USI’s second and final exhibition game should be even more difficult than the one the Eagles played against IU at Assembly Hall. Tennessee, who will host USI in Knoxville on Thursday night, is seriously experienced, with three of its top four scorers returning: Jordan McRae (15.7 points per game, 60-for-169 from 3-point range), Jarnell Stokes (12.4 points per game, 9.6 rebounds per game) and Josh Richardson (7.9 points per game, 4.3 rebounds per game). And they’re BIG, as in McRae is a 6-6 guard as is Richardson (compared to USI guards Lawrence Thomas, who’s 5-9, and Austin Davis, who stands 6-8 but is a willow-the-wisp compared to most Division I guards, who often look like NFL defensive backs).
Tennessee previewed what it’s going to look like in an exhibition game at home last week against Florida Southern, a Division II team like USI. Tennessee won 105-80, with Stokes finishing with 27 points and 10 rebounds, McRae totaling 21 points and Robert Hubbs III — a 6-6 freshman guard — ending up with 17 points.