Busting Brackets

NCAA Basketball: Arizona, Indiana, and Ole Miss rise in updated 2024-25 WTE power rankings

Dayton v Arizona
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18. Tennessee Volunteers

The Vols knew they were losing SEC Player of the Year and All-American wing Dalton Knecht (21.7 ppg) and long-time guard Santiago Vescovi this offseason but not even they were immune to the transfer portal drama. They lost big man Jonas Aidoo, one of the top interior defenders in NCAA Basketball, to Coach Cal and Arkansas. Tobe Awaka and Freddie Dillone also left for power conference programs.

The backcourt should still remain largely intact. Starting guard and standout defender Zakai Zeigler is back, along with Jordan Gainey and Jahmal Mashack. Joining them is Darlinstone Dubar, who averaged 17.8 ppg and 6.8 rpg at Hofstra and is a 6’6 wing. He shot 54% from the field and 40% from deep and could very well be the replacement for Knecht as a go-to scorer next season.

Along with returning young forwards Cade Phillips and JP Estrella are a pair of key frontcourt transfers. Felix Okpara is a former top-50 prospect and transfer from Ohio State who’ll be looking for more playing time. He has real defensive potential but is a downgrade from Aidoo. Igor Milicic is a 6’10 forward from Charlotte, who averaged 12.8 ppg and 8.5 rpg and is a floor spacing as well, shooting 38% from deep.

How well Dubar looks next season will be a big question as to how good the offense will be at Tennessee but the defense should remain strong with Zeigler back.