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What Julian Phillips Said About His Basketball Future After Season Ending Loss

Photo via Tennessee Athletics

It was a quiet freshman season finale for Julian Phillips as the former five-star recruit didn’t score and grabbed one rebound in 12 minutes against Florida Atlantic.

Phillips is a potential late first round pick in this summer’s NBA Draft, so what’s next for the wing after his freshman season?

“I am still processing the end of the season, this game especially,” Phillips said following the Florida Atlantic loss. “Just being here with my team and being here with my brothers, this is really tough. Everything in the future, we can sit down and figure that out later when we get away from here.”

What will the opening stage of the offseason look like for Phillips as he weighs his options and decides on his basketball future?

“I am going to talk with my family first of course — my parents, my circle, coach, all the coaches on staff,” Phillips said. “I am not sure what my future holds yet. I will sit down and discuss it and make the best decision for me.”

Phillips played in 31 games as a freshman around a hip flexor averaging 8.6 points and 4.8 rebounds per game on 42% shooting from the field and 18% shooting from three-point range. The talented freshman flashed his potential especially in a 25-point performance against USC back in November.

More From RTI: Three Quick Takeaways As Tennessee’s Season Ends Against Florida Atlantic

“I learned a lot this year,” Phillips said. “I learned a lot about myself. Just being here was a blessing for me. I am thankful for everything coach Barnes taught me this year.”

Like many of his teammates, Phillips lacked consistency this season especially on the offensive end of the court. Phillips scored five or fewer points 12 times this season and combined for just seven points in the NCAA Tournament.

“I definitely wish I could have played better,” Phillips said. “I know the type of player I am. I know the work I put in. I have to get back in the gym, get my game right. The things that went well, we won a lot of games. A lot of bonds. My brothers, my teammates. I have friendships with these guys for the rest of my life. I am thankful for the season we had.”

What does Phillips want to achieve if he decides to return to Tennessee for his sophomore season?

“Definitely just back here and finish the job,” Phillips said. “It is tough feeling this way. Definitely not a feeling that anyone wants to have. I definitely would just go as hard as I can so we don’t have to feel this way again.”

It is an offseason of transition coming for the Tennessee basketball program. The Vols have five scholarship seniors. Four of the five could use their COVID-19 eligibility and return but there is likely to be major roster movement from rotation players on the 2022-23 Sweet 16 team.

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