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Tennessee Basketball F Jonas Aidoo makes a huge mistake entering portal

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In the age of NIL, transfer portal entries are understandable. Given what Rick Barnes’ focus might be going forward, you can see how Tennessee Basketball could lose Tobe Awaka, Freddie Dilione and D.J. Jefferson. However, Jonas Aidoo is making a critical mistake with this move.

Aidoo, who was UT’s starting post player and averaged over 11 points and seven rebounds this past year, was second team All-SEC and All-SEC Defense, averaging just under two blocks a game. A 6’11” 241-pound junior, he is extremely athletic and was developing the right amount of finesse under Barnes.

However, he was still too soft, evidenced by how the Purdue Boilermakers took him out of the Elite Eight game with Zach Edey’s imposing presence. No coach in the nation is better to develop mental toughness, though, than Barnes, and that was Aidoo’s final step to becoming a superstar.

Instead, as reported initially by ON3’s Joe Tipton, Aidoo is running after his worst game. He is entering the transfer portal and declaring for the NBA Draft, testing the waters. Somebody may take a chance on him, but it will be way below where he could go if he just stayed with Barnes another year.

This move gives off the vibe that Aidoo didn’t like the way he was clowned after that abysmal NCAA Tournament performance and instead is just running. Barnes has specifically touted Aidoo’s potential, and he was the first to defend Aidoo after that game. Why would Aidoo bail on what Barnes could turn him into?

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As for the Vols, well, they have now lost five of their eight rotational players from this past year: Aidoo, Awaka, Dalton Knecht, Santiago Vescovi and Josiah-Jordan James. It does appear as if Zakai Zeigler, Jordan Gainey and Jahmai Mashack will be back. J.P. Estrella could step up in the post too, and the coaches love Cameron Carr.

Still, Tennessee Basketball has a lot of work to do in the portal if they want to maintain the level of success they had just this past year. Barnes will probably have to do some serious work on the recruiting trail too. At least one more big, maybe two, a scorer on the wing and two guards will be crucial.

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