Rick Barnes may have secured the greatest recruiting class in history for Tennessee basketball in 2021, and he’s already got a head start on 2022 with the commitment of four-star guard B.J. Edwards. However, he’s clearly not resting.
The Vols made the cut for two more elite 2022 prospects this week. It started on Monday, when UT made the top 10 for South Carolina forward Julian Phillips. Three days later, though, they made the top five for Florida guard Jalen Hood-Schifino.
Phillips, a five-star on Rivals and a four-star on 247Sports and ESPN from Blythewood High School, which is in Richland, County, S.C., just outside of Columbia, S.C., is a bit of a tweener, listed as a small forward on Rivals and ESPN but a power forward on 247Sports. He stands between 6’7″ and 6’8″ and weighs in the range of 175 to 210 pounds.
Joining Tennessee basketball on Phillips’ list were the Florida State Seminoles, Alabama Crimson Tide, Florida Gators, Virginia Cavaliers, Clemson Tigers, Kansas Jayhawks, UCLA Bruins, LSU Tigers and USC Trojans. He announced the schools on Twitter.
There are no 247Sports predictions for Phillips, but FSU is a unanimous favorite to land him on the Rivals Future Cast and a plurality favorite to land him on the Rivals Fan Future Cast. As a result, UT has a lot of work to do to lure him to Knoxville, but never underestimate Barnes on the trail.
Hood-Schifino, listed as a four-star shooting guard across the board, was committed to the Pittsburgh Panthers from December of2019 to July of 2020. Coming out of Montverde Academy near Orlando, he stands at 6’5″ and weighs in the range of 190 to 210 pounds. As you can see with the picture to go with this post, he faced UT freshman Kennedy Chandler last year.
In addition to Tennessee basketball, the Lake County, Fla. prospect’s list included the Florida Gators, Memphis Tigers, Texas Longhorns and Indiana Hoosiers. He announced the schools Thursday afternoon on Instagram.
Just like with Phillips, there are no predictions to land Hood-Schifino on the 247Sports Crystal Ball, but there’s a unanimous and a plurality favorite to land him on the Rivals Future Cast and Rivals Fan Future Cast respectively. Luckily for the Vols, that favorite is Pitt, where he was formerly committed and which didn’t make his cut.
As a result, Tennessee basketball is solidly in the running for both players. Given Barnes’ recent success, it wouldn’t be surprising to see him add one of them, and either of them would be a huge addition. What’s clear is that Rocky Top is a permanent force on the recruiting trail, and that’s a big deal for the program.