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Rick Barnes expects more roster movement soon for Tennessee

Syndication: The Knoxville News-Sentinel Brianna Paciorka/News Sentinel / USA TODAY NETWORK

In Rick Barnes’ post-season press conference on Thursday, he dropped a couple of pretty big notes. Tennessee has already seen two bottom-roster players hit the transfer portal, and Barnes expects one more to go.

Barnes said that shooting guard Quentin Diboundje will likely follow Mike Schwartz to East Carolina, which would give the Volunteers three openings to fill on the roster.

Diboundje signed with Tennessee last season as a developmental prospect and played sparingly as a freshman. With Zakai Zeigler, Justin Powell, BJ Edwards and Jahmai Mashack each slated ahead of him on on the roster, it makes sense for him to head elsewhere for more opportunities.

Barnes also dropped this note — he expects Josiah-Jordan James to test the NBA Draft waters. If he does, James would be the third Tennessee player to enter the draft, following Kennedy Chandler and Santiago Vescovi.

Chandler has signed and agent, but Vescovi has not. It would be a surprise if James did not return next season.

Scouts likely will want James to show some more consistency as a senior, but the flashes as a junior were encouraging. Triple-J is a guy that has the size and comes with a lot of versatility to him, doing a little bit of everything over the last three seasons for Tennessee.

The 6-6 guard finally flashed some offensive dominance this season, but was pretty streaky as a scorer. He shot 32 percent from three point range, coming on strong at the end of the season. Come tournament time, James might have just been Tennessee’s best player.

James averaged 10 points, while averaging six rebounds per game this year.

If Tennessee is able to return James and Vescovi, which seems very likely, the Volunteers will be a top 15 team once again next season. While they go through the draft process, it looks like Barnes will now have three open spots to fill on the roster. Expect some movement via the portal soon.