Tennessee small forward Josiah-Jordan James is active for the Vols’ SEC home opener against Mississippi State Tuesday night.
James has been in-and-out of the lineup all season and the senior hasn’t played since Tennessee’s Dec. 7 win over Eastern Kentucky. The versatile wing has played in five of Tennessee’s first 12 games of the season including only two of the last nine since playing the first three games of the season.
The preseason First Team All-SEC selection is suffering with knee pain that’s continued following an offseason knee scope. James was limited throughout the preseason from the injury and stated that it’s a “game-by-game thing” as the Vols try to manage the pain.
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James has been more active as of late, going through warmups in the Vols’ SEC opener at Ole Miss last week before not playing. Tennessee head coach Rick Barnes expressed some optimism about James’ status Monday but made no definitive statements.
“He is doing better,” Barnes said. “He is starting to work his way back in. We will see what that leads to, but he is working his way back in.”
The Charleston, South Carolina native was nearly a full participant in Tennessee’s Monday practice open to the media and did more team activities than we’ve seen him do for the majority of the season.
When on the court this season James has played well, totaling 8.8 points, 4.8 rebounds and 1.6 assists per game on top of his always stout defense.
Tip-off between Tennessee and Mississippi State is at 7 p.m. ET Tuesday. Tom Hart and Dane Bradshaw are on the call for the SEC Network.