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Gaines, Pember Enter Transfer Portal

Both sophomores to leave in search of other opportunities

NCAA Basketball: NCAA Tournament-Oregon State at Tennessee IndyStar-USA TODAY Sports

Just a week after Tennessee’s basketball season ended with a loss to Oregon State, next year’s roster is beginning to take shape.

Sophomores Drew Pember and Davonte Gaines both announced they were entering the transfer portal Friday.

I don’t think these moves surprise anybody as neither Gaines nor Pember developed quite like folks had hoped since joining Tennessee in the 2019 signing class.

Pember was a 3-star prospect and local standout at Bearden High School, and I imagine he was brought in with the intentions of him being a stretch-four who could rebound, run the floor and nail 3-pointers. Pember made it into just 10 games this season even with the Vols’ lack of post depth.

Gaines was also a 3-star and has shown legitimate Power-5 level defensive ability. His defense on Herb Jones at the end of the SEC Tournament game against Alabama was nothing short of fantastic. And though he only played 68 minutes in 19 games, Gaines had the best defensive rating of anybody on Tennessee’s roster this season. Unfortunately, his offensive game just hasn’t caught up yet.

This is going to be a summer filled with change for the hoops’ squad after the team didn’t quite live up to albeit lofty expectations for the 2020-2021 season. It remains to be seen what freshmen Keon Johnson and Jaden Springer decide to do while Yves Pons and John Fulkerson’s statuses are also in limbo.