Tennessee basketball has officially announced the addition of grad-transfer forward E.J. Anosike this afternoon. The 6-6, 245 pound power forward will move from Sacred Heart University to the University of Tennessee next season, following in the footsteps of his older sister Nicky, who was a two-time national champion with the Lady Vols.
E.J. plans to wear her No. 55 next season.
Anosike averaged a double-double last season, earning first team All-NEC honors. He has 27 career double-doubles, good for 5th in the NCAA among returning players.
“Aside from being a great person from a great family, E.J. brings experience and toughness,” Vols head coach Rick Barnes said. “Anyone who averages a double-double for an entire season and displays the versatility he has is impressive. He also plays with tremendous competitive spirit, which is valuable for any team.”
Anosike led his team in scoring last year, putting up north of 15 points per contest. He adds toughness and rebounding ability to the Tennessee frontcourt — something that the Volunteers desperately needed. John Fulkerson and Yves Pons are likely to return for their senior seasons, but Tennessee didn’t have any proven depth behind them. Anosike solves that problem, while taking some pressure off of Uros Plavsic, Olivier Nkamhoua and Drew Pember.
Joining him will be the fourth ranked recruiting class in the nation. Five-star guards Keon Johnson and Jaden Springer are expected to be immediate difference makers, while top 50 wing Corey Walker Jr. adds a little more size off the bench. Oregon point guard transfer Victor Bailey Jr. will also become eligible after sitting out a season.
It’s easy to see why Tennessee is a popular pick to return to the national spotlight next season. The addition of Anosike just makes them that much stronger.