Vol Players, Recruits React to Rick Barnes Staying with UT

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    Photo by Anne Newman/RTI

    From late Sunday night to late Monday night, it was a hectic and eventful 24 hours for Tennessee’s men’s basketball program.

    It was reported late on Sunday night that UCLA was zeroing in on Tennessee head basketball coach Rick Barnes to be their next men’s basketball head coach. Barnes was considered a “serious” candidate, and UCLA had reportedly offered him a five-year deal that would pay him $5 million annually as his base pay before bonuses or incentives got factored in.

    Barnes met with Tennessee Athletics Director Phillip Fulmer on Sunday night then again on Monday to discuss the situation. Tennessee countered with an offer of their own, and after prayer and deliberation, Barnes decided to stay with the Vols.

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    That news broke late Monday night, and as soon as it was confirmed, several of Tennessee’s current players and 2019 signees took to Twitter to react to the news.

    Rising senior guard Jordan Bowden tweeted out a side-eye emoji reacting to the news:

    Davonte Gaines, one of the Vols’ 2019 signees, replied to Bowden’s tweet with an emoji of his own:

    Speaking of Gaines, his first tweet when the news broke was of the emoji displaying hands raised to the air in celebration along with a gif:

    Drew Pember, another 2019 signee for the Vols who was a standout at Bearden High School the last four years, tweeted out “Thank the Lord” with several emojis and a hashtagged “VFL” after the news broke:

    Tennessee point guard Jordan Bone, who announced last week that he’s declaring for the 2019 NBA Draft, replied to a tweet from Trey Wallace of The Read Optional about Barnes’ decision to stay. Bone can still return to Tennessee if he withdraws his name from consideration for the draft by June 10th.

    Two-time SEC Player of the Year Grant Williams also had a reaction to Trey Wallace’s tweet, and it was a similar one to Bone’s:

    The official Tennessee Twitter account reacted too, simply tweeting out the praying hands emoji as their reaction to Barnes remaining with UT: