The Jaden Springer era at Tennessee is officially over, as the five-star freshman has declared for the NBA Draft. On Monday afternoon, Springer posted to his twitter page that he was hiring an agent, bringing his time in Knoxville to an end.
After the Vols lost in their opening round game of the NCAA Tournament, Rick Barnes spoke about the futures of Jaden Springer, along with Keon Johnson.
“I expect they’ll do what everybody does now. They’ll go through the process. That’s what they need to do. They’ll go from there, and obviously in the meantime, we’ll plan on doing what we have to do with our roster next year.”
Springer is ranked 27th on ESPN’s NBA Draft projection board. His teammate Keon Johnson is ranked 6th on the board at the moment. Both players are projected to be drafted this summer.
It was an exciting year for the freshman North Carolina, as he led Tennessee in scoring, averaging 12.5 points per game. His ability to attack the basket, while also hitting shots from the mid-range, helped the Vols find different ways to score on offense. He shot almost 47% from the field and 43.5 % from behind the arc.
Springer thanked his coaches and Tennessee fans in a statement released this afternoon.
“To Vol Nation, your love and support will always hold a special place in my heart. Although the season didn’t end the way we all wanted it to, I’m still grateful for everything we accomplished. It was truly an honor to represent the Volunteers.”
He also added, “I’d like to thank God for allowing me to be in this position. I’d like to thank Coach Barnes, the staff and Vol Nation for the privilege to play at the University of Tennessee. UT has great people, and the fans are the best in the country! Thank you to my teammates who always had my back. Thank you to my family and friends for always being there to love and support me.”
As we’ve seen in the past, players do have the option to test the waters and receive feedback from the NBA, but the expectations are that we’ve seen the last of Springer at Tennessee.