Tennessee Volunteers News, Rumors, Injuries & Recruiting
Rocky Top Talk: 2019 NBA Draft Profile: Grant Williams is a relentless overachiever that you need on your team
Grant Williams has defied the odds his entire basketball career. Why should that stop now?
Williams is nothing short of a legend in Knoxville. The former six-foot-five, three-star power forward recruit turned into a back to back SEC player of the year. He was the main catalyst in Tennessee's return to the national stage in college basketball.
Grant isn't your typical star athlete, either. A self-proclaimed nerd, Williams was a nationally ranked chess player before his basketball stardom. He could be constantly seen playing the board game 'Settlers of Catan' on the team plane before games.
Rocky Top Talk: Tennessee's Pitching Staff Must Improve For NCAA Tournament
How a team finishes out a season can sometimes be a good barometer of how that team may play in the postseason.
Let's hope for the sake of the Tennessee Volunteers' pitching staff that isn't true.
The Vols' staff struggled over the month of May and that isn't good for a team trying to make the NCAA Tournament.
Tennessee's ERA currently sits at 24th in the country, allowing just 3.6 runs per game, but they've allowed around 4.83 runs per game in May, which would have them tied for 136th.
If they held that average throughout the year, it would have them in the same grouping as Evansville, USC Upstate, and Florida Atlantic - three teams that certainly won't be in Omaha.
Fansided: Tennessee basketball: Turner and Bowden need to play big next season
The Tennessee basketball team could potentially lose four starters from last year's 31-win squad if Jordan Bone stays in the 2019 NBA Draft. What will the Vols look like? Where will the scoring come from?
Tennessee's recruiting class took shape, and it turns out there is a lot of unknown talent. I think we all expect Josiah-Jordan James, who is ranked 28th in the nation according to 247Sports, to contribute a lot.
However, there are two players who Tennessee needs to play big to have success, and that is Lamonte Turner and Jordan Bowden.
Over the last five games of the season, Turner and Bowden appeared in the lineup that Rick Barnes used 25 percent of the time.
Fansided: Tennessee basketball: Updated NBA mock drafts for Vols
There have only been a couple of years in the history of the Tennessee basketball program where three Vols were drafted in an NBA Draft. In 1977, Mike Jackson was drafted in the seventh round along with Bernard King and Ernie Grunfeld who went in the first 11 picks.
It also happened in 1950. However, that year there were 12 rounds when Art Burris, Ed Jones, and Ed Montgomery were drafted.
In the NBA Draft that we are used to with two rounds, the Vols haven't had much success. But, this year could be different with Grant Williams, Admiral Schofield, and Jordan Bone all projected to at least have an opportunity to get drafted.
Fansided: NBA Draft: Are Grant Williams and Admiral Schofield a packaged deal?
If you watched Tennessee basketball at all this past year, you could see how Grant Williams and Admiral Schofield fed off each other. Known as Peanut Butter and Jelly, they were a perfect 3-4 combination. Well, scouts now may be noticing that for the NBA Draft.
A couple of developments happened recently that suggest this duo may stick together in the pros. For starters, they shared a workout with one team. Then a mock NBA Draft came out projecting them to both be drafted by another team.
The workout was with the Golden State Warriors, according to Wes Rucker of GoVols247.
Fansided: Tennessee basketball: What can Uros Plavsic bring to the Vols?
Just hours after back-to-back SEC Player of the Year, Grant Williams announced he was staying in the NBA Draft; the Vols picked up a committed from Uros Plavsic. Realistic fans know that merely picking up a commit won't replace the greatness of Grant. However, big bodies never hurt.
Plavsic is a 7-footer, and you know what they say, "you can't teach height." And, height is something that is going to be very important next season with the departure of 6-foot-11 Kyle Alexander.
Former Vols big man was exceptional in protecting the basket with excellent timing with blocked shots, but it was his length that affected the opposing players.
Fansided: NBA Combine: Jordan Bone helped his draft chances with scrimmage No.2
Like former Tennesse basketball teammate Grant Williams, Jordan Bone had himself a scrimmage on Friday afternoon. After a rough go of things on Thursday, Bone took the court Friday for his second scrimmage, and it looked like he was playing Kentucky.
Last season the Vols and Cats played three times and statically speaking it was probably the best three-game series of Bone's career. He finished with 64 points on 61.6 percent from the floor and a staggering 76.9 percent from deep with 14 assists and four turnovers.
That was the Jordan Bone all the NBA scouts were able to see on Friday afternoon.
Rocky Top Talk: Grant Williams says goodbye to Tennessee
Grant Williams officially exited the Tennessee basketball program over the weekend, opting to stay in the 2019 NBA Draft. The former three-star recruit turned back to back SEC player of the year took to Instagram to say farewell on Sunday night.
