Barnes Adds Final Piece To 2021 Signing Class

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    Photo via 5StarPreps

    Knoxville Catholic center Handje Tamba has reclassified into the 2021 class and committed to Tennessee basketball, 247sports Travis Branham first reported Tuesday. The commitment from the 7-foot prospect is the final piece in Rick Barnes’ top five signing class.

    Tamba has a plethora of ties to Tennessee, playing locally at Knoxville Catholic with Tennessee class of 2022 commit B.J. Edwards and playing for former Vol Bobby Maze’s AAU team, BMaze Elite.

    On BMaze Elite, Tamba played with Edwards as well as five-star power forward Brandon Huntley-Hatfield, who like Tamba, reclassified from the 2022 to 2021 class.

    Tamba is a three-star recruit according to 247sports but is unranked according to the 247sports composite rankings. Along with Tennessee, Tamba holds offers from Auburn and Georgetown.

    With his 7-foot, 215 pound frame and long arms, Tamba is a strong rim protector and has the potential to grow into a strong player for Rick Barnes and the Vols.

    However, Barnes and his staff are banking on potential with Tamba. The Knoxville Catholic big is a raw prospect with a lot of improving to do before making an impact on the court at Thompson-Boling Arena.

    Tamba is the sixth member of Tennessee’s 2021 signing class, joining five-stars Kenedy Chandler and Brandon Huntley-Hatfield, four-stars Jahmai Mashack and Jonas Aidoo and fellow three-star Quentin Diboundje.

    Tamba’s commitment pushes Tennessee ahead of Gonzaga to the No. 2 ranked recruiting class in the country, behind only Michigan.

    Ryan Schumpert is a senior at the University of Tennessee-Knoxville who has covered University of Tennessee athletics since the moment he stepped on campus. He just completed a three-year stint with the Daily Beacon, the last two of which as the Sports Editor. Ryan also spent last three years at Volquest providing strong Tennessee baseball coverage of Tony Vitello's resurgent program. While the bulk of Ryan's responsibilities involved beat coverage and writing, he also recorded podcasts for both the Beacon and Volquest. Did we leave out the part about Ryan interning for the Smokies? Ryan's work ethic, versatility, and strong writing skills are but three of the reasons why Vol Nation will be hearing from Ryan for years to come.