The Blue Ribbon College Basketball Yearbook is back for another season and the annual yearbook is high on Tennessee basketball entering the 2023-24 season.
The preseason yearbook picked Tennessee basketball to win the SEC for the second time in the Rick Barnes era and pegged the Vols No. 6 nationally in their preseason top 25.
Tennessee is the highest rated of six SEC teams in the rankings. No. 8 Arkansas, No. 11 Kentucky, No. 17 Texas A&M, No. 19 Alabama and No. 20 Mississippi State followed the Vols.
Blue Ribbons also picked super senior shooting guard Santiago Vescovi as a preseason fourth team All-American. Vescovi has finished top two in scoring for Tennessee over the last two seasons, averaging 12.5 points and 13.3 points per game respectively.
The Montevideo, Uruguay native is a strong defender and a high-level offensive player with his ability to create for himself and others with his off ball movement and knock down open shots. Vescovi is a 38% three-point shooter over his four-year collegiate career.
Vescovi is returning for his super senior season along with forward Josiah-Jordan James. There’s a lot of moving pieces that make this Tennessee team intriguing, but the return of the two veterans along with strong incoming scorers Freddie Dilione (redshirt freshman) and Dalton Knecht (Northern Colorado transfer) makes the Vols a potential top five team this season.
Tennessee is coming off its second trip to the Sweet 16 in the Rick Barnes’ after the Vols dismantled Duke in the Round of 32 of the 2023 NCAA Tournament.
The Vols play a challenging non conference schedule which includes road matchups at Wisconsin and North Carolina, a home matchup against Illinois and neutral site games against Syracuse, Gonzaga or Purdue, one more game in the Maui Invitational and North Carolina State.