Vols Make the Cut for Five-Star Guard in 2020 Class

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    (Photo by Kelly Kline/Under Armour)

    Jaden Springer is one of the most sought-after recruits in the 2020 recruiting cycle. He holds offers from some of the top programs in college basketball, and his offer list tops nearly two dozen schools. On Tuesday night, he trimmed down his list of teams he’s focusing on in his recruitment, and the Vols made the cut.

    Springer is a five-star shooting guard who transferred to the prestigious IMG Academy and played for them this past season. On Tuesday, he released his list of top 11 schools, and Tennessee was included along with some elite programs in college basketball. The Vols were joined by North Carolina, Kansas, Villanova, Texas, Memphis, Florida, Auburn, Maryland, NC State and Wake Forest.

    According to the 247Sports Composite rankings, Springer is the No. 11 overall player and No. 4 shooting guard in the 2020 recruiting cycle. The 6-foot-4, 195-pound guard helped IMG Academy win a title this past season, and he’s an electrifying scorer.

    Springer has visited Tennessee unofficially a few times, and he took an official visit to Knoxville back in March when the Vols beat Kentucky 71-52 in front of a sold out Thompson-Boling Arena crowd. Auburn’s Bruce Pearl has been making Springer a priority as of late, and Springer’s most recent offers have come from North Carolina, Florida, and Villanova.

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    Tennessee has been involved in Springer’s recruitment for a very long time, and they’re considered one of the favorites to land him. It’ll be a tough pull to get him away from blue bloods like North Carolina, Kansas, and Villanova, but UT is in a good spot right now. Springer originally hails from Mint Hill, North Carolina where he played for Rocky River High School. He was the No. 1 player in the state of North Carolina before he transferred to IMG Academy.

    Springer’s highlights are so fun to watch. He has a nasty mid-range game that is extremely difficult to guard. He can stop on a dime and pull-up for his shot, and he can hit fadeaway jumpers as well. He has really good ball-handling skills and solid awareness on the court. He’s an exceptional all-around player, and it’s very easy to see why he’s considered one of the top players in high school in the 2020 class.

    This past season for IMG Academy, Springer averaged 18.6 points, 3.9 rebounds, 3.5 ssists, and 1.5 steals per game according to PrepCircuit.com. He shot 55.5 percent from the floor overall, 30.3 percent from three, and an impressive 90.9 percent from the free throw line.

    This spring, Springer has been playing with the B. Maze Elite team in the AAU circuit just like he did last year. The spring/summer AAU team was started by former Vol Bobby Maze. In eight recorded games for the B. Maze Elite this year, Springer averaged 15.8 points, 5.0 rebounds, and 2.5 assists while shooting 51.8 percent overall, 36.7 percent from three, and 85.3 percent from the free throw line according to the Under Armour Association’s website.

    Earlier on Tuesday, the Vols were named as one of three finalists for another highly-rated guard, four-star shooting guard and No. 1 in-state player Keon Johnson. Both Johnson and Springer are regarded as Tennessee’s top two remaining targets in the 2020 cycle.

    The Vols currently have one player committed to them in their 2020 class, and it’s elite, five-star small forward Corey Walker.