Desperately needing more size on the 2015-16 Tennessee basketball roster, Rick Barnes has now turned to Canada twice to help fill the void.
Just a few days after adding Canadian native Ray Kasongo to the frontline, the Vols received a commitment from Kyle Alexander, a 6-10, 200-pound center from Orangeville Prep in Mono, Ontario, located a bit northwest of Toronto. Alexander chose the Vols over an offer list that included New Mexico, Arkansas, Pitt and several more on Thursday afternoon.
The addition of Alexander helps Barnes rebuild a frontcourt that, while weak during the 2014-15 season, has also endured the departures of forwards Willie Carmichael and Tariq Owens the offseason – leaving the Vols with just two players on the current roster (Derek Reese and Jabari McGhee) who are at least 6-foot-8.
Kasongo (6-9, 235) and Alexander give the Vols a pair of options in the post that Barnes hopes will be an upgrade over what the Vols had last season.
“Kyle can run like most guards,” Alexander’s former high school coach, Larry Blunt said (via ZagsBlog.com). “And he really can defend one through five and he pretty much blocks everything that gets thrown up, so I think a lot of people are intrigued with his length, his ability to run, his athleticism. He’s probably gained 10 pounds since he’s been here. He’s just continued to develop each and every day which is kind of exciting.”
Barring more attrition, the Vols have one more open scholarship to use in the 2015 class that now consists of Alexander, signees Kasongo, small forward Admiral Schofield and shooting guard Shembari Phillips in addition to commitment point guard Lamonte Turner. Tennessee remains a strong player for four-star Charlotte forward Ebuku Izundu. Barnes, additionally, has evaluated several points guards as the Vols look for depth there.