Tennessee’s quiet 2022 recruiting cycle is quiet no more — the Volunteers have landed five-star wing Julian Phillips this afternoon. Phillips picked Tennessee over Auburn and an invitation to join the NBA G-League.
Phillips had been committed to LSU, but chose to reopen his recruitment after Will Wade was fired. There were plenty of suitors, but the Volunteers played the long game here and won out in the end.
The 6-8, 200 pound wing is the 12th ranked player in the country, per the 247Sports composite rankings. He comes from Branson, Missouri, where he is the top ranked player in the state.
Tennessee hosted Phillips on an official visit last fall before he first committed to LSU. They came roaring back this spring, holding off a late charge from Auburn. Phillips joins four-star point guard BJ Edwards in Tennessee’s 2022 class.
The lanky forward screams NBA, complete with ball-handling ability, athleticism and a developing outside shot.
Phillips will likely slide into a starting five that features Zakai Zeigler, Santiago Vescovi, Josiah-Jordan James and Olivier Nkamhoua. Both Vescovi and James are testing the NBA waters, but both are expected to return to school.
For Rick Barnes, this is the latest in what has become a long line of five-star signees at Tennessee. Josiah-Jordan James got the ball rolling, and then Keon Johnson and Jaden Springer followed. It was Kennedy Chandler and Brandon Huntley-Hatfield after that, and now Phillips.
Phillips will be Tennessee’s 11th McDonald’s All-American all time.