Tennessee has moved one step closer to finalizing its non-conference schedule for the upcoming season, as it was reported by Brendan F. Quinn of the Knoxville News Sentinel that the Volunteers have agreed to play a home-and-home series with N.C. State.
Cuonzo Martin’s Volunteers will host the first meeting during the 2013-14 season, with the return meeting being played during the 2014-15 season in Raleigh. Also on Tennessee’s non-conference schedule are Virginia (home), Wichita State (road) and Xavier (road).
The Volunteers will also participate in the Battle 4 Atlantis over Thanksgiving weekend. Joining Tennessee in what should be a solid in-season event are Kansas, Villanova, USC, Iowa, Xavier, Wake Forest and UTEP.
Tennessee (20-13, 11-7 SEC) missed out on the NCAA tournament last season, instead landing in the Postseason NIT where they lost at home to Mercer in the first round.
With guard Jordan McRae and forward Jarnell Stokes back, and the return of Jeronne Maymon after missing all of last season due to a knee injury, Tennessee can be one of the teams in the SEC that works its way into the NCAA tournament conversation.
Tennessee also adds Memphis transfer Antonio Barton at the point, and he should make them a better defensive team at the point of attack. While Trae Golden did manage to average 12.1 points and 3.9 assists per game last season, Barton is expected to be an upgrade from a defensive standpoint.
Raphielle can be followed on Twitter at @raphiellej.