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Tennessee Basketball: Shembari Phillips Granted Release; Will Transfer

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Rick Barnes has lost a piece of his roster.

NCAA Basketball: Tennessee at Louisiana State Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports

Tennessee Basketball has lost a key reserve. Junior guard Shembari Phillips is leaving the program and seeking a transfer.

Phillips appeared in 31 and 33 games in his two seasons as a Volunteer. He averaged 5.8 points per game over the past two years.

There was some talk earlier in the week about a spot potentially opening up. Howard graduate transfer James Daniel is visiting the Vols on the 17th, but wouldn’t have a free spot on the roster if he were to sign with Tennessee. Now, he does.

Daniel is a 6-0, 175 pound guard. He averaged 17 points per game, 4 assists and 2.5 rebounds per game for Howard last season. It’s no guarantee that Tennessee lands Daniel, but this at least gives them the flexibility to bring him in if that opportunity arises.

Keep in mind: Barnes has already landed JuCo All-American guard Chris Darrington, who will likely fill the role that Phillips just freed up.