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Opinion: Tennessee women's basketball loaded for a national championship run next season

The Lady Vols will be returning several key players and have added some of the best transfers in the country.
Credit: AP
Tennessee guard Jordan Horston (25) dribbles down court during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game against Mississippi in Oxford, Miss., Sunday, Jan. 9, 2022. Tennessee won 70-58. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Tennessee women's basketball is going to be loaded next season.

With the roster now full, the Lady Vols have gotten some of the best transfers available and are returning a lot of key players.

Next season is Final Four or bust for the team.

PLAYERS THE LADY VOLS LOST

A quick rundown of who they lost is below.

Guard/forward Rae Burrell, who was the ninth pick in this year's WNBA Draft.

Forward Alexus Dye is gone, forward Keyen Green is gone, and forward Emily Saunders transferred.

KEY RETURNERS

They are returning their national player of the year candidate before they were injured, guard Jordan Horston.

Forward Tamari Key, guard Jordan Walker, guard/forward Tess Darby, guard/forward Sara Puckett, and guard Brooklynn Miles are also set to return.

Guard/forward Marta Suarez will be back too from injury.

Several key players return, which is why who they added takes them to the next level.

KEY ADDITIONS

The biggest addition was Rickea Jackson.

The forward was leading the SEC in scoring through January at Mississippi State before she decided to transfer.

Jackson could very well be a candidate for SEC Player of the Year next season.

She will give the Lady Vols a consistent, versatile scorer, which they lacked at times last season.

Tennessee also added another baller in Jasmine Franklin.

The forward is coming off a knee injury that made her miss a lot of time, but she was expected to be the Player of the Year in the Missouri Valley Conference prior to it.

Before tearing her ACL, she was the nation's second rebounder at Missouri State.

Check this stat line through 11 games last season: 14.9 points, 12.1 rebounds, 2.4 blocks and 1.8 steals per game. She could have been an All-American with numbers like that.

Jasmine Powell was another nice addition for them at guard.

She was a double-digit scorer at Minnesota for three seasons before choosing the Lady Vols.

Powell is an all-around guard, as her assist numbers have been more than five on average per game in the last two seasons.

They also added transfer Jillian Holingstead from Georgia, a forward that will likely come off the bench.

Tennessee also adds the 11th-best recruit in the 2022 class, wing Justine Pissot.

The Lady Vols have all the tools needed to be a national championship contender.