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NCAA clears Tennessee center Uros Plavsic to play

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Finally.

NCAA Basketball: Tennessee at Missouri Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

Tennessee center Uros Plavsic has finally been freed by the NCAA. The 7-foot center from Serbia transferred to Tennessee from Arizona State during the offseason after redshirting with the Sun Devils. What was expected to be a simple process turned into a nightmare for Rick Barnes, who has been forced to play with a smaller lineup this season as a result.

Finally, at the midway point of the season, he will get his big man on the floor.

“We appreciate the committee’s work as this process ran its course,” Tennessee Director of Athletics Phillip Fulmer said in a statement. “We’re thrilled that Uros will receive his opportunity to compete and that he no longer stands to lose a year of his eligibility. Our compliance staff put a great deal of work and persistence into achieving this outcome. This is the right decision.”

Plavsic immediately gives Tennessee some much needed depth in the low post, perhaps taking some minutes off of John Fulkerson. Yves Pons has been playing in more of a power forward role without Plavsic available, so it will be interesting to see how Barnes shifts his lineups now.

Plavsic is a former four-star recruit. He has been able to practice and travel with the team while this process has played out. Now he’ll be eligible to play on Wednesday night against the Georgia Bulldogs.