Vols Among Finalists for 2019 Power Forward

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    (Photo via Ulmer/Neckar-Chronik)

    Tennessee has been hot on the recruiting trail in basketball, and now they’re finalists for an intriguing international prospect in the 2019 class.

    Isaiah Ihnen is a 6-foot-9 power forward who plays over in Germany. He’s part of the 2019 recruiting class, and he tweeted out his list of six finalists on Wednesday. Tennessee made the cut along with Rick Barnes’ old school, Texas, and four other programs.

    Right now, Tennessee’s 2019 signing class is full from the fall signing period. The Vols got signatures from five-star guard Josiah James, three-star forward and Bearden standout Drew Pember, and three-star forward Davonte Gaines from New York. The Vols could have an additional spot open up in their 2019 class if a current player on the roster declares early for the NBA Draft or if a player transfers this offseason.

    If the Vols do have a spot open up in their 2019 class, Ihnen could be a prospect they look to add.

    The rangy 6-foot-9 forward has a very good offensive game. He’s athletic and can run the floor effectively. Ihnen has a very unique release on his jump shot, but it’s highly productive for him and leads to a nice arc on his shots. He’s a match-up nightmare for defenses because he’s generally too quick for most players his height — who usually have more weight than him — to guard effectively, but he’s too tall for quicker guards to get after and defend. He’s a pesky defender as well, though there isn’t as much film on him on defense.

    According to the NBBL website, Ihnen is averaging 12.5 points, 8.9 rebounds, and 2.1 assists this season over in Germany. He’s made 35.3 percent of his three-pointers and is shooting 43.9 from the field overall.

    Ihnen has had a few coaches come over and visit him in Germany already, but Tennessee hasn’t as of yet. The Vols’ coaching staff plans on making a trip over to see him sometime, and it’s believed Ihnen is wanting to make a decision by sometime in April.

    Tennessee also has another potential option as a late addition to their 2019 class if they have a spot open up. Five-star center Walker Kessler is currently in the 2020 recruiting cycle, but he’s heavily considering reclassifying into the 2019 class. The Vols are one of a handful of teams that are in on Kessler, including Duke, Georgia (where his father played), and Virginia among a few others.

    Right now, Tennessee is only slated to lose Kyle Alexander and Admiral Schofield off this season’s roster. The Vols had a scholarship left over from the 2018 recruiting cycle they didn’t use, meaning they only have three scholarships available for the 2019-20 season.

    Unless someone like Grant Williams or Jordan Bone declares early for the 2019 NBA Draft or someone transfers off the roster, the Vols already have their 2019 class wrapped up. If one or both of those happens, though, then Ihnen is certainly in play for the Vols.

    Nathanael Rutherford is the managing editor and social media manager for Rocky Top Insider. Nathanael graduated from the University of Tennessee and cultivated a passion for the Vols while growing up in Knoxville a mere 10 minutes from Neyland Stadium. He's been a part of the RTI team since November of 2015 and has been the editor of RTI since June of 2017. If he's not talking or writing about Tennessee athletics, he's probably talking about Star Wars.