Five-star Vols forward Julian Phillips entering transfer portal

Tennessee Athletics photo / Tennessee forward Julian Phillips, who averaged 8.3 points and 4.7 rebounds as a freshman this past season, is entering the NCAA transfer portal.

Tennessee five-star forward Julian Phillips is entering the NCAA transfer portal after his freshman season with the Volunteers.

The 6-foot-8, 198-pounder from Blythewood, South Carolina, played in 32 of Tennessee’s 36 games this past season with 25 starts, averaging 24.0 minutes, 8.3 points and 4.7 rebounds per contest. In Tennessee’s three NCAA tournament games against Louisiana, Duke and Florida Atlantic, however, Phillips averaged 15 minutes and tallied just five total points.

Phillips, senior guard Josiah-Jordan James, and senior forwards Olivier Nkamhoua and Uros Plavsic are going through the NBA draft process, with Nkamhoua also having entered the transfer portal.

“Those guys are all pursuing their dream of being a professional basketball player,” Tennessee coach Rick Barnes said last week during the Big Orange Caravan’s visit to Chattanooga. “All I can say is that I believe it will all work out when it’s all said and done. How that is I don’t know, because they’ve got until the end of the month to decide on what they want to do.

“It’s a process you can’t rush. You really can’t.”

B.J. Edwards, who was a backup point guard as a freshman this past season, has also entered the portal from Tennessee’s 25-11 team that reached the Sweet 16.

This window of the transfer portal is closing Thursday for those players who have not graduated. According to, this window opened March 13 with 119 entries and as of Thursday morning had 1,724 entries.

Phillips signed with LSU in November 2021 but was released from his letter of intent in March 2022 after the firing of Tigers coach Will Wade. He then signed with the Vols as the nation’s No. 19 prospect in the 2022 cycle.

In last November’s semifinal victory over Southern California at the Battle 4 Atlantis tournament in the Bahamas, Phillips scored 25 points, which would serve as his season high.

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