Two Tennessee basketball all-stars, Josiah-Jordan James, and Julian Phillips have been out with injuries for the past several games.
At this point in the season, Josiah-Jordan James averages 10 points, 5 rebounds, and 2 assists per game. On top of this, he is also the veteran presence that the Vols feed off of when he is out there on the court.
Julian Phillips averages 9 points, 5 rebounds, and 2 assists per game. Both two players have similar numbers, and their injuries have made it quite difficult to fill these gaps in their absence.
Josiah-Jordan James injury update
Before the South Carolina game yesterday, James had been out for the last three games. Missouri, Alabama, and Kentucky were among the three, and the Vols lost 2 of them. James has now missed 11 games this season and has been dealing with so many injury problems all year.
James had this to say before his return to the court Yesterday:
"“I’m doing great, These last couple weeks I’ve been doing extensive work with Chad, our athletic trainer, and then ‘G,’ our strength and conditioning coach. Hopefully, barring any setbacks, I’ll be out there Saturday. Looking forward to it.”"
Josiah-Jordan James did end up playing yesterday and put on quite the show. In the game, he had 18 points and came back like he never left. He was a huge part in boosting the Vols’ offense and if he can stay healthy into March, the Vols can go on a run.
Julian Phillips injury update
Julian Phillips seems to be a little bit more behind James in the recovery process. He was unable to play yesterday, but will hopefully be back for the last game of the regular season on Tuesday. Phillips has been having a great year to this date and is an absolute force on offense and defense.
Head coach Buzz Williams of Texas A&M had this to say regarding the two Vols’ injury status earlier this week:
"“[The absence of James and Phillips] changes their team. (James) has been in their program for four years. (Phillips) is an early-entry pro that will be drafted before his college eligibility is up. I think that changes the complexion of their team, and still it takes all that you have to have a chance to beat them.”"
I do think that Julian Phillips will be returning on Tuesday against the Razorbacks, but there is still a question about how many minutes he will play and what percent he will be at.