Rick Barnes and the Tennessee basketball program added some size and depth in the frontcourt with a new commitment on Friday afternoon. Power forward Derrick Walker (6-8, 220 pounds) pledged to the Vols via Twitter.
— Derrick Walker (@derric__k) February 3, 2017
Walker, who chose Tennessee over offers from Georgia, St. John’s and others, is ranked as a three star, the No. 68 power forward, the No. 4 player from the state of Missouri, and the No. 270 overall player in the nation, according the 247Sports composite ranking. ESPN and Rivals.com rank him as a three-star prospect.
He’s the second big man to commit to Tennessee in this class, joining three-star center Zach Kent (6-10, 235). Tennessee currently has three scholarships open in this class with seniors Lew Evans and Robert Hubbs III set to leave the program after this season and due to the dismissal of Detrick Mostella earlier this season.
With just one player over 6-foot-7 (Kyle Alexander at 6-10) set to be on the roster following the 2016-17 season, it’s clear that Barnes is looking to add more size in this class, which is currently ranked 13th in the SEC, according to 247Sports.
Walker isn’t a flashy addition, but Barnes, who has the Vols in NCAA Tournament contention in Year 2, has shown a knack for identifying and developing mid-tier recruits in his two years in Knoxville so far. Tennessee fans will hope that’s the case with Walker as well.