Former Vols Congratulate, Give Advice to Basketball Vols

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    The Vols ended a decade-long drought on Saturday when they were crowned SEC co-champions along with the Auburn Tigers. Tennessee defeated Georgia 66-61 in a back-and-forth contest in the second half, and the Vols finished the regular season with a 23-7 record, 13-5 conference mark, and a share of the regular season SEC title.

    It’s been a while since the Vols have been able to claim a title of any kind in their three big men’s athletics programs. The last title that was won by the Vols’ football, basketball, or baseball team was the 2007-08 SEC regular season title that the basketball team won.

    But now the Vols are champions in one of their three main men’s sports again. And several former Vols sent messages of congratulations to this year’s team. But they also gave advice about the coming weeks in the SEC and NCAA Tournament.

    The first former Vol to drop a video online was Jordan McRae. The former Tennessee guard played for the Vols from 2010-14 and was part of the Vols’ last NCAA Tournament appearance when they made it to the Sweet Sixteen in the 2014 tournament. He averaged 13.3 points, 3.3 rebounds, and 1.8 assists while shooting 41.7 percent from the floor in his 114 career games. He made 74 starts for the Vols as well.

    Next up was SEC and Tennessee legend Chris Lofton. As a Vol from 2004-08, Lofton set records for his three-point shooting. He finished his career with 431 made three-pointers, the most in Tennessee history, and a 42.2 career shooting percentage from three. He started 128 games and averaged 16.6 points, 3.3 rebounds, 1.7 assists, and 1.5 steals in his Tennessee career. He was part of the last SEC title-winning Vol basketball team in 2007-08.

    C.J. Watson was the next former Vol to send his congratulations. Watson is second all-time in program history in assists, totaling 577 in his career with the Vols. He also finished with the second-most steals in Tennessee history with 198. Watson started 118 games from 2002-06 and made the NCAA Tournament in his last season with the Vols. He averaged 12 points, 4.8 assists, 3.7 rebounds, and 1.7 steals. He also spent several years in the NBA and averaged 7.2 points and 2.5 assists in 600 career games, 104 of which were starts.

    Current NBA forward Tobias Harris was next to send out his video. Harris only spent one season with Tennessee, but he’s loved by Vols fans everywhere. Harris averaged 15.3 points, 7.3 rebounds, and shot 46 percent from the floor in his 34 games in 2010-11. Harris is currently in his eighth season in the NBA and has played for four different teams. He’s averaging 14.4 points and 5.6 rebounds while shooting 46.6 percent from the floor in his NBA career.

    Cameron Tatum was the next former Vol to wish the Vols good luck moving forward and to congratulate them on their title. Tatum played for the Vols from 2007-12 and made the NCAA Tournament in four of his five seasons with Tennessee. He finished inside the top 10 in program history for three-pointers attempted with 476, and he made 155 of them. Tatum played in 138 games and started 78, averaging 7.8 points, 2.9 rebounds, and 1.7 assists.

    Mike Jackson, co-captain of the Vols’ 1976-77 team that won the SEC title, also shared his thoughts and praise for the team. Jackson played along with Vol legends Bernard King and Ernie Grunfeld and was pivotal in the 1977 team’s title run.

    Next up was Renaldo Woolridge. The former Vol turned rap/hip hop artist played for Tennessee from 2008-12 and was a part of several NCAA Tournament teams. He played in 93 games for the Vols and started 20 of them. In those 93 contests, “Swiperboy” averaged 3.2 points and 2.3 rebounds in his Tennessee career, and he’s gone on to write and perform several Vol-themed songs.

    Lastly, Lew Evans sent out his congratulations and advice to the team. Evans transferred in to play for the Vols last season, and even though this stats are far from eye-popping, he was a fan favorite because of his demeanor and ability to snipe the occasional three. Evans played just one season for the Vols but played in all 32 games and started four of them. He averaged 3.4 points and 2.8 rebounds last year.