Tennessee forward Julian Phillips, a former five-star recruit and McDonald’s All American, plans to enter the transfer portal, sources told ESPN.
Phillips also entered the NBA draft earlier this spring and was invited to the draft combine, but he will keep his options open. The deadline for underclassmen to enter the transfer portal is Thursday, and Phillips will have to withdraw his name from the NBA draft by May 31 if he wants to return to college.
A 6-foot-8 forward from Blythewood, South Carolina, Phillips was ranked No. 13 in the ESPN 100 coming out of high school in the 2022 class. He was selected to the McDonald’s All American Game and was initially considered a potential first-round pick entering college.
During his lone season in Knoxville, Phillips averaged 8.3 points and 4.7 assists, struggling to shoot the ball from the perimeter but making a noticeable impact on the defensive end. He started the first 25 games of the season before missing four games with a hip injury and then moving to the bench for the final several games of the campaign. Phillips played his best basketball early in the season, highlighted by a 25-point, eight-rebound performance against USC at the Battle 4 Atlantis.
Phillips is ranked No. 52 in ESPN’s 2023 NBA draft rankings.
He’s Tennessee’s third player to enter the transfer portal this offseason, joining Olivier Nkamhoua and B.J. Edwards. The Volunteers have had plenty of success recruiting transfers this spring, however, landing top-100 transfers Dalton Knecht (Northern Colorado), Chris Ledlum (Harvard) and Jordan Gainey (South Carolina Upstate).