Almost two weeks ago, Arizona State redshirt freshman center Uros Plavsic announced that he was transferring to Tennessee. Under the old set of NCAA transfer rules, Plavsic would have to sit out the upcoming 2019-20 season before he could play with the Vols. But thanks to changes made to transfer rules in the 2018 offseason, Plavsic and other non-graduate transfers have an easier path to apply for immediate eligibility than in the past. Not all cases are accepted, but a large portion of the waiver applications from undergraduate transfers, at least in football, have so far been accepted.
Tennessee head coach Rick Barnes believes that Plavsic has a good shot of getting immediate eligibility for his first year at Tennessee.
Barnes spoke with the media at the SEC Spring Meetings down in Destin, Florida, and he was asked if Tennessee was going to apply for a waiver for Plavsic to gain immediate eligibility for the upcoming 2019-20 season. Barnes indicated that yes, he and his staff will try and get a waiver for the seven-footer, and he believes Plavsic has a unique case that could help him get his waiver.
“I think he has a situation to where his is a good case,” Barnes stated. “I think that if they look at it and understand…he had committed to Cleveland State then from Cleveland State to Arizona State. He was moving basically with a coach, and when that coach was no longer there, he lost his whole support system and wants to get back closer to home. So I think that we can, in that situation, apply for a waiver.”
Plavsic came to the United States from Serbia, and he enrolled in Hamilton Heights down in Chattanooga for high school. There, Plavsic was recruited by former Georgia and UT-Chattanooga player Drazen Zlovaric while he was an assistant at Cleveland State. Plavsic committed to Cleveland State, but when Zlovaric, a fellow Serbian, was let go from the Vikings’ staff, Plavsic reopened his recruitment.
From there, Plavsic committed to and ended up signing with Arizona State. Just a few months later, Zlovaric was hired as an assistant under head coach Bobby Hurley for the Sun Devils.
This offseason, Hurley elected not to retain Zlovaric, and that had an impact on Plavsic’s situation at Arizona State. Plavsic decided to transfer shortly after, and now he’s at Tennessee.
Barnes believes that Plavsic has a good case to get an immediate eligibility waiver, but will the NCAA agree?
“I think that most kids that do transfer now are looking to file for a waiver some way, somehow,” Barnes added. “It’s interesting to see how they (the NCAA) grant them and don’t grant them.”
Coming out of high school, Plavsic was a four-star prospect according to 247Sports. Their analysis had him rated as the No. 120 overall player and No. 16 center in the 2018 class. He averaged 9.6 points and 7.5 rebounds for Hamilton Heights and came on strong in the last 12 games of the season, helping his team go undefeated in that stretch and go 28-7 overall. In those 12 games, Plavsic averaged 13.5 points and 9.4 rebounds after being inserted into a starting role.
Plavsic used his one year at Arizona State to redshirt and put on some much-needed weight. The seven-foot center joined the Sun Devils weighing around 215 pounds, but he measured in at 240 pounds by the end of his redshirt freshman season.
Tennessee will need frontcourt help for the upcoming season after the graduation of starting center Kyle Alexander and two-time SEC Player of the Year Grant Williams’ decision to forgo his senior year and go pro. Backup forward Derrick Walker also transferred this offseason after playing for the Vols for two seasons.