The Tennessee men’s basketball program doesn’t have too much experience landing one-and-done caliber talent. Through Bruce Pearl, Cuonzo Martin and now Rick Barnes, Tennessee hasn’t been able to land elite talent like you see top programs doing year in and year out. Rick Barnes and his staff are currently trying to change that.
They will host five star guard Anfernee Simons on an official visit tomorrow (Saturday). It will be a huge gameday environment with the Kentucky Wildcats in town.
Simons is 6-3, 195 pounds coming out of the IMG Academy in Florida. He is currently 247 Sports’ 9th ranked player in the 2018 recruiting cycle.
To make matters even more interesting here is the fact that he’s eligible for the 2018 NBA Draft already. He’s 19 years old and is playing a post-grad season at IMG, making him eligible for the draft this year. He’s been projected as a top five selection in the 2019 draft.
Tennessee has been rising in the crystal ball projections over the past couple of months, coming hard after the five star guard. And honestly — how big would an alpha guard go for this current group? The Vols still need a guard that can consistently take over a game in crunch time. It’s been a need that has shown up over the past couple of weeks.
So there are some moving parts here, but Tennessee and Rick Barnes are going all in for this elite guard. It would be a big pull that could be a gateway to some other big time talent.