Tennessee's Jordan McRae dunks against Oakland during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game last November in Knoxville, Tenn. (AP)
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - Tennessee guard Jordan McRae's transformation into 1 of the Southeastern Conference's premier performers is as remarkable as his team's late-season emergence as an NCAA tournament contender.
McRae opened the season on the bench and started only 1 of Tennessee's first 12 games. Now he's 1 of the hottest players in the country.
The 6-foot-5 junior is averaging 25.8 points over his last six games for Tennessee, which won 8 of its last nine regular-season games to move into NCAA tournament consideration. Tennessee coach Cuonzo Martin believes McRae should be the SEC player of the year.
The fifth-seeded Volunteers (19-11, 11-7 SEC) face either No. 12 seed South Carolina (14-17, 4-14) or No. 13 seed Mississippi State (9-21, 4-14) in their first SEC tournament game Thursday at Nashville, Tenn.
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