Knoxville (WATE) - There may be no better definition of Vol for Life.
When Cuonzo Martin left town last month, Josh Richardson was one of the few players to actually hang in there through the transition.
"It's been kind of weird,' Richardson said before a closed workout on the UT campus on Tuesday. "It's been different but I think we did a good job of adjusting. I think we're meshing together a a team really well."
It's a sign of loyalty that hasn't been lost on new head coach Donnie Tyndall.
"He has to lead. If he doesn't lead our team I am kicking him off," Tyndall cracked. "It's that simple, but he's a guy that so far has embraced that role."
"He's fired up. He's a fun guy and I am excited for it," Richardson said about his new coach.
Richardson was the spark that led the Vols through the NCAA tournament in 2013. All the way to the sweet sixteen.
But a few weeks later he saw his head coach leave. Then the Vols lost Martin's entire recruiting class. And then two more players split. Through it all, Richardson has remained-- along with returning guard Robert Hubbs III.
"I thought about leaving a couple of times but I had a better relationship with coach Tyndall and his staff'" said Hubbs.
"They came to my house and talked to my family. I just decided to stay at Tennessee. I thought it was the best fit for me."
Richardson, who had seem so many other leave, expected the worst.
"I was kind of expecting Robert to leave to because they were all like best friends," he said. "I was just really happy to see him stay."
So the Vols push ahead under their new coach and with eight new players he brought in. Richardson is the guy who will tie it all together on the court. His coach expects a lot.
"He played with a ton of confidence at the end of the year. We expect him to carry that over into his senior season where he will be one of our captains and certainly be expected to be one of our leaders and one of our best players."
And Richardson sounds ready.
"My confidence is sky high right now, especially knowing he put some pieces around us and I am a lot more confident going into the season."