, a second-team all-SEC selection last year with 13.9 points and 6.4 rebounds per game, worked out with NBA teams during the pre-draft process but decided to come back for his senior season. Junior guards Lamonte’ Turner (10.9 points per game last year), Jordan Bowden (9.1) and Jordan Bone (7.3) also return. Bowden and Bone combined for 68 starts last year. Turner was Tennessee’s third-leading scorer while coming off the bench. Kyle Alexander, a 6-foot-11 senior, led the Vols in offensive rebounds (85) and blocks (57) last season.

Who’s new: Freshman D.J. Burns was rated as the nation’s No. 108 prospect in his class according to composite rankings of recruiting sites compiled by 247Sports. The 6-9 forward had over 1,000 points and 1,000 rebounds at York Preparatory Academy in Rock Hill, South Carolina.

The skinny: Tennessee returns its top six scorers from last year and heads into the season as one of the nation’s most experienced teams. That explains why Tennessee is sixth in the Top 25, its highest preseason ranking ever.

Expectations: Las Vegas oddsmakers give Tennessee a 22-1 shot to win the national title, even though the Vols have never reached a Final Four. The only teams with better odds are Duke, Kentucky, Gonzaga, Kansas, North Carolina, Villanova, Nevada and Virginia. The SEC preseason media poll has Tennessee finishing second in the league, behind only Kentucky.