After months of waiting, the initial waiver being denied, and the first appeal being denied, Uros Plavsic has finally been freed to play.
Tennessee announced on Tuesday afternoon that seven-foot Arizona State transfer Uros Plavsic has finally been granted immediate eligibility by the NCAA to play for the Vols this basketball season. Tennessee had submitted a last-ditch appeal back in November of 2019, and the NCAA finally ruled on it this week.
The news is a huge sigh of relief for a Vol basketball team devoid of a strong post presence.
“We appreciate the committee’s work as this process ran its course,” Tennessee Athletics Director Phillip Fulmer said via a release. “We’re thrilled that Uros will receive his opportunity to compete and that he no longer stands to lose a year of his eligibility. Our compliance staff put a great deal of work and persistence into achieving this outcome.
“This is the right decision.”
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 past 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.
And now, he’ll be able to finally play for Tennessee, starting immediately with their Wednesday tip-off against Georgia on the road.
Plavsic used his one year in Arizona to redshirt and put on some much-needed weight. The seven-footer joined the Sun Devils at around 220 pounds, but he now weighs in at 240 pounds.
Coming out of high school, Plavsic was a four-star prospect according to 247Sports. He was considered the No. 120 overall player by 247 and the No. 16 center in the 2018 class. He averaged 9.6 points and 7.5 rebounds for Hamilton Heights in Chattanooga 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.
For Tennessee, Plavsic’s arrival on the active roster gives them another big man they so desperately need. Right now, only two players on UT’s roster are listed at 6-foot-8 or taller, and those two players are John Fulkerson and freshman Olivier Nkamhoua. Fulkerson is second on the team among active players in scoring and is also second in rebounding, averaging 11.4 points and 5.4 rebounds a game in 28.9 minutes of action per contest. Nkamhoua is averaging 14.5 minutes a game and has put up 4.3 points and 4.1 rebounds a contest in that time.
The Vols now have nine active scholarship players on their roster once again with the activation of Plavsic. The Arizona State transfer is the second Vol to officially join the active roster over the last two weeks, as four-star point guard Santiago Vescovi enrolled midway through the year and has played the last three games for Tennessee, averaging 14.3 points, 4.3 rebounds, and 3.0 assists in those three games.
Tennessee and Georgia are set to tip-off at 7:00 PM Eastern on Wednesday night in Athens, GA.