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Tennessee makes the cut for five-star point guard Josiah James

Big target here.

NCAA Basketball: Tennessee at Mississippi Spruce Derden-USA TODAY Sports

Rick Barnes and the Tennessee staff are trying to turn up the heat on the recruiting trail in 2019. They’re in the final three of four-star point guard Tre Mann, now they’ve made the cut for five-star point guard Josiah James.

James trimmed his options to nine on Saturday night. The Charleston, South Carolina product included the in-state South Carolina Gamecocks and the Clemson Tigers. Duke, Virginia, Kansas, Arizona, Florida State and Michigan State also joined Tennessee.

James is a 6-6 guard that’s rated as a five-star by every recruiting service out there. He is the 12th ranked player in the country, according to 247 Sports. James likely won’t spend much time around the college basketball scene, thanks to his physical size and upside.

Duke is the heavy favorite to land James, according to 247’s crystal ball projections. Six of the seven projections point towards the Blue Devils right now, with Michigan State picking up the other one.

Tennessee visited with James on April 17th, two weeks before Duke sent out their offer. The Vols are underdogs here, but at least their still in the hunt for some elite talent.