The Tennessee basketball program has added a promising frontcourt prospect to its roster, as forward D.J. Burns has signed and submitted an institutional aid agreement to the university.
A 6-8, 250-pound forward from Rock Hill, South Carolina, Burns will enroll at UT this week, and he will be a freshman for the Volunteers during the upcoming 2018-19 season.
“We targeted D.J. three years ago because he fits our culture on and off the court,” Tennessee head coach Rick Barnes said. “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. We’re excited about D.J. He’s a great addition for us.”
Burns—who totaled more than 1,000 points and more than 1,000 rebounds during his prep career—was coached at York Preparatory Academy in Rock Hill by Frank Hamrick. Burns played his AAU ball in the Nike Elite Youth Basketball League with the Georgia Stars, coached by Chris Richards.
Burns was originally a member of the Class of 2019 but announced in early May that he was reclassifying to the Class of 2018. He graduated early on May 25.
Still included on ESPN’s Class of 2019 national prospect rankings, Burns lands at No. 52 on the most recent listing. And according to the 247Sports.com industry composite for the Class of 2018, Burns is rated as a four-star recruit, the third-ranked prospect in the state of South Carolina, the nation’s 12th-ranked center and is rated 103rd among all prospects nationally.
Burns’ ