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BREAKING: Tennessee Forward Reportedly Plans to Enter Transfer Portal

Photo via Tennessee Athletics

Tennessee basketball freshman Julian Phillips is reportedly planning to the transfer portal, 247 Sports’ Travis Branham first reported on Wednesday afternoon.

The news comes after Phillips’ decision to enter the NBA Draft process, a process in which Phillips maintains his eligibility while testing out the NBA Draft waters.

Additionally, Phillips recently earned an NBA Combine invitation.

Expectations were high for Phillips’ freshman season at Tennessee. A five-star and fringe top 10 recruit, Phillips committed to Tennessee over Auburn last spring and immediately raised expectations for the 2022-23 Vols. Phillips entered his freshman season as a projected first round pick in the 2023 NBA Draft but fell to the back half of the second round after his first college season.

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It was an inconsistent freshman season for Phillips on the court as he averaged 8.3 points and 4.7 rebounds per game. After shooting 38% from three-point range in his senior high school season, Phillips never found his stroke last season at Tennessee shooting just 24% from the perimeter.

Phillips’ 6-foot-8 frame allowed him to have success attacking the basket and getting to the free throw line but that success never came consistently. The South Carolina native missed 3.5 games in February with a strained hip flexor and never got into a groove after returning to the court. Phillips averaged just 5.7 points per game after returning from injury.

The highly touted prospect scored over 20 points just one time in his freshman season— a 25 point outing against Southern Cal in the Battle 4 Atlantis.

Phillips’ announcement to enter the transfer portal serves as one domino to fall as far as news goes for Josiah-Jordan James, Uros Plavsic and Phillips. James and Plavsic, like Phillips, are taking part in the NBA Draft process.

However, Tennessee is currently at the scholarship limit (13), so if James or Plasvic were to come back, a Vol would likely have to enter the transfer portal. If both were to return, Tennessee would need to somehow create two spots.

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One Response

  1. Phillips needs to develop his body if he expects to play big time college ball. Big mistake leaving Coach Barnes. He would develop him in time but only hope for the best for this young man.

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