14. Davonte Gaines enters transfer portal
In two years with Tennessee basketball, Davonte Gaines appeared in 48 games. He appeared in all 29 of 31 games as a freshman and then 19 of 27 games as a sophomore. At 6’7″ 181 pounds, Gaines was always a defensive specialist who figured to be one of those developmental projects in Rick Barnes’ system, and he showed promise at times.
That is what makes Gaines’ transfer a bit of a loss. However, given his position, he’s not a big loss. The fact of the matter is Barnes has continued to do a good job of adding talent in the backcourt, and that was never a concern for the Vols in 2021-2022.
By the time Gaines entered the portal on April 9, the Vols had already added an elite transfer wing, which we’ll get to later in this slideshow, and they had also already had a key wing player announce his return for next year. We’ll discuss him as well in this post.
Beyond that, the Vols were always expected to return Victor Bailey Jr. and Santiago Vescovi. Also, four-star Jahmai Mashack, who committed before the offseason, can also play on the wing. As a result, Gaines’ departure was not a big deal relative to roster needs. He followed a UT assistant to the George Mason Patriots as his transfer destination. We go to that assistant next.