With the season less than two weeks away, Tennessee basketball came in at No. 11 in the preseason USA Today Coaches Poll.
The Vols are also No. 11 in the preseason AP Poll, their highest preseason ranking since the 2018-19 season.
Tennessee is the third highest ranked SEC team in the poll coming in behind No. 4 Kentucky and No. 10 Arkansas. The Vols come in the poll ahead of No. 15 Auburn and No. 19 Alabama.
Rick Barnes’ eighth Tennessee team plays six games against the four SEC teams in the preseason poll but also faces a couple of preseason top 25 teams in out of conference play.
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Tennessee faces No. 12 Texas in Knoxville as part of the Big 12/SEC Challenge, No. 13 Arizona in Tucson and could face No. 5 Kansas in the Battle4Atlantis.
The Vols return an abundance of talent from last season’s team including Josiah-Jordan James, Santiago Vescovi and Zakai Zeigler.
The trio landed on the Preseason All-SEC teams as the conference’s media picked the Vols to finish third in the league behind Kentucky and Arkansas.
The returning talent combined with newcomers Julian Phillips — five-star freshman — and Tyreke Key — Indiana State transfer — provide plenty of reasons for excitement.
Tennessee held a closed scrimmage against Michigan State Sunday and travels to Frisco, Texas Friday to face No. 2 Gonzaga in an exhibition game.
The Vols open the regular season against Tennessee Tech on Nov. 7.