Vols Among Contenders for 4-Star Forward

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    (Photo via Scott Faytok/NJ.com)

    One of the top small forwards in the 2021 class trimmed down his extensive offer list to a group of favorites over the weekend, and Tennessee made the cut.

    Trey Patterson, a four-star forward who plays for Rutgers Prep School in Somerset, New Jersey, tweeted out a graphic with his top 10 teams over the holiday weekend, and the Vols were included. Tennessee made the list along with Memphis, Florida, UConn, Villanova, Maryland, Indiana, Rutgers, Auburn, and Arkansas.

    According to the 247Sports Composite rankings, Patterson is the No. 35 overall prospect and No. 8 small forward in the 2021 cycle. The 6-foot-8 forward holds over two dozen scholarship offers, but he’ll be focusing on the 10 schools in his trimmed-down list moving forward.

    Tennessee offered Patterson back on August 13, 2018, giving him his second SEC offer after Florida. Since UT offered him, Patterson has added offers from Auburn, Villanova, Memphis, UConn, Texas Tech, and many others. Arkansas is the most recent team to offer him, extending an offer to him on May 8th.

    Though he has yet to visit Tennessee, Patterson is still very clearly interested in the Vols. He’s visited Villanova a handful of times, and he’s taken official visits to Indiana and Florida as well.

    Patterson was invited to the USA Basketball Junior National Team Minicamp back in February and was supposed to participate in the event during the weekend of this year’s Final Four. But the COVID-19 pandemic prevented that from happening.

    The lanky forward has long arms and is athletic, showing the ability to rise up for dunks and nail jumpers both. He can make shots from behind the three-point arc, and he can cut to the basket with ease, too. Patterson has a lot of offense weapons at his disposal.

    Patterson averaged 19.8 points, 10.1 rebounds, and 2.3 assists as a junior last season. He was an honorable mention for MaxPreps’ Junior All-American Team and was named to the Second Team All-State team from NJ.com. He was also a finalist for the 2020 Mr. Hoop Zone award.

    The Vols don’t currently have any prospects committed to them in their 2021 class, but Tennessee is targeting a number of highly-rated recruits in this current cycle. Five-star point guard Kennedy Chandler, five-star small forward Harrison Ingram, five-star power forward Paolo Banchero, five-star forward Jabari Smith, five-star center Charles Bediako, and soon-to-be four-star shooting guard Gabe Dorsey are all on Tennessee’s radar in this class.