Tennessee Vols head coach Rick Barnes is on a heater right now.

The legendary basketball coach landed his third highly-rated recruit in the last 10 days on Thursday.

2023 four-star power forward Cade Phillips announced his commitment to Tennessee on Thursday afternoon. He joined 2022 five-star forward Julian Phillips and 2022 four-star forward DJ Jefferson as recent UT commits.


Phillips, 6-foot-9/200 lbs from Jacksonville, AL, is ranked in 247Sports’ composite rankings as the No. 14 power forward in the nation and the No. 1 player in the state of Alabama. He’s also the No. 78 overall player in the 2023 recruiting class.

Landing Phillips is one of Barnes’ more impressive accomplishments during his time at Tennessee. That’s because Phillips is an Alabama legacy with numerous ties to the Crimson Tide. Phillips’ dad played football at Alabama and his mom played basketball for the Crimson Tide. His grandfather also played at Alabama and he’s the nephew of former Alabama quarterback Brodie Croyle.

This should’ve been a slam dunk for Alabama. Tennessee shouldn’t have even been a factor.

But that’s the value of having Rick Barnes. I’m not sure there’s a hotter basketball coach in the country right now. Last season may have ended on a sour note for the Vols, but that isn’t slowing Tennessee down moving forward. Barnes is on a mission and he’s proving he’s up to the challenge of continuing to flood Knoxville with elite talent.

Featured image via Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports