DESTIN, Fla. — A half dozen student-athletes take another step in their life journey this June.
Starting classes at Tennessee this week are point guard Jordan Bone, shooting guard Jordan Bowdan, power forward John Fulkerson, small forward Jalen Johnson and shooting guard Kwe Parker. Starting classes next week is center Grant Williams. All six of the 2016 class signees rated by Scout as three-star prospects.
“We’re excited about our new guys,” second-year Tennessee coach Rick Barnes told InsideTennessee. “We’ve got a really good group of guys. Going to have eight new faces to work with. But I’m happy with our returning players. We’ve got a good group of guys. It’s going to be fun because I think they’re going to be open and really receptive to wanting to become a good basketball team.”
Barnes welcomed a baby granddaughter into his family Monday night, so his time around the Volunteers this week has been minimal.
The coach said his new additions are excited to be on Rocky Top and their enrolling this month instead of later int he summer should help them with them acclimation to the academic process. He called their vacating their summer vacation a “great way to introduce” them to life as a student-athlete on the Southeastern Conference level.
Barnes and his coaches cannot have full-scale practices this summer, per NCAA rules, however they do now have the opportunity to sit down with their players.
“They’re going to learn more about where they’re going to get shots from, those type of things,” Barnes said at the SEC Meetings. “That’s going to are good.
“I think it’s great the rule that they put in to where we get to spent time with our guys during the summer. That’s something I’ve talked about my entire life. I think the more time we get to spend with our players, 1. We’re allowed to teach them a work ethic. I think that’s often one of the toughest things you have to get them to understand. If you want to be who you want to be and live the dream you want to live, you have to understand it’s not easy.”
Enrolling in classes for the second summer semester is graduate transfer Lew Evans from Utah State.
Find out more from Barnes from the SEC Meetings by clicking play on the video above.