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Tennessee makes the top four for five-star forward Julian Phillips

COLLEGE BASKETBALL: JAN 06 Kentucky at Tennessee Photo by Bryan Lynn/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Tennessee has made the cut for 5-star forward Julian Phillips, as the Missouri native trimmed his list to four on Wednesday.

If you’ve been keeping up with Nick’s updates on the 2022 targets page, you know all about Julian Phillips. (Bookmark that page if you haven’t already.)

Phillips cut his options down to Tennessee, Florida State, LSU and USC, per his announcement via Twitter.

The 6-8, 200 pound prospect could fit as a small forward or power forward. At 247Sports, Phillips is ranked as the 20th overall prospect in the class, clearly the top prospect to come out of the state of Missouri.

One notable detail here — Phillips is coming off of his official visit to Tennessee last weekend. Phillips said after the trip to Knoxville that Tennessee would be the final visit that the elite prospect took. As promised, he then trimmed his list down from ten to four.

Tennessee continues to chase elite prospects, as Rick Barnes has really transformed Knoxville into a destination. Barnes landed two more 5-star prospects in the 2021 class — Kennedy Chandler and Brandon Huntley-Hatfield. They’ll look to follow in the footsteps of Jaden Springer and Keon Johnson, who went on to become first round draft picks this summer.

The Volunteers currently have one commitment in the class of 2022, coming from 4-star point guard BJ Edwards.

Tennessee got in on Phillips late, offering in early July. They’re now in the thick of this battle, thanks to some ties between he and new assistant Justin Gainey. Add Phillips to the list of names to watch closely over the next few weeks, and stay peeled to our constantly updated list of targets.