Great Expectations: Tennessee Lands Another Five-Star Recruit

Tennessee men’s basketball coach Rick Barnes’ incoming class of recruits is opening eyes, and there’s a reason for that.

For the second time in two days, the Volunteers landed a commitment from one of the nation’s top big men, power forward Brandon Huntley-Hatfield. On Wednesday, Barnes landed 7-foot-0 center Jonas Aidoo.

Huntley-Hatfield is a Tennessee native who has decided to reclassify and join the Volunteers next season. Aidoo was already set to arrive for 2021-22.

These two join a class that already includes five-star point guard Kennedy Chandler and four-star wing Jahmai Mashack, both of whom signed with the Vols in November.

Add it all up, and according to recruiting site Rivals.com, Tennessee has the second-best basketball class in the country, trailing only Michigan.

This is excellent news for a team that has had three players declare for the draft — Jaden Springer, Yves Pons and likely NBA lottery pick Keon Johnson.

Of all the newcomers, Huntley-Hatfield may be the biggest get.

“Huntley-Hatfield has an ideal frame for a power forward, with strength, balance and length,” ESPN wrote. “He possesses natural scoring instincts from anywhere on the court. He is truly versatile, as he can be successful in the post or effective with his face-up game as a shooter or driver. As a screener, Huntley-Hatfield will open the floor for his jumper or roll to finish with power and body control. If he applies himself, he has the ability to be a productive rebounder, both above the rim and outside his area.”

The Volunteers are coming off an upset loss to Oregon State in first round of the NCAA Tournament, but as of today, they appear to be winning the offseason.

Written by Sam Amico

Sam Amico spent 15 years covering the NBA for Sports Illustrated, FOX Sports and NBA.com, along with a few other spots, and currently runs his own basketball website on the side, FortyEightMinutes.com.

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  1. I am still baffled that the university of Texas let Rick Barnes go, but I am certainly glad to have him in Knoxville now. Even if we aren’t getting to final fours yet it’s nice to have a program that’s consistently good that can play with anyone.

  2. They have reallocated money huh? I’d say their investment in basketball is better than football. Think how much money they have wasted on recruits the past 15 years only to get to a point were Kentucky is better at football than the Vols.

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