Cuonzo Martin is one month into his tenure as men's basketball coach at Tennessee.
His job is simple: Keep the team competing at a high level while rebuilding the program — both in the roster and in perception.
Not an easy task, especially given who he's replacing and the circumstances that led to the coaching change.
It will take time for Martin to change how UT's program is viewed by fans and media alike, but he's already replenishing a team that lost five seniors from last year's squad by getting Memphis point guard Chris Jones to honor his letter of intent and signing guard Josh Richardson from Oklahoma. Martin could sign additional players, depending largely on the futures of Scotty Hopson and Tobias Harris with the Vols.
Hopson and Harris are the two biggest recruits for Martin this year. UT's two best players from a season ago are currently deciding if they will turn pro and enter the NBA Draft or not.
Both have tentatively entered the draft, a practice done by many college players each year, but neither has signed with an agent, meaning each could pull out of the draft and return to school. The deadline for withdrawing from the draft is May 8.
The future of Tennessee basketball under Martin — especially in the short term — hinges largely on the decisions of Hopson and Harris.
Hopson, a junior, has endured an up-and-down three-year career with the Vols. He hasn't lived up to the hype that surrounded him coming out of high school, when he was one of the top players in the country.
Still, Hopson has improved each season and was a first team All-SEC selection this past year after leading the team in scoring, averaging 17 points per game.
Given his skill set, athleticism and size, Hopson is an intriguing prospect to NBA scouts who value potential.
Hopson — much like his play on the court — has a wide range of draft projections, ranging from late first round to going undrafted.
Harris, like Hopson, was also one of the top high school players in the country and was named a Freshman All-American this season, after averaging 15 points and seven rebounds per game. He was the most consistent player for the Vols during the year. Despite not having many highlight-reel plays, "All Business" stuffed the stat sheet and displayed a solid, all-around game.
Harris is considered a mid-to-late first round pick if he chooses to stay in the draft.
Most underclassmen looking to enter the NBA Draft like to be assured of being a lottery pick — top 15 overall — before entering the draft, largely because of the guaranteed contract and roster spot the selection provides.
While neither Hopson or Harris are likely lottery picks in the June 23 draft, the opportunity to realize the childhood dream of playing professional basketball is enticing, especially considering the uncertainty of the basketball program going forward under a new coach.
And until Hopson and Harris make a decision on whether they will return to UT for another season, the expectations surrounding the Vols' program going forward under Martin remain unknown as well.
—Matt Dixon is a senior in journalism and electronic media. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and followed on Twitter at @MattDixon3.