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Rick Barnes breaks down 2023 class

Tennessee Tech v Tennessee Photo by Eakin Howard/Getty Images

Tennessee wrapped up their 2023 basketball recruiting efforts this week, landing four-star guard Cameron Carr to round out the group. On Wednesday, the Volunteers officially welcomed all of the 2023 newcomers to the family.

First up, point guard Freddie Dillione — the 24th ranked prospect in the country, per 247Sports.

“Freddie is another guy we’re thrilled about adding—he is the definition of a ‘Tennessee guard,’” Barnes said. “He comes from an amazing and supportive family. Our recruitment of Freddie began when he attended our Elite Camp in the summer of 2021. And as his recruitment continued, it became clear that he fit our culture extremely well.”

Tennessee is set to lose Santiago Vescovi, Tyreke Key and Josiah-Jordan James after this year, so Dillione will have a big opportunity to play early and settle in alongside of Zakai Zeigler.

“We love Freddie’s versatility on both sides of the floor,” Barnes continued. “As a playmaker, he does a great job of making his teammates better, and he can score in so many different ways. He’s going to be a lot of fun to coach.”

Next up, four-star center JP Estrella. Per On3, Estrella ranks as the 36th prospect in the country, completing his skyrocket up lists this past year.

“J.P. is a guy we initially fell in love with due to his versatility,” Barnes said. “We love his entire family, really.”

Estrella adds some needed size to the frontcourt, along with some long-range shooting ability, making him quite the interesting prospect.

“On the court, his ability to handle, pass and shoot the basketball at his size made him a priority for us in this recruiting class,” Barnes said. “He was 6-2 as a high school freshman, and that guard skill-set—now that he’s grown to 6-11—has remained intact despite his massive growth spurt. He’s still just scratching the surface of realizing the player he will become, but his rise from being an under-the-radar prospect to one of the best big men in the country has been fun to watch. We believe J.P. can develop into a force for us in the SEC.”

Power forward Cade Phillips was the first commit of this group, giving the Volunteers some future toughness. The four-star prospect is the top player in the state of Alabama, per On3.

“We’re all very excited to welcome Cade and his family into our Tennessee basketball family,” Barnes said. “He’s been blessed with a terrific support system surrounding him, and he’s an impressive athlete who fits really well into the style of basketball we want to play.

“Cade has great hands and quick feet around the rim. We also love his toughness. We believe, in time, he will grow into a player who provides tremendous upside and versatility on both ends of the floor.”

Phillips, standing in at 6-9, averaged nearly five blocks per game last season while scoring over 13. Interestingly enough, Phillips is the nephew of former Alabama quarterback Brodie Croyle.

And finally, Tennessee’s latest addition. Cameron Carr committed to Tennessee this week, adding yet another four-star prospect to the group. Like Dillione, Carr will have an opportunity to play early with Tennessee’s expected roster losses.

“Cam has that ‘pedigree’ we talk about a lot as a staff,” Barnes said. “His dad had a lengthy NBA career. His sister plays basketball in the SEC. He’s been around high-level basketball his entire life. He recently had a six-inch growth spurt, so his ceiling continues to rise.”

Carr was ranked 83rd in the class by 247Sports. The 6-4 guard is the son of former NBA player Chris Carr, who played for eight seasons professionally.

“It’s exciting to think about his potential impact on our program,” Barnes continued. “He’s already an elite shot maker who’s game off-the-bounce is evolving. We really like his IQ and feel for the game, and we’re confident his work ethic will lead to him getting better and better.”

Tennessee’s class is currently 8th overall in the 2023 rankings, per 247Sports.