Rick Barnes just doesn’t stop. After securing arguably the two greatest recruiting classes in history for Tennessee basketball in back to back years, he’s now given the Vols a head start for 2022 with another elite pickup. This time, he found a local guy.
B.J. Edwards, a four-star across all services, out of Knoxville Catholic High School in Knoxville, Tenn., committed to the Vols on Thursday. Edwards’ size has a range, as he’s listed at 6’1″ on ESPN, 6’2″ on Rivals and 6’3″ on 247Sports. His weight range is 165 to 170 pounds.
On both Rivals and 247Sports, Edwards is a top 100 ranked player nationally. The in-state prospect is the first commitment for Tennessee basketball’s 2022 recruiting class, and he announced his decision on Twitter.
Obviously, Barnes is likely to need help again at point guard next year. Five-star Kennedy Chandler, a member of the 2021 class, will likely be gone after one year. Meanwhile, Santiago Vescovi will be gone within the next two years. Having a guy like Edwards ready to take over will be huge.
Although his size is in question, he’ll be able to play the point guard position no matter what. However, if he truly is 6’3″, he brings a huge advantage to the role. Assuming he spends more than one year with the program, he’s the type of player that could truly develop under Barnes.
According to MaxPreps, Edwards has averaged just under 20 points and over seven rebounds, two steals and five assists each of the last two years. He has averaged more steals than turnovers each of the last two years as well while shooting over 50 percent from the field. Here’s a look at his highlight reel.
As you can see, Edwards is pretty good at playing under the basket for a point guard. He also has solid vision and can stretch the floor with his shot. One concern on MaxPreps was Edwards’ three-point shooting dropping to 32 percent this past year, but it was 44 percent the year before, so it could be an anomaly, especially given how COVID limited player development across the board.
Overall, Tennessee basketball clearly got a solid pickup in Edwards. He’s a guy with a ton of potential who will likely spend at least two years with the program, and anybody who spends multiple seasons with Barnes usually develops significantly.