For the first time since the 2004-05 season under former coach Buzz Peterson, Tennessee’s season came to an end on Selection Sunday.
The Vols, as expected, weren’t selected for the NCAA tournament nor the National Invitational Tournament (NIT) when brackets for both events were revealed on Sunday evening.
Tennessee (16-16) then confirmed via a press release that it will not be pursuing a bid to the College Basketball Invitational Tournament (CBI) – a 16-team consolation tournament founded in 2007.
“I’m obviously disappointed that we weren’t able to land a spot in the NIT field,” said coach Donnie Tyndall. “I know our fans – who have been unbelievable all season –loved this young team. We certainly would have loved to have given the fans an opportunity to watch this team compete again in the NIT.
“After some discussion with our administration, we made the decision not to pursue a bid to the CBI.”
Despite a season that fell short of what’s been Tennessee’s standard over the past decade, the Vols actually overachieved in many respects, finishing 10th in the league after being picked 13th.
Senior Josh Richardson, the only returning player on the 2014-15 squad who had extensive experience, was named First Team All-SEC, and veterans such as Armani Moore and Robert Hubbs III developed while the Vols also broke in numerous newcomers.
Tennessee defeated four teams that made the NCAA tournament – Texas Southern, Butler, Arkansas and LSU in addition to other quality wins over Kansas State and Vanderbilt (twice).
“I’m thankful and appreciative of our seniors and everything they’ve given this program,” Tyndall said. “Now it’s time to get to work recruiting and developing our returning players as we build for what I believe is a very bright future for Tennessee basketball.”