Tennessee’s men’s basketball program continues to aim for the stars in recruiting in the 2021 cycle after signing a top five class in the 2020 cycle. The Vols have already had two five-star prospects visit campus this cycle, and a third will take an official visit to Tennessee this upcoming weekend.
Per Grant Ramey of 247Sports, five-star forward Jabari Smith of Sandy Creek High School in Tyrone, Georgia will be making an official visit to Knoxville this weekend when Tennessee hosts Florida in men’s basketball. The Vols offered Smith back in late November of 2019.
According to the 247Sports Composite rankings, Smith is the No. 5 overall prospect and the No. 2 power forward in the 2021 cycle. Smith saw Tennessee in action last weekend when he took an official visit to Auburn to see the Tigers as they hosted the Vols.
Smith holds offers from Florida State, LSU, Auburn, Alabama, Florida, Georgetown, and Arizona State among other programs. Duke and Kentucky have begun showing interest as well.
The 6-foot-10, 210-pound forward played with the USA Under 16 squad last year and helped guide the US to a gold medal in the 2019 FIBA Americas U16 Championship. Smith started three of six games for the 2019 USA U16 National Team and averaged 13.8 points and 6.2 rebounds.
Smith is an athletic forward who is capable of attacking the basket and hitting jump shots both. He’s rangy and doesn’t have the frame to bang down low with bigger bodies, but his athleticism gives him an edge over bigger players. Smith also affects the game on the defensive end. He uses his long arms to rip down rebounds and alter shots along the interior.
In his junior season so far, Smith is averaging 24.4 points, 10.9 rebounds, 2.8 blocks, and 1.6 assists per game according to MaxPreps. He’s shooting 51 percent overall from the floor and 38 percent from three.
For Tennessee, Smith’s visit will be the third time a five-star prospect has visited the men’s basketball program over the last five months.
Back in October, the Vols hosted five-star power forward Paolo Banchero (the No. 1 power forward in the 2021 class) and five-star point guard Kennedy Chandler (the No. 2 player in the state of Tennessee) on official visits. The two visited UT at the same time, and both have discussed the possibility of playing with one another in college.
Tennessee does not currently have any prospects committed to them in the 2021 class. The Vols signed two five-stars and a four-star forward in the 2020 class back in the fall. Five-star guard Jaden Springer, five-star guard Keon Johnson, and four-star small forward Corey Walker all signed with Tennessee in the fall signing period. Four-star wide receiver Malachi Wideman, who signed with the Vols’ football team in the 2020 class, is also ranked as a four-star shooting guard on 247Sports, and he’ll get a shot to play basketball at Tennessee as well.