A couple of things were obvious watching Tennessee struggle down the stretch last season. The Vols lacked offensive post production and shooting. It’s safe to say Rick Barnes was well aware of those deficiencies, considering his additions so far this offseason.
Tennessee has added five-star power forward Brandon Huntley-Hatfield and four-star center Jonas Aidoo. The Vols have also added French guard Quentin Diboundje, and former Auburn sharpshooter Justin Powell.
Powell, Tennessee’s first move of the offseason, was formally announced on Monday by Rick Barnes.
“Justin is a savvy guard who plays very unselfishly and makes his teammates better,” Barnes said. “He’s got really good size and can play multiple guard spots. He’s also a proven shooter and knows how to move well without the ball in his hands. We’re really excited about his ability to make plays using screens off the ball and what that can do for us offensively.”
Tennessee’s most efficient shooter last season was Jaden Springer, who left early for the NBA Draft. Santiago Vescovi, Josiah-Jordan James and Victor Bailey Jr. each had their moments, but each guy was far too inconsistent to be relied upon.
Now enters Powell, who will bring his lofty 44 percent clip from three point range with him. Powell missed the majority of the season with a concussion, but lit up the three-point stripe in the ten games that he was able to play. The former three-star recruit averaged 11 points per game for Bruce Pearl as a freshman, and now lands at Tennessee to fill a huge need.
Vescovi, Bailey and James will all return, while Tennessee will add five-star point guard Kennedy Chandler and four-star shooting guard Jahmai Mashack. The Volunteers are stacked once again, but this time around, Barnes is hoping this roster is a little more balanced.
With 6-6 size, Powell has a legitimate shot at an NBA future. You’d obviously want a bigger sample size than what we have here, but the flashes are fun to look back on from last season.