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Report: Tennessee has contacted point guard Tyree Appleby, a transfer from Cleveland State

A new option?

NCAA Basketball: Cleveland State at Michigan State Mike Carter-USA TODAY Sports

The Tennessee basketball roster just can’t seem to get settled this offseason. After signing transfer Victor Bailey from Oregon, who will have to sit out this season due to the NCAA’s transfer rules, the Vols were full on scholarships for the upcoming season. That didn’t stop them from going after Kerry Blackshear Jr.

After coming down to the wire and missing on Blackshear, the roster appeared to be locked in for the 2019-20 season. Redshirt freshman D.J. Burns threw a wrench into that this week, entering his name into the transfer portal.

With Burns now looking around, Tennessee likely has one scholarship to fill. With most high school options off the board by now, it makes sense for Rick Barnes to turn to the transfer market once again.

According to Evan Daniels, one option that Tennessee has already reached out to is Tyree Appleby. The 6-1 guard is transferring from Cleveland State after two seasons, meaning that he would likely have to sit out this upcoming year.

Appleby has also heard from Iowa State, Arkansas, Tulane, Texas Tech, Eastern Illinois and Florida, per Daniels.

The rising junior guard averaged 17.2 points per game in 2018-19. He added 5.6 assists per game, while shooting 38 percent from three-point range. As a true freshman, Appleby averaged 11.8 points for Cleveland State.

Would it be worth a scholarship spot to add Appleby to next year’s equation? That’s the burning question right now. If Burns does opt to leave, Tennessee has a major inexperience and depth issue in the frontcourt. Adding a veteran into that mix makes the most sense, but it is pretty late in the game this offseason.

Barnes could always opt to sit on the scholarship spot, as he did last season. Tennessee is after several top targets in the 2020 class, already securing a commitment from five-star wing Corey Walker.

Expect to see a few more names emerge as the coaching staff makes one last attempt to fill out the roster.