Auburn basketball misses 5-star winger Julian Phillips
On April 15, Auburn basketball added the second-highest rookie in team history after a five-star prospect opted out of LSU and eventually settled on another set. of Tigers. History almost repeated itself on Thursday.
Instead, Julian Phillips, a 6-foot-8 winger from Link (Mo.) Academy announced his commitment to Tennessee. 247Sports Composite ranks Phillips the 12th-ranked rookie of the Class of 2022 and the fourth-best small forward.
“Coach Barnes, he’s just a great guy overall, I have a great relationship with him. We talk about a lot of things that aren’t basketball related,” Phillips said during his announcement in live on CBS Sports HQ. “…I’ll be happy to play under him.”
Auburn head coach Bruce Pearl had had a blistering streak on the recruiting trail. He and his team added a ‘combo striker’ to Traroe after re-opening his recruiting, landing one of the best defensive transfers in the country in Johni Broome as well as four-star small forward Chance Westry. According to the 247Sports team calculator, Auburn’s class would have ranked fifth in the nation with Phillips. It remains ranked 16th nationally and third behind Alabama and Arkansas in the Southeastern Conference.
He will be the Volunteers’ fourth highest-rated prospect in school history and McDonald’s fourth All-American. Guards BJ Edwards of Knoxville (Ten.) Catholic and Tyreke Key, a transfer from Sycamore, are the other two players in the class of 2022 from Tennessee.
Phillips originally signed his letter of intent at LSU on Nov. 10 after verbally committing a month prior. Six days after coach Will Wade was fired in response to an NCAA Notice of Allegations, Phillips was granted a release. He then traveled to South Carolina in April, but made only one official visit on his second go-around: Auburn on April 25. He did, however, cite his first fall visit to Knoxville as a big selling point. Other contenders for Phillips included Florida State, Southern California, Overtime Elite and the National Basketball Association‘s G-League.
Phillips met with G-League representatives on Wednesday, according to a On3 report. Jalen Green, a Memphis target and elite prospect, skipped college in favor of the pro route, signing a $500,000 contract in 2020. Phillips will instead have name, image and resemblance to the Volunteers while competing for a national title.
“The second time around, the process was a little easier. I was able to talk to new coaches,” Phillips said.
Phillips can outrun defenders with both hands and finish around the edge. Scouts expect Phillips to continue developing his 3-point shot while adding muscle to his 200-pound frame. 247Director of Basketball Scouting at 247Sports jerry meyer gave Phillips the first-round projection and compared him to NBA veteran Corey Brewer.
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Nick Alvarez is a reporter for Alabama Media Group. Follow him on Twitter @nick_a_alvarez or email him at NALvarez@al.com.