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College Basketball

Rick Barnes and Tennessee’s Climb

On-Court Success

Rick Barnes is leading Tennessee to national relevance with his success on the court and off of it in recruiting. He has sustained a 104-63 record since taking over Tennessee in 2015. In 2018 he helped lead Tennessee to an SEC regular-season title. Also, in 2018 and 2019 they made two NCAA tournament appearances to the Round of 32 and Sweet 16 in consecutive seasons. Barnes is prepared to keep building Tennessee into a team that will advance in the NCAA tournament for years to come. Further, Tennessee is emerging as an SEC perennial contender and a top 20 program nationally.

Admiral Schofield - Men's Basketball - University of Tennessee ...Player Development

Additionally, his staff has been tremendous with player development. Players such as, Grant Williams, Admiral Schofield, Jordan Bone, John Fulkerson, and Yves Pons. Now, the foundation of this team was built on the toughness of Grant Williams and Admiral Schofield who are both playing in the NBA with the Celtics and Wizards respectively. Additionally, some of the current players in John Fulkerson and Yves Pons showed the development that can take place from one year to the next. Most importantly, the staff Rick Barnes is tremendous and leads to this player’s development with Mike Schwartz, Kim English, and Dez Oliver. Player development is the lifeblood of successful college basketball programs and Tennessee is proving to be very successful in that department.

Recruiting Success

2019
Josiah Jordan-James, Santiago Vescovi
2020
Jaden Springer, Keon Johnson, Corey Walker
2021
Kennedy Chandler
2021 5-star point guard Kennedy Chandler commits to Tennessee
The recruiting success over the last three seasons has been tremendous by Barnes and his staff. Next, the ability to recruit perimeter players is terrific. Adding very good guards in 2019 with Josiah Jordan-James and an underrated recruit in Santiago Vescovi. Along with 2020’s loaded recruiting class headlined with Jaden Springer and Keon Johnson especially along with size up front in Corey Walker. Now, they have added an elite point guard to run this Tennessee team quickly in Kennedy Chandler, the home state guard. These three recruiting classes for Tennessee are setting the foundation for the years of success coming for Tennessee. Barnes is a crafty veteran in this business and will possibly have his best program he’s coached yet.

What’s Next?

Tennessee will have a very talented team this season with aspirations for a Final Four run and winning the SEC Championship. Next, they will have as good as anyone combination in the frontcourt with John Fulkerson and Yves Pons. As well as, the returning guards of Santiago Vescovi and Josiah Jordan-James. Additionally, having the transfers of E.J. Anosike and Victor Bailey being major contributors. Lastly, you throw in the star-studded freshman class of Jaden Springer, Keon Johnson and Corey Walker and Tennessee have high expectations for this season. Rick Barnes’ ability to recruit and build sustainability at Tennessee has them among the best in the country.

Images Courtesy of, University of Tennesse Athletics, Washington Post, WKYT

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