Tennessee’s recruiting in football has been getting all the attention in Knoxville (and nationally) lately, but the Vols’ ability to recruit in men’s basketball shouldn’t be ignored either.
Not only has Rick Barnes and his staff wrapped up a truly elite 2020 signing class, but they’re working towards making the 2021 class just as good, if not better. Tennessee has several high-profile targets in the 2021 cycle, and they just extended an offer to another highly-rated prospect in the 2021 class. Though this prospect could end up reclassifying to the 2020 class and playing immediately this upcoming season.
Micawber Etienne, who goes by “Mac,” picked up an offer from the Vols on Saturday, adding to his already impressive list of potential suitors.
Blessed to have received an offer from the University of Tennessee🙏🏼 pic.twitter.com/rYF8lIjRMe
— Micawber (@Micawber_e) May 9, 2020
The 6-foot-10, 220-pound center plays for Suffield Academy in Suffield, Connecticut. He’s rated as the No. 59 overall prospect, No. 12 center, and No. 1 recruit in Connecticut in the 2021 class per the 247Sports Composite rankings. He holds offers from Kansas, Syracuse, UConn, Louisville, Ohio State, Illinois, UCLA, VCU, and many others.
In a recent interview with Jacob Polacheck on Zagsblog.com, Etienne discussed the possibility of reclassifying to the 2020 class and becoming immediately eligible for the upcoming 2020-21 season.
“I’d say it’s 50-50,” Etienne told Polacheck on whether or not he’ll reclassify. “I just really want to see how my body is and how my game has developed.
“I was going to try and decide during AAU season if I was going to be going in the 2020 class or staying in the 2021 class. I really have to see how this virus plays out and see what I’m going to be doing in the summer. After that, I’ll figure out a timeline.”
Tennessee would need to make some more room on their roster for the upcoming season if they wanted to take Etienne if he reclassifies, but the fact that the Vols have offered Etienne at this point in his recruitment likely means they’re at least open to that possibility and will figure out the numbers as they go if they must.
On the court, Etienne is a strong presence in the paint and fights through contact to get to the rim. He has a number of post moves and uses his long arms to sky for rebounds and put-backs. He’s also capable of hitting jumpers, moving beyond just the cylinder to score his points.
I miss basketball🤦🏻♂️ pic.twitter.com/effLt7qrGA
— Micawber (@Micawber_e) May 1, 2020
— Micawber (@Micawber_e) March 8, 2020
As a junior, Etienne was named the Gatorade Boys Basketball Player of the Year in Connecticut. The four-star center averaged 15 points, 13 rebounds, four blocks, and two assists per game for Suffield. He also participated in the Nike Elite 100 Camp and the Pangos All-American Camp in 2019.
Tennessee does not have any prospects committed to them in their 2021 class as of yet, but the Vols have targeted a handful of five-stars and other elite prospects. UT just signed two five-stars and a four-star in the 2020 class, inking five-star guards Jaden Springer and Keon Johnson along with four-star forward Corey Walker. Tennessee also brought in Sacred Heart grad transfer forward E.J. Anosike for this upcoming season.