Time flies... To think when I walked onto Tennessee's campus I was a 17 year old kid thinking he knew everything about the world. The time that I spent at the University of Tennessee was everything I could've asked for and more. I was challenged more than I had been my entire life, I was humbled, I was taught how to not only impact a culture but to also impact winning.
Fansided: Tennessee basketball: Vols add 7-foot transfer center Uros Plavsic from Arizona State
Most of Friday was rough for Rick Barnes and Tennessee basketball. Grant Williams announced his decision to stay in the NBA Draft, and the Memphis Tigers, across the state, secured the No. 1 ranked recruiting class under Penny Hardaway.
Well, the news got better Friday night. Center Uros Plavsic, who is transferring away from the Arizona State Sun Devils, announced that the Vols would be his next destination. He will arrive as a redshirt freshman
Plavsic, who stands at 7'1'', went to Hamilton Heights Christian in Chattanooga, Tenn., so there are connections toRocky Top. However, he is originally from Serbia.
Fansided: NBA Combine: Grant Williams played more relaxed in Game 2
After his first scrimmage, Grant Williams had a few NBA executives talking about him, but it wasn't in a great way. One concern was the lack of offensive production. Williams scored just five points on 2-for-13 from the floor, including 0-for-5 from the three-point line.
It looked like Williams was pressing a bit with his outside shot. It appeared it was trying too hard to prove he can knock down the deep jumper. A few times, Grant got the ball in his sweet spot 10-15 feet from the basketball, but nothing would fall.
I don't want to sound too negative because the other parts of his game were next level.
Fansided: Tennessee basketball: Memphis Tigers No. 1 recruiting class puts pressure on Vols
There's no debate anymore. With the Memphis Tigers securing a commitment from five-star Precious Achiuwa, they have the No. 1 ranked recruiting class across all services. Meanwhile, Tennessee basketball is trying to replace its four most important players from last year.
Back in December, when the Vols beat the Tigers at the FedEx Forum, Penny Hardaway went out of his way to restore the intensity of the rivalry. He continually took shots at Rick Barnes and UT throughout the year, even as Rocky Top was spending weeks on top of the polls while his team missed out on the NCAA Tournament.
Rocky Top Talk: Grant Williams announces he will remain in 2019 NBA Draft
Tennessee star power forward Grant Williams announced his intentions to stay in the NBA Draft this morning, a day earlier than he previously had planned to. He sat down with Shams Charania of Stadium to announce his decision.
"I'm going to stay in the NBA Draft after receiving this feedback," Williams said in the interview. "With how I've performed and what I'm hearing, I feel confident in myself and my game, as well as what I'm hearing from teams. I'm excited to take this next step in my journey."
Williams is a two-time SEC player of the year.
Fansided: Tennessee basketball: Grant Williams leaving was a smart move for Grant
Well, Tennessee basketball fans received some bittersweet new the latter part of Friday morning. Around 10:00 am, Grant Williams announced via Twitter that he would remain in the NBA Draft forgoing his senior season with the Vols.
What a gut-punching 1:10-minute video from the back-to-back SEC Player of the Year. But, as Vol fans, you have to be happy with what Grant meant to the program as well as excited for the opportunity he has in store for his career.
In the video, Williams said after receiving feedback from NBA teams he is staying in the NBA Draft.
Fansided: Tennessee basketball: Grant Williams is gone, but Vols could be fine
After three years as the main scorer for Tennessee basketball, Grant Williams has decided to stay in the NBA Draft. He thanked UT fans in a video publicizing his decision. However, the only real surprise was the timing of the announcement.
Williams has been spending this week at the NBA Combine, and reports earlier were that he would announce his decision Saturday. However, after numerous mock drafts having him as a first-rounder, it made sense for him to go ahead and decide.
The two-time SEC Player of the Year and Consensus First Team All-American made his announcement in a sit-down exclusive interview with Stadium.
Rocky Top Talk: Jordan Bone crushes NBA Combine, sets date for final decision
A quick look through all of the two round NBA mock drafts gives you projections on Grant Williams and Admiral Schofield, but virtually nothing on point guard Jordan Bone. The Nashville native declared for the draft in early April, reportedly with intentions of staying in. However, to this point, the lack of buzz around Bone had been notable.
That all changed on Thursday afternoon.
Bone finished the day second in the vertical jump, registering a staggering 42.5 inches. Former Tennessee target Jalen Lecque eventually took over the top spot.
He then led the pack in the 3/4ths court sprint, checking in with a time of 3.