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Tennessee Basketball: Vols picked to finish near the bottom of the SEC

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No respect from the media.

NCAA Basketball: Vanderbilt at Tennessee Randy Sartin-USA TODAY Sports

In a year where Tennessee returns most of their contributors and have added a number of new impact players, the Vols are still being slept on by the SEC media. They were picked to finish 13th in the media projection, only slated to be better than the LSU Tigers.

That’s not a lot of respect for a team that Rick Barnes seems pretty excited about. Tennessee can legitimately go 11 or 12 deep this season — a far cry from Barnes’ first couple of Volunteer squads.

Incoming transfers James Daniel III and Chris Darrington should solidify the backcourt and give Tennessee a couple of new scoring options along with Jordan Bone, Lamonte Turner and Jordan Bowden. Grant Williams, Admiral Schofield and Kyle Alexander return to the frontcourt, along with freshman Derrick Walker.

Tennessee expects to have forward John Fulkerson back at some point, too. All that plus the exciting addition of Yves Pons doesn’t exactly smell like a 13th place finish in the SEC to me. I guess we’ll find out soon enough. Here’s the rest of the SEC projections, as voted by the media.

SEC Media Projections

1. Kentucky

2. Florida

3. Texas A&M

4. Alabama

5. Missouri

6. Arkansas

7. Vanderbilt

8. Georgia

9. Auburn

10. Ole Miss

11. South Carolina

12. Mississippi State

13. Tennessee

14. LSU