Tennessee basketball signed four members of its eighth-ranked 2023 recruiting class Wednesday.
All four Tennessee commits signed with the Vols during the fall signing period instead of waiting until the spring. Rick Barnes and his staff added two four-star commits and two three-star commits.
Tennessee’s recruiting class ranks No. 8 nationally and No. 2 in the SEC according to 247sports.
Let’s take a look at Tennessee’s four signees.
Ranking: Four-star, No. 27 player and No. 8 combo guard
What to know: Tennessee beat out Alabama, Virginia, VCU and Wake Forest to earn Dilione’s commitment in August. The 6-foot-4, 185 pound physical guard saw his recruitment and rankings blow up as time progressed.
The four-star guard can play on the ball or off of it and impresses with his physicality and complete scoring game.
The Raleigh, North Carolina native has everything it takes to make an instant impact as a freshman at Tennessee.
In Rick Barnes’ words: “Freddie is another guy we’re thrilled about adding—he is the definition of a ‘Tennessee guard. He comes from an amazing and supportive family. Our recruitment of Freddie began when he attended our Elite Camp in the summer of 2021. And as his recruitment continued, it became clear that he fit our culture extremely well.”
“We love Freddie’s versatility on both sides of the floor. As a playmaker, he does a great job of making his teammates better, and he can score in so many different ways. He’s going to be a lot of fun to coach.”
Ranking: Four-star, No. 39 player and No. 7 center
What to know: A 6-foot-11, 210 pound center from Maine, Estrella committed to Tennessee in early September over Iowa and Syracuse. Duke tried to get Estrella to Durham for a visit but Estrella ended up cancelling the trip.
The center was a late bloomer in the recruiting cycle with his recruitment blowing up in its final six months. Tennessee was one of the first teams to offer Estrella and that helped them win out as an abundance of suitors came calling.
Estrella has a strong back-to-the-basket game and is athletic enough to protect the rim and play away from the basket. The center hit a major growth spurt during high school
In Rick Barnes’ words: “J.P. is a guy we initially fell in love with due to his versatility. We love his entire family, really.
“On the court, his ability to handle, pass and shoot the basketball at his size made him a priority for us in this recruiting class. He was 6-2 as a high school freshman, and that guard skill-set—now that he’s grown to 6-11—has remained intact despite his massive growth spurt. He’s still just scratching the surface of realizing the player he will become, but his rise from being an under-the-radar prospect to one of the best big men in the country has been fun to watch. We believe J.P. can develop into a force for us in the SEC.”
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Ranking: Three-star, No. 132 player and No. 27 power forward
What to know: A 6-foot-9, 200 pound power forward, Phillips was the first commitment in Tennessee’s 2023 recruiting class. Phillips chose the Vols over Alabama, Georgia, Georgia Tech and Memphis.
The Jacksonville, Alabama native’s father, uncle and grandfather all played football for the Crimson Tide but Phillips spurned his family’s roots to play for Barnes and his staff. Phillips transferred to the Link Academy in Missouri for his final high school season.
Phillips impresses with his ability to play in tight spaces around the basket and stretch the floor and shoot the ball.
In Rick Barnes’ words: “We’re all very excited to welcome Cade and his family into our Tennessee basketball family. He’s been blessed with a terrific support system surrounding him, and he’s an impressive athlete who fits really well into the style of basketball we want to play.
“Cade has great hands and quick feet around the rim. We also love his toughness. We believe, in time, he will grow into a player who provides tremendous upside and versatility on both ends of the floor.”
Ranking: Three-star, No. 158 player and No. 21 combo guard
What to know: Carr was the latest addition to Tennessee’s recruiting class, committing to the Vols a day before signing.
Like many of Tennessee’s signees, Carr’s stock rose this summer after a strong Peach Jam where he posted a 5.7:1 assist-to-turnover differential and showed off a strong shooting stroke.
Carr is teammates with Phillips at the Link Academy but is an Eden Prairie, Minnesota. Cameron’ father, Chris, played six seasons in the NBA.
In Rick Barnes’ words:“Cam has that ‘pedigree’ we talk about a lot as a staff. His dad had a lengthy NBA career. His sister plays basketball in the SEC. He’s been around high-level basketball his entire life. He recently had a six-inch growth spurt, so his ceiling continues to rise.”
“It’s exciting to think about his potential impact on our program. He’s already an elite shot maker who’s game off-the-bounce is evolving. We really like his IQ and feel for the game, and we’re confident his work ethic will lead to him getting better and better.”