After just one year with Tennessee basketball, it is now confirmed that power forward E.J. Anosike will not be returning. Anosike entered the transfer portal over two months ago, just before the Vols landed all of their new targets.
Now, it appears as if Anosike has found his new destination. The brother of former Lady Vol national champion Nicky Anosike has landed with the Cal State Fullerton Titans, his third school in three years.
Anosike joined Tennessee basketball as a graduate transfer in 2020 after averaging a double-double the previous year with the Sacred Heart Pioneers. The school welcomed him earlier this week with an announcement on Twitter, and he then retweeted it.
At 6’7″ 245 pounds, Anosike averaged just over one and a half points and just under two rebounds in eight and a half minutes with the Vols last year. He appeared in 22 of the 27 games the Vols played in but never quite got fully into the rotation.
Initially, with the departure of Yves Pons, it appeared that Anosike would have played a bigger role in 2021-2022. The same seemed true for Drew Pember, another power forward who has transferred to the UNC Asheville Bulldogs.
However, John Fulkerson announced his return to the program, Olivier Nkamhoua and Uros Plavsic are both back, and UT landed four-star center Jonas Aidoo and five-star power forward Brandon Huntley-Hatfield on the recruiting trail. As a result, Rick Barnes now has a loaded front court, and Anosike and Pember likely would have been the odd men out.
Given the fact that Anosike has one year of eligibility left, it makes sense that he would go somewhere he could log significant minutes. Cal State Fullerton could be the perfect place for him, and since Sacred Heart is in Connecticut, this means he will have played at schools in the Northeast, the South and the West Coast in three years.
Still, Tennessee basketball’s outlook in the post is positive next year. There may be some issues with experience outside of Fulkerson, but the talent is clearly there. It’s a big reason for the high expectations behind Barnes and co. going into next season.