Tennessee has landed their point guard of the future, and they didn’t have to go too far to find him. Knoxville Catholic’s BJ Edwards committed to Tennessee last week, kicking off the class of 2022 for the Volunteers.
The four-star point guard becomes next in line behind five-star freshman Kennedy Chandler, who very well may end up playing just one season in Knoxville before heading to the NBA.
Following his commitment, Edwards appeared on Knoxville’s WMNL last week. He explained why he picked the hometown Volunteers, and just how much Rick Barnes means to him.
“Rick Barnes is really important to me,” Edwards said last week. “I feel like he’s one of the greatest coaches. When I was around him for those last couple of days on my visit, I just felt like this was the only place I wanted to be. And he was the only guy I wanted to coach me, so he can develop me into being the best point guard I can be.”
Barnes isn’t for everyone. He’s intense, in your face, and will tell the media all about it if he thinks he didn’t get the best effort. But the opposite is also true — he’s quick to praise if you’ve done your job, and his track record as a developer is tough to dispute after these last several seasons.
Guys like Jordan Bone, Grant Williams, Admiral Schofield and Yves Pons are perfect examples of players who bought into Barnes and the Tennessee system and came out on the other side with NBA opportunities.
“The previous guys that have played for Coach Barnes, they’ve definitely said he’s going to be on you in practice a lot,” Edwards said. “Like he’s going to stay on you at all times, get in your head some days at practice. But in the end, they say it’s always worth it because it’s getting you ready for that next level.”
Edwards is the 68th ranked player in the 2022 class, per 247Sports. The 6-3, 170 pound guard is physical, can defend and mixes it up on the boards — sounds like the ideal Rick Barnes guard to me.
Tennessee is still going after several elite pieces to surround Edwards in the 2022 class. Based off of recent success, you can probably expect another top flight class from Barnes as he tries to get over the hump in March.