Fast start could produce happier finish for Vols
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - Tennessee's hopes of finishing the season in the NCAA tournament could depend on whether it gets off to a faster start.
Each of the last two years, Tennessee has come on strong down the stretch but failed to earn an NCAA bid because its early-season struggles. The Volunteers believe they have enough talent in place to avoid that fate this season.
Tennessee returns three of its top four scorers from a team that went 20-13 and made a second straight NIT appearance last season. McRae is back after earning first-team all-SEC honors. Second-team all-SEC forward Jarnell Stokes also returns.
The Vols also welcome back forward Jeronne Maymon, a second-team all-SEC pick in 2011-12 who redshirted last season with an injured left knee.
Tennessee opens the season Nov. 12 at Xavier.