Tennessee has signed 4-star forward D.J. Burns less than a week after he committed to the Vols.
Burns is the highest-rated prospect coach Rick Barnes has signed in his time at Tennessee. Coming off a surprising 26-9 season, this is exactly the kind of recruiting win Barnes should be pulling off.
The Rock Hill, S.C., native comes to the Vols as one of the most polished low-post scorers on the roster. Only junior Grant Williams and possibly senior Admiral Schofield are more comfortable working down low.
“We targeted D.J. three years ago because he fits our culture on and off the court,” Barnes said in a news release. “His mom and dad have prepared him well, and we believe he’s got a really bright future. D.J. allows us to play through the high or low post. He’s a good passer, he can make perimeter shots and he’s got excellent footwork.
“With his attitude and approach, he’ll grow quickly and tremendously within our player development program. He’s a great addition for us.”
Burns, who will enroll this week, could provide scoring pop off the bench next season when Williams and Schofield are taking breathers.
He will have to prove his defensive abilities to Barnes, though. Tennessee has a strong team defense system, and Barnes doesn’t tolerate many mess-ups. For a team aiming for a deep NCAA Tournament run next season, every cog needs to be playing at a high level.
The quicker the 6-foot-8, 250-pound Burns can assert himself on defense, the more likely he’ll see significant minutes. Burns originally was a member of the 2019 recruiting class before reclassifying to 2018.