Pair of Tennessee forwards enter the transfer portal

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    Photo Credit: Randy Sartin-USA TODAY Sports

    Tennessee sophomore forward Drew Pember entered the transfer portal on Friday afternoon, just before fellow sophomore forward Davonte Gaines announced his intentions to transfer as well. Pember and Gaines are the first departures from the Vols’ roster this offseason.

    “It’s meant the world to me to have the opportunity to play for my hometown school,” Pember said in a message he posted to Twitter. “Coming to Tennessee was an incredible experience and I was blessed to be a part of this program. My teammates and the coaching staff have helped me become a better player as well as a better person, and I am so grateful.

    “Knoxville will always be my home, but I have decided to enter my name into the transfer portal. This new opportunity will help maximize my potential as a basketball player and I look forward to contributing on the court ahead. I can’t wait to see what God has in store for me!”

    Gaines announced that he had entered the transfer portal exactly 30 minutes after Pember did, also taking to Twitter to post a message announcing his decision.

    “I’m honored to have been able to wear the orange and white the last two season, but I have decided to enter the transfer portal,” Gaines tweeted. “First and foremost I want to thank God for the chance to play the game that I love each and every day. I also want to thank the University of Tennessee, everyone who has helped me during my time here, and Vol Nation for accepting me with open arms from day one. I want thank Coach Barnes and the coaching staff for taking a shot on a kid from Buffalo. I will be forever grateful.

    “Vol Nation, I will miss you. Your support for me as a player and as a person is something I hold near and dear. The relationships I have built here will last for the rest of my life. Thank you to my teammates for allowing me to be a part of their lives and pushing me to become a better person and player. I hope that I have had a positive impact on those I came into contact with.”

    Gaines saw limited action this season, coming off the bench in 19-of-27 games. He averaged 2.5 points per game in 10.4 minutes. Pember played sparingly as well, appearing in just 10 games. He averaged 1.1 points and 5.5 minutes.