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Tennessee Basketball: Vols 2025 commit DeWayne Brown a perfect fit for Rick Barnes

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He’s turning 70 this year and has numerous long-term projects on his team already, but Tennessee Basketball head coach Rick Barnes is still looking for his next round of players to develop. He got a head start on that for 2025 with the commitment of a post player out of Alabama.

DeWayne Brown, a 247Sports Composite four-star out of Hoover High School in Jefferson County, Ala., just outside of Birmingham, became the first commitment in the Vols’ 2025 class. Standing at 6’9″ 250 pounds, Brown announced his decision on his Instagram account Saturday night.

Floating between a three-star and a four-star depending on the service, Brown isn’t an immediate impact player for Tennessee Basketball. However, he is the perfect type of player to develop over a period of time under Barnes. This is who Barnes should always be targeting on the trail.

One-and-done freshmen are never a fit for Barnes because they won’t buy in to his development process. Understandably, they are just trying to maximize their position in the next year’s NBA Draft, so they never pan out when they land with Barnes.

Meanwhile, mentally weak or impatient players, such as what Jonas Aidoo, who just transferred out, appears to be, also won’t always fit. Many players have to develop for a period of time under Barnes before they are able to become regulars in the rotation.

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Given his rating and his size, Brown likely already understands this. As a result, he could be the next J.P. Estrella, who is likely to play a major role for the Vols next year. A player like Brown could develop from a reserve to a role player into a star under Barnes.

A quick look at Brown’s highlight reel, which you can see here, shows he knows how to use his leverage and body to score, and he has a decent bit of control on the perimeter. However, he’s so much bigger than everybody else that he hasn’t been tested enough for the SEC level.

That’s where Barnes and Tennessee Basketball come in. Don’t expect Brown to play right away. By 2027-28, though, he could likely be a starter, and you could be looking at a four-year guy who becomes an All-SEC player by 2028-29.

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