KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WJHL) — The Tennessee Volunteers have already started practicing for the upcoming basketball season, which gets underway on October 30 against Lenoir Rhyne.
The Vols will then face UT-Martin before welcoming the ETSU Buccaneers to Thompson Boling on Nov. 14.
The Vols have once again added one of the best young signing classes to go along with veterans like Kingsport native John Fulkerson, Victor Bailey, Jr, Santiago Vescovi, and Josiah-Jordan James to name a few.
With that type of talent, Coach Barnes has also put together a tough schedule which includes Villanova, North Carolina, or Purdue in the Hall of Fame Tip-off, Memphis, Arizona, and Texas to name a few.
So, he needs the young guys to grow up in a hurry and that’s why he’s leaning on the veterans to help lead the way.
“Those guys you mentioned have been through some bad times and some good times, and they have done a fine job showing these younger guys what’s it about in our program,” Barnes said. “They know we need the younger guys to grow up fast.
Barnes said exposing the younger players to hard competition early will speed up their progress and make them tougher athletes who can then receive more playing time in future seasons.