- Advertisement -

Tennessee Basketball significantly UPGRADES post game from 2023-24 by adding Charlotte transfer Igor Milicic Jr.

- Advertisement -

This is not a direct shot at them, but there’s no chance in the world Tennessee Basketball will miss Tobe Awaka and Jonas Aidoo next year now. Rick Barnes’ recent moves in the transfer portal assure that, assuming everybody is healthy, the Vols will be significantly better in 2024-25.

UT solidified that Monday with the commitment of Charlotte 49ers transfer forward Igor Milicic Jr. College Hoops Today post Jon Rothstein of CBS Sports revealed on Twitter in the morning that Milicic told him he is headed to Rocky Top to complete his final year of eligibility.

At 6’10 225 pounds, the forward from Rovinj, Croatia brings one of the most unique skill sets a big could possibly bring to the table. Milicic shot 37.6 percent from three last year, hitting nearly two a game, but he also plays big under the basket, averaging a block and eight and a half rebounds a game. He averaged 12.8 points per game.

Before playing with Charlotte the past two years, Milicic was a freshman with the Virginia Cavaliers. In three years of college ball, his averages have gone from two points to just over seven and a half points to double figures per game. His minutes have gone from barely over six to 21.4 to 32.2 per game.

Milicic’s commitment comes within a week of Tennessee Basketball adding Ohio State Buckeyes commitment Felix Okpara, who is a 6’11” defensive specialist around the rim. The two of them together are already a much better duo than Awaka and Aidoo, and they may even start together.

- Advertisement -

When it came to Awaka and Aidoo, Awaka was the tougher player and better defender, and Aidoo was the better scorer who was more athletic and had more finesse. All of those combinations are in these two new players but even more impressive across the board.

Okpara brings the toughness and impending presence of Awaka, but he does it at 6’11” with Aidoo’s athleticism. Meanwhile, Milicic brings Aidoo’s size and finesse, but he’s much more finesse, as he can step outside and shoot the three. He also is 81.8 from the free throw line.

Simply put, this duo will have the size and finesse to not get punked by or foul out against a player like Zach Edey as Aidoo and Awaka did respectively against the Purdue Boilermakers in the Elite Eight. Barnes has the perfect combination, and both are veteran players, so they’ll likely buy in.

Finally, there’s one more element to the bigs being better next year, and that’s J.P. Estrella. He was a project for Barnes but showed development down the stretch. With another year, he’ll be a solid role player, and Barnes should be able to rotate all three guys.

Add in the fact that Tennessee Basketball did bring in its new version of Dalton Knecht in Darlinstone Dubar, assuming the Hofstra Pride transfer buys in the way Knecht did, and they already look like a more complete team than last year. Zakai Zeigler and Jahmai Mashack back combined with Cameron Carr and Jordan Gainey emerging will only help that.

For what it’s worth, Awaka committed to the Arizona Cardinals Monday morning as well. He announced the decision on his Instagram page, and there was hope he would come back to UT. Honestly, though, both Milicic and Okpara are better pickups than his return would be.

- Advertisement -

Latest YouTube Video

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *