Vols’ Forward “Stepping Away” from the Team

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    Photo by Caitlyn Jordan/RTI

    Zach Kent joined the Vols as a promising big man with the ability to hit shots from distance. Now, however, it looks like his Tennessee career is coming to an end.

    Tennessee confirmed after the Vols’ 76-41 victory over Alabama State on Wednesday night that Kent will be “stepping away” from the basketball program indefinitely. He will remain enrolled in school, but for the time being, he will not be part of the Vols’ basketball roster.

    Kent was not available for the Vols on Wednesday night, leaving Tennessee with just nine scholarship players against Alabama State. That’s the same number the Vols will be left with for the duration of Kent’s absence from the team, unless Arizona State transfer Uros Plavsic’s appeal is accepted by the NCAA and he is granted immediate eligibility for this season.

    The 6-foot-11, 235-pound forward from Delaware signed with Tennessee in the 2017 class after playing his senior season at Blair Academy in New Jersey. Kent played in two games as a freshman in the 2017-18 season, scoring four points and grabbing two rebounds against Presbyterian and snagging an offensive board against High Point. Kent redshirted that season. Last year, Kent underwent an arthroscopic procedure on his knee in October and sat out the entire season.

    This year, Kent appeared in two games, playing four minutes against UNC Asheville and logging six minutes against Murray State, scoring three points and grabbing two rebounds.

    In total, Kent played in four games, scoring seven points and totaling five rebounds in 23 minutes of action.

    It remains to be seen how long Kent is away from the program, but it sounds like it’ll be a permanent move for the redshirt sophomore.

    Tennessee head coach Rick Barnes added after the game that Kent is not facing any disciplinary issues, and he’s still enrolled in school.