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Vols Forward Tariq Owens Asks for Release

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The rising sophomore played a limited role as a freshman but looked to have a bright future. He's the first player to leave under new head coach Rick Barnes.

Beth Hall-USA TODAY Sports

When Rick Barnes was announced as Tennessee's new head basketball coach on Tuesday, March 31, some roster attrition was expected.

Now the first domino has fallen.

Tariq Owens, a freshman forward for the Vols in the 2014-15 season, has reportedly met with Rich Barnes and requested to be released from his scholarship.

As a freshman, Owens averaged 1.2 points and 1.1 rebounds per game in 28 appearances and 5 starts. Owens didn't play much to begin the season, but he saw more playing time down the stretch and made 4 of his 5 starts in SEC play. He scored a career-high 7 points against Arkansas in the SEC Quarterfinal game.

Although Owens was the tallest player on Tennessee's roster, he had little inside presence because of his extremely thin frame. Owens only had 205 pounds on his 6-foot-10 frame, making him one of the skinniest post players in the nation.

Owens was one of former Tennessee head coach Donnie Tyndall's late addition to the 2014 recruiting class he and his staff threw together after taking over when Cuonzo Martin left to coach at the University of California. He is the first player on Tennessee's team to announce plans to transfer after Barnes's hire.