The Tennessee staff landed a few key JUCO prospects late in the 2014 class that have helped them survive their first season. Kevin Punter was a key late addition for Donnie Tyndall after he took the reigns in Knoxville. Punter is the second leading scorer and has the highest 3-point percentage on the team. It seems that they are looking to rely heavily on the JC path again in the 2015 class.
The Volunteers have recently offered two players at New Mexico JC and have been getting heavily involved with others around the country. Tennessee recently offered Malique Trent, a 6’2 guard, and Kimani Jackson, a 6’8 forward.
Trent is a strong scoring guard who is built for the next level. He has had some big games recently and is doing that in one of the toughest junior college regions in the country. He is leading a deep New Mexico JC team in scoring at 15.2 ppg and is doing so in his first year of JC basketball. Trent red-shirted at Norfolk State last season and then transferred to New Mexico JC, which means he will have 3 years of eligibility after this season. He is shooting 45% from the field and nearly 42% from the three-point line. As the season winds down, Trent will continue to pick up high major interest and offers. Tennessee should be in solid shape when it comes to making the final cut for Trent due to the fact that they were one of the first high majors to offer Trent. Creighton is the only other high major school that offered him before Tennessee.
Kimani Jackson , a 6’8 forward at New Mexico JC, will have three years to play at the next level as well. He red-shirted last season and this is his first season of JC basketball. Jackson is a mobile forward who is very active on both ends and is a good athlete. He has a very high ceiling with three years to play and should develop in to a good player at the D1 level. Jackson is averaging 9.9 points and 6.3 rebounds per game while shooting 60% from the field. He holds offers from Tennessee, Colorado St, Old Dominion and James Madison and has interest from Arkansas, WVU, TCU, Texas Tech among others.
Tennessee has also shown interest in the Lee College backcourt of Ty Outlaw and Shawn Smith. Ty Outlaw, a 6’6 wing, transferred to Lee from UNC Greensboro where he averaged 5.4 points and 2.1 rebounds as a freshman. Outlaw is currently averaging 23.4 points and 5.5 rebounds per game at Lee while shooting 55% from the field and 50.7% from three. Outlaw has recent interest Marquette and WVU with many more coming in soon.
Shawn Smith, a 6’4 point guard, transferred to Lee from Texas A&M where he averaged 5.7 and 3.2 rebounds as a red-shirt freshman last season. Smith has heavy interest from South Florida, who will most likely offer soon. He also has recent interest from Marquette. Smith is averaging 16 points, 5 rebounds and 5 assists per game this season.
Tennessee’s staff has also checked on plenty of other JC players recently. They have been keeping an eye on several point guards including Dequon Miller (Motlow State) and Walter Wright (Snow College).