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Tennessee Coach Rick Barnes Surprised By Jonas Aidoo Entering The Transfer Portal

Photo By Andrew Ferguson/Tennessee Athletics

The current college basketball landscape is drastically different than it’s been for most of Rick Barnes’ time as a college basketball coach. In fact, it’s radically different then it was just five years ago.

That’s been clear this offseason where Tennessee’s lost four players in the transfer portal including two of its top eight players from last season’s Elite Eight team.

Barnes noted he and his staff “don’t get surprised too much” when players enter the transfer portal but admitted that sometimes they are surprised.

Tennessee’s ninth-year head coach was asked whether rising senior Jonas Aidoo entering the transfer portal was a surprise to him. Here’s what he said on Thursday.

“Yeah, because he had told everybody he was fine,” Barnes said.

It was a short but somewhat telling answer from Barnes about his former All-SEC forward. Aidoo and fellow big man Tobe Awaka were Tennessee’s only rotation players to enter the transfer portal and Barnes didn’t close the door on Awaka potentially returning during his Thursday presser.

More From RTI: Everything Tennessee Coach Rick Barnes Said On Thursday

But Barnes’ comments on Aidoo didn’t make it sound like a potential reunion between the two sides was in play at this point.

Aidoo played three seasons with Tennessee basketball and made a big jump in production in his junior season. The 6-foot-11 power forward averaged 11.4 points, 7.3 rebounds and 1.8 blocks in 24.7 minutes per game during the 2023-24 season.

In his first season as a full-time starter, Aidoo earned All-SEC honors though he did struggle down the stretch of the season, culminating with him playing just 10 minutes in Tennessee’s Elite Eight loss against Purdue.

The Vols have lost four players to the transfer portal so far this offseason while adding one to date. Barnes and his staff currently have five scholarships to work with as they look to fill out their 2024-25 roster.

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