Insider Mailing: Pruitt’s First Spring Edition

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    Photo credit: Nathanael Rutherford/RTI

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    We answer your best questions about Tennessee athletics and anything else in our weekly mailbag, Insider Mailing.

    “Are we recruiting a big man to help Alexander?” – @VolpapDave

    Nathanael: In terms of the 2018 class, no. Tennessee is only pursuing guards with their one scholarship available in this recruiting cycle. Right now, the Vols have a guy on the roster who could be a big help to Alexander in Zach Kent. He only appeared in two games this season (against Presbyterian and High Point), and I think he’ll redshirt. But he’s listed at 6-10, 225 pounds and is the only other player on the roster who is built enough like Alexander to fit that mold. If Kent doesn’t transfer and develops this offseason, he could play into the rotation next year.

    Will: Probably not. I do think there’s a decent chance that there’s at least one transfer from the current roster. Tennessee could absolutely use some help there. That said, Derrick Walker should be a force to be reckoned with inside next year. I think he can be a special player in a year or two.

    “Who’s going to replace James Daniel for the men’s basketball team?” – Ethan

    Nathanael: Well, not Anfernee Simons now. The Vols are essentially down to two targets in the 2018 class: three-star/four-star point Tyler Harris and four-star point guard James Akinjo. Either player would be a huge get for this class and should be able to come in and spell Jordan Bone at point guard. It’ll be interesting to see what happens with Jordan Bowden and Lamonte Turner too.

    Will: That’s the biggest need for this team — a point guard to spell and push Jordan Bone. Harris is likely headed for Memphis, so Akinjo is probably the guy UT really needs more than anyone now.

    “Do you foresee the Vols adding transfers to help bolster OL depth? I know Pruitt has mentioned they are short on numbers.” – Sean

    Nathanael: It would not surprise me in the least. I know they were in the mix for Rice grad transfer Calvin Anderson before he chose Texas, and they’ve looked at a few other grad transfer guys along the offensive line. I don’t think UT is done adding grad transfers in general, and I think offensive line is a big area of need.

    Will: Wouldn’t surprise me. That’s the biggest area of need in my opinion.

    “Will Holly be retained?” – @tjvol49

    Nathanael: I don’t think she should be, but if I had to place money on it, I’d go with “yes” at this point. I think the move needs to be made, but she has a year left on her contract and you don’t typically pay buyouts for coaches in non-revenue sports unless their performance has been absolutely abysmal. And Warlick’s performance as a head coach hasn’t been great, but it’s not been truly horrendous.

    Will: The way she’s recruited, she deserves one more year. But if things aren’t better next season, a change will be needed.

    “Is it really spring practice if it’s snowing?” – Andrew 

    Nathanael: East Tennessee has no rhyme or reason with its weather. We’ll probably see an 80 degree day in November later this year too.

    Will: Snow way.