The Tennessee roster is set to change in a big way this offseason, following the expected departures of Yves Pons, Jaden Springer and Keon Johnson. Davonte Gaines and Drew Pember freed up two more scholarships, and John Fulkerson could add another if he chooses to leave.
That leaves several spots for Rick Barnes to fill, even after signing five-star guard Kennedy Chandler and four-star guard Jahmai Mashack. We all figured Tennessee would end up adding at least one shooter and one big man from the transfer portal, and they’ve already knocked out one of those needs.
Auburn transfer Justin Powell committed to Tennessee over the weekend, giving the Volunteers some pop from three-point range. Now the need of a post player looms, even with John Fulkerson’s status remaining unknown.
One option is Furman transfer Noah Gurley, who released a top eight over the weekend. Tennessee made his list, alongside of Florida, Auburn, Alabama, San Diego State, Duke, Marquette and Miami.
As Gurley noted, his decision will come on Sunday.
The 6-8 forward has been a three-year contributor for Furman — a two-time All-SoCon selection. This season Gurley averaged over 15 points and nearly six rebounds per game. He shot 33.9 percent from three-point range, which would certainly be an added bonus for a team like Tennessee that’s looking for more shooters.
Gurley was unranked in the class of 2017.
Tennessee has several options in the transfer portal, now likely focused on adding a player or two to the frontcourt. As things currently stand, the Volunteers are left with Olivier Nkamhoua, Uros Plavsic and E.J. Anosike. Again, Fulkerson could very well return, and no official decision has been made at this point.
East Carolina’s Jayden Gardner is another name that has been connected to Tennessee. With the current state of college basketball and the transfer portal, things move quickly and options change by the day. Both Gurley and Gardner are ones to watch here over the next week.