Report: Vol Forward Puts Name in Transfer Portal

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    (Photo via Andrew Ferguson/Tennessee Athletics)

    Just when you thought Tennessee’s roster movement might be over this offseason in men’s basketball, things took a turn on Monday.

    According to Matt Zenitz of AL.com, rising redshirt freshman forward DJ Burns has put his name in the NCAA transfer portal. Burns can still remove his name from the portal at any time and remain at UT, but he also has the option of transferring to any school with a scholarship opening.

    Burns signed with the Vols last offseason after reclassifying from the 2019 class into the 2018 class. The former four-star prospect out of Rock Hill, South Carolina sat out the 2018-19 season and took a redshirt to get more physically in shape and to work on his conditioning.

    The 6-foot-8 forward joined Tennessee north of 270 pounds, and he was reportedly down to at least 250 pounds if not slimmer after one year in UT’s strength and conditioning program. Burns was ranked as the No. 108 overall prospect and No. 14 center in the 2018 class after his reclassification.

    Burns was the highest-rated player on Tennessee’s roster during the 2018-19 season, though he didn’t play a single minute. He was expected to play a big role on Tennessee’s team in the 2019-20 season due to the major upheaval of UT’s frontcourt this offseason. Starting center Kyle Alexander graduated, and two-time SEC Player of the Year and All-American forward Grant Williams declared early for the NBA Draft. Backup forward Derrick Walker transferred to Nebraska this offseason as well.

    If Burns decides to transfer off Tennessee’s roster, it will open up a scholarship spot for the Vols’ 2019-20 roster. Tennessee could pursue a late addition to their roster in that case, or they could save the spot for their 2020 recruiting class.