Not only is Tennessee reportedly trying their best to land coveted Virginia Tech grad transfer Kerry Blackshear Jr. for next season’s roster, but UT’s coaching staff has extended another scholarship offer to a big man prospect in the 2019 class as well.
Josaphat Bilau is a 6-foot-10, 230-pound power forward who is originally from France and played for Quality Education Academy in Winston Salem, North Carolina and for Spire Academy in Ohio. He tweeted out that he picked up an offer from Tennessee late Friday, but that tweet has since been deleted. But Grant Ramey of 247Sports has reported on the offer, so it stands to reason that it’s an official offer from the Vols.
Right now, Bilau is gaining a lot of interest from several high major schools. Pitt seems to be the slight favorite, but he also included West Virginia, Georgia, and Wake Forest in his list of top four teams before he started to pick up more interest. He’s also recently picked up offers from other schools, and he holds offers from teams like Kansas, Georgetown, Illinois, Nevada, Texas Tech, Wichita State, and Virginia Tech.
Bilau has only played basketball for about four years, meaning he’s pretty raw still. But for only being on the court for a few years, he already possesses a solid array of skills and has a lot of upside.
Though he’s 6-foot-10, Bilau actually has pretty good ball-handling skills. He can dribble very effectively and has a good handle on some more complex maneuvers. Bilau can also pass the ball pretty well and has a good eye and feel for how to set up teammates. He’s a strong presence in the paint and moves well on defense. On offense, Bilau has a few moves other than just taking interior passes and dunking. He can make jumpers and hook shots, and he’s even capable of knocking down threes. That’s not a large part of his game, but he can do it if left open.
Bilau reportedly has a 7-foot-3 wingspan, which further adds to his upside and athleticism. It also makes him even more dangerous on defense.
Tennessee’s 2019-20 roster is full up on scholarships right now with the addition of four signees in their 2019 class and two transfers. The Vols have signed five-star guard Josiah James, four-star forward Olivier Robinson-Nkamhoua, three-star forward Drew Pember, and three-star small forward Davonte Gaines in their 2019 class already, and they added Uros Plavsic and Victor Bailey Jr. as transfers. With those six additions, Tennessee has reached the 13 scholarship limit for the 2019-20 season.
Unless someone else on the current roster decides to transfer or if one of the Vols’ four signees can somehow blue shirt this late in the process, then it remains unclear how UT can add Virginia Tech transfer Kerry Blackshear or have room for Bilau if they become serious players for him.
We will update as more information becomes available.