Tennessee's Basketball Offense is Doomed, DOOMED I TELL YOU

SI.com says nice things about Tobias Harris:

While plenty of prospects in this draft class have seen their stock rise simply by virtue of others withdrawing, Harris has actually improved standing by being more closely evaluated since the season ended.

One of the youngest players in this draft at age 18, Harris was a top-10 recruit who played arguably the most consistent basketball of any freshman in his class this year -- not an easy thing to do considering the tumultuous circumstances he was in. As scouts revisited his season and reports on his outstanding work ethic circulated, Harris' name slowly rose up draft boards, to the point that he may now be a lottery pick.

Ultra polished and extremely mature, Harris always had the feel of a one-and-done prospect, which made it no surprise at all to see him decide to keep his name in the draft.

Harris's departure, of course, along with that of Scotty Hopson and six seniors, along with a couple of recruits changing their mind or failing to get on campus, means that Tennessee loses 79% of its scoring and 73% of its rebounding from last season. Oh, no! If we lose 79% of our scoring, we're only going to score 11% 21% (!) of the points we scored under Bruce Pearl, which means Cuonzo Martin must be a really horrible coach and should definitely be fired this summer so we can get a real coach.

Some folks' conclusions are not quite that drastic, but the reasoning is similarly flawed. The departure of a player who scored half of a team's points never means that half the points are gone. The dynamic changes. Last year's role players, who deferred to last year's scorers, (hopefully) no longer defer and seize the opportunity to switch roles and become scorers themselves.There are fresh new opportunities for the players next season. The departure creates a vacuum, but the vacuum creates opportunities.

Yes, even though it doesn't necessarily mean that a team won't score as many points as it did the prior year, it also doesn't mean that the team will. Perhaps last year's role players won't be as prolific as the outgoing players, but you just can't conclude the team has no offense because last year's leading scorer hit 20 PPG and the returning leading scorer only hit 8. The returner may not get 20 next year, but he likely won't get just 8, either.

Anyway, on to the etceteras: John Adams says essentially that the sentiment behind replacing Mike Hamilton with Phillip Fulmer as AD is because no one knows any better. Dang, Willie Gault is still faster than me. Reggie Cobb, Heath Shuler, and Scott Gaylon are among 10 inductees to the 2011 Greater Knoxville Sports Hall of Fame.

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