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Tennessee Transfer Big Man Commits To John Calipari, Arkansas Basketball

Photo By Andrew Ferguson/Tennessee Athletics

Tennessee big man Jonas Aidoo is leaving the Volunteer basketball program but he’s not leaving the SEC. Aidoo committed to John Calipari and Arkansas basketball just under three weeks after entering the transfer portal, he announced on Instagram Monday night.

Aidoo spent three seasons at Tennessee and heads to Arkansas to use his final season of eligibility after a breakout junior season. The 6-foot-11 power forward earned First Team All-SEC honors last season, averaging 11.4 points, 7.3 rebounds and 1.8 blocks per game over the course of the 2023-24 season. Aidoo led the team in rebounds and blocks while finishing third in points.

Despite his strong junior season, Aidoo struggled in the NCAA Tournament culminating with the All-SEC big man playing just 10 minutes in the Vols’ Elite Eight loss against Purdue with Rick Barnes opting to play freshman JP Estrella against Zach Edey in critical minutes down the stretch.

Aidoo took a visit to Baylor after entering the transfer portal but instead ends up in the SEC with the Vols’ old friend John Calipari. The veteran head coach is filling out the roster for his first Arkansas team after a 15-year stint at Kentucky and a stint at Memphis.

The SEC hasn’t announced its basketball schedules for the 2024-25 season yet so it’s unclear how many times Tennessee will play Arkansas or where the game will be out. But Aidoo will face his old team at least one time.

More From RTI: How Felix Okpara Compares To Jonas Aidoo And Tobe Awaka

It wasn’t the prettiest of breakups between Tennessee and Aidoo. No Volunteer player or coach said anything negative about Aidoo, but Tennessee players said they don’t want anyone in the program that doesn’t want to be there.

Veteran head coach Rick Barnes has always talked complimentary about players transferring out of Tennessee’s program and why he certainly didn’t rip Aidoo, he didn’t speak highly of him either.

“Yeah, because he had told everybody he was fine,” Barnes said on whether he was surprised Aidoo entered the portal.

Aidoo committed to Arkansas on the same day that fellow Tennessee big man transfer Tobe Awaka committed to Arizona. The Vols have added Ohio State big man Felix Okpara, one of the best shot blockers in the country, in the transfer portal and expect rising sophomore JP Estrella to also step into a bigger role this offseason.

Tennessee currently has three scholarships to work with as Barnes and his staff look to fill out its roster for the 2024-25 season. The Vols lost three players to graduation and four players to the transfer portal while adding one prep prospect and three transfers to their roster.

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One Response

  1. Was he just upset that he didn’t play as much when he couldn’t hold up to the physical play needed against bigger and/or stronger opponents? I don’t understand the mindset with these guys. And Awaka…what were the real reasons behind the transfers? I don’t want to speak negative about them, I just wonder what the real reasons are. More money?

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