Tennessee basketball junior Josiah-Jordan James has changed his number from No. 5 to No. 30, the forward announced in a Twitter video Monday.
“I’ll be wearing number 30 from here on out,” James said in the video. “The reasoning behind it is because my brother and dad both wore the number 30 and I just want to do it as a way to honor both of them.”
Josiah-Jordan James dad Kurt James played at Michigan State for two seasons where he averaged 1.5 points and 2.9 rebounds per game.
Wearing five his first two seasons in Knoxville, James averaged 7.7 points, six rebounds and 2.5 assists per game.
The former five-star has been a do it all glue guy for Tennessee the last two seasons. James shined on the defensive end and on the glass where he averaged 6.5 rebounds a season ago for an undersized Tennessee team.
With James wearing No. 30, walk-on Brock Jancek will now wear No. 35.
The sophomore was extremely critical of himself after the Vols fell in the first round of the NCAA Tournament to Oregon State.
“This year I was a leader and I wasn’t a very good one,” James said. “It showed today. Moving forward I can only hope to be better and will be better for this team, for this university, for this program and I just hope we can get back here next year. We got a taste of it but we didn’t have what it took to stay here. Hopefully we can move forward and win some games here next year.”
Last season, Tennessee started 10-1, climbing as high as No. 6 in the polls before sputtering down the stretch. The Vols went 9-8 in their final 17 games.
A strong offseason for Rick Barnes’ program has Tennessee projected to be a high NCAA Tournament seed again and James will be a major piece of that puzzle.
“Me and the guys have had a really good summer,” James said. “We’re gearing up for preseason. We’re excited about the season. We’re excited to see all of you impact TBA, so get loud, get rowdy and get ready.”
Tennessee opens the 2021-22 season on Nov. 9 against UT-Martin.