In a move that was long overdue, the men’s Tennessee basketball program got a break with center Uros Plavsic being ruled eligible for the Volunteers.
Better late than never? Tennessee basketball is about to have its second addition following a surprise subtraction, all in less than a month, for its 2019-2020 season. And it completely changes the scope of the season.
The Vols got news that redshirt freshman Uros Plavsic, a 7’0 240-pound transfer center from the Arizona State Sun Devils, has finally been ruled eligible. UTSports confirmed that Plavsic would be eligible immediately on Tuesday evening.
This ruling is a huge win for Tennessee basketball, which has struggled to find an identity after senior guard Lamonte Turner revealed back in December that he was having season-ending shoulder surgery. Since then, midseason enrollee Santiago Vescovi has stepped in to help out at point guard, and now Plavsic has been ruled eligible.
Once a three-star recruit, Plavsic is originally from Ivanjica, Serbia, but he played high school ball at Hamilton Heights Christian Academy in Chattanooga. Last fall, the NCAA initially ruled him ineligible after his decision to transfer.
With Plavsic and Vescovi, Rick Barnes now has a solid collection of young talent to offset all of his other major issues. Most notably, Tennessee basketball has a true center in Plavsic, which can allow John Fulkerson to move to power forward at 6’9″.
All of a sudden, Barnes can play big again by moving Yves Pons to the wing in this situation and having Josiah-Jordan James and Jordan Bowden start in the backcourt while Vescovi joins Jalen Johnson and Davonte Gaines to provide backcourt scoring off the bench. Add in forwards Drew Pember and Olivier Nkamhoua, and UT all of a sudden has a solid rotation.
We obviously have no idea how good Plavsic will be, but he is still a huge addition, literally, with his size. As a result, Vol fans should be ecstatic about this move. It completely changes the outlook of their team going forward, which is trying to make it back to the NCAA Tournament in what can be deemed a transition year.