Previewing Offseason Movement For Tennessee Basketball

Volunteer Country previews the upcoming roster movement for the Tennessee Volunteers after a historic season for the program.
Mar 31, 2024; Detroit, MI, USA; Tennessee Volunteers head coach Rick Barnes reacts in the second
Mar 31, 2024; Detroit, MI, USA; Tennessee Volunteers head coach Rick Barnes reacts in the second / Lon Horwedel-USA TODAY Sports

Volunteer Country previews the upcoming roster movement for the Tennessee Volunteers after a historic season for the program.

The Tennessee Volunteers have officially closed up the season after an elite eight loss to the Purdue Boilermakers. With the season coming to a close, that means the careers of many key Volunteers are as well. They aren’t bringing in very much as of now, but I’m here to tell you key things, including who is leaving, who is joining, who the Volunteers hope to bring back, and who will likely have a bigger role next season.

Leaving

Dalton Knecht is the first name that comes to mind. The Wooden Award finalist finished up his one and final season with the Tennessee Volunteers after being the new guy on campus this season. He was often the saving grace and arguably the best Tennessee basketball player ever.

Santiago Vescovi will also be departing the team after finishing up his final year of eligibility. The team leader for many years came from Uruguay and has built quite the resume as a shooter. Tennessee will be looking to replace not only his leadership but his beyond-the-arc ability however it did seem at times as if he wasn’t the same player from the year prior.

Josiah Jordan James is another member of this team who will no longer be available. After using his last season of eligibility the versatile threat will likely look to attempt to join the NBA as will Knecht and Vescovi. The forward has been a huge help to this team and was especially remarkable in the SEC championship run with Kennedy Chandler and company. He will forever be labeled as an SEC champion.

Joining

As of now, Bishop Boswell is the only player set to join the Volunteers as a combo guard with around a 6-foot-4 frame. It is uncertain how big of a role he will play but he will likely play at least some type of a role whether that’s on the bench or as a starter.

Bigger Roles

The first name that comes to mind is Jordan Gainey. Gainey will likely be a starter with or without the departure of Zakai Zeigler. Gainey is the son of Tennessee coach Justin Gainey, who transferred this season. As time grew older, Gainey became wiser, and I was quite impressed with how he looked in the last stretch of the season. Cameron Carr is another name I want to see get bigger minutes. He was a true freshman this season and arguably the most polished player out of them all. Carr will have a bigger role in the two or three whole.

Cade Phillips needs a bigger role at the four spots as he can spread the floor with serious height. With James being gone someone will need to step in that spot even if it’s on the bench. I believe Phillips is the name that needs to be thrown in the hat.

Hopeful To Return

Zakai Zeigler is a MUST. The star guard is arguably the most complete player on the floor, no matter who is playing. He is an elite defender and a brilliant field general. I expect him to return to Tennessee; however, despite his smaller frame, he could do damage in the NBA. You may see him test the waters like Vescovi and James. Aidoo is likelier to leave than Zeigler, but I don’t believe he will. I think Aidoo is also a must-keep as he is the obvious starter at the five spot, as he has been all season long.

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Evan Crowell

EVAN CROWELL