Tennessee received some more good news on Saturday afternoon, learning that veteran guard Josiah-Jordan James would be withdrawing his name from the NBA Draft. This clears the way for James to return to Tennessee for his senior season, where he will be hoping to build off of a strong second half of 2021-22.
Tennessee's Josiah-Jordan James will withdraw from the 2022 NBA Draft and return to school next season, per his brother.— Jon Rothstein (@JonRothstein) May 21, 2022
Averaged 10.3 PPG and 6 RPG last season.
Santiago Vescovi is expected to make the same decision, but has not officially announced his plans just yet.
Midway through his junior year, something clicked for the 6-6 wing. James found his offense in a huge way, becoming perhaps the most important player on the team down the stretch. His hot shooting and newfound offensive confidence helped push Tennessee to an SEC Tournament victory in Tampa — the first SEC Tournament title win for the Vols since 1979.
James ended up scoring 10.3 points per game on the year, while also doubling as one of Tennessee’s most impactful rebounders. The former five-star prospect didn’t make the instant impact many thought he would in Knoxville, but he certainly has developed after a couple of years worth of seasoning.
He returns to lead what should be another very good Tennessee squad this season, with Zakai Zeigler set to replace Kennedy Chandler and five-star wing Julian Phillips joining the rotation.
Tennessee likely has some settling in to do with a new-look lineup, but the do-it-all James will make things that much easier for Rick Barnes.