KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) Tennessee believes it finally has enough depth to avoid the February fades that have knocked the Volunteers out of postseason contention the last two years.
Depth issues have been contributed to Tennessee not making NCAA Tournament or NIT appearances in its first two seasons under Rick Barnes, whose teams had earned 19 NCAA bids in the 20 seasons before his arrival in Knoxville. Tennessee finished 16-16 last year and hasn't posted a winning season since reaching the Sweet 16 in 2014.
Two years ago, the Vols lost leading scorer Kevin Punter Jr. to a foot injury and dropped seven of their last 10 games. Last season, they lost six of their last eight games when knee problems limited the effectiveness of top scorer Robert Hubbs III.