Eight newcomers will take the floor for Tennessee in its opener on Friday night when the Volunteers take on in-state foe Chattanooga.
The Mocs are coming off a trip to the NCAA tournament and a stellar 29-6 year. They four of five starters from a team that went on the road to defeat multiple Power 5 teams a year ago.
Let's take a look at what fans can expect to see from the eight new faces when they step foot onto "The Summitt" on Friday night.
Jordan Bone: For a number of years, the Vols have struggled to find a true point guard. Those close to the program feel that changes this season with Bone. The Nashville native is set to be the starting point guard and has been called a terrific passer by second-year Tennessee coach Rick Barnes. In the Vols exhibition, Bone also showed the ability to score the basketball in a variety of ways, including driving to basket or drilling a perimeter jumper. His speed, quickness and vision make Bone a dynamic player in the open court. The 6-foot-1, 173-pounder helped lead Ensworth High School to three TSSAA state championship games, winning back-to-back titles in 2013 and 2014. His older brother Josh Bone played for the Vols from 2009-11.
Grant Williams: Williams is a player that has excellent instincts and will do the little things that help win ballgames. He is an undersized physical player that will add needed toughness with a high basketball I.Q. Standing at only 6-5, he is accustomed to playing against bigger players and has had his share of success. Over the last two years, Williams more than held his own going against two of the nation's top big men — Bam Adebayo (6-10), who is a freshman at Kentucky and power forward Harry Giles, now a freshman at Duke. Last season, in two games versus Adebayo, Williams finished with 13 points, 13 rebounds, three assists and three blocks in the first contest. Last spring, in the NCHSAA state championship game against Adebayo, Williams scored 15 points, grabbed eight rebounds, tallied three steals and had blocks while leading Providence Day to the title. Adebayo finished with just 11 points and 11 rebounds. As a junior, Williams posted quality numbers versus the much taller Giles with 23 points, five rebounds, four assists and two blocks while sinking 10-of-12 field goals. Barnes has challenged Williams to rebound better, which is crucial if the undersized Vols are going to be able to hold their own on the boards. Since arriving on campus this summer Williams has lost 26 pounds.
Kwe Parker: Point-guard play is going to be a Tennessee strength in the near future and Parker is a key part of that. He is a freakish athlete that will wow those that see him for the first time. He has the potential to be an elite on-the-ball defender that creates turnovers. Parker needs to develop parts of his offensive game but he surely will be a fan favorite with his effort and athleticism as he polishes parts of his game. He is an explosive dunker with a vertical leap of 45 inches.
Jordan Bowden: Bowden is one of the team's best passers and has the ability to knock down perimeter jumpshots. Bowden is a graduate of Knoxville's Carter High School, where he was selected the 2015 PrepXtra Boys Basketball Player of the year by the Knoxville News Sentinel. Last season, Bowden attended 22 Feet Academy, a prep school in South Carolina. A 6-foot-3 guard, he figures to excel defensively, when Barnes decides to press. Bowden needs to be more aggressive with the basketball and continue to work on his ball-handling.
John Fulkerson: Fulkerson gives the Vols an athletic, long-armed forward, who should quickly become a fan favorite with his high-flying dunks, which were on display in the Vols exhibition win over Slippery Rock. He loves to play above the rim in the open court. He will need to improve his perimeter skills, along with bulking up his slender frame. In high school, Fulkerson blocked a school-record 113 shots last season. His athleticism and shot-blocking are two of his best attributes but his half-court offense must develop. Fulkerson is a native of Johnson City.
Jalen Johnson: Johnson may have the biggest ceiling of any of the newcomers. His frame and skillset will remind many of a young Jordan McRae. Listed at 6-5 and 170 pounds, Johnson is an explosive athlete. He is another player that will thrive in the full-court, up-and-down game. It will be interesting to see if he is afforded time to develop or will be forced to learn on the job.
Lamonte Turner: The buzz surrounding Turner is significant after redshirting last season after not being cleared to play by the NCAA. Numerous reports stated Turner would have been Tennessee's starting point guard if eligible. Recently Barnes called Turner is a more natural scoring guard. Nonetheless Turner figures to contribute at both positions. Tennessee associate head coach Rob Lanier called Turner a "lead guard with a scoring mentality ... plays well with the ball in his hands."
Lew Evans: Evans is a key player for this team. While he is a newcomer, he is a graduate transfer that comes with experience. Evans started 16 games last year at Utah State where he averaged 8.4 points a game. He was also the second-leading rebounder. He will be counted on to provide size and toughness for Tennessee's small, inexperienced roster. He can stretch the floor with his ability to shoot. Last season, he made a respectable 35.6 percent from behind the arc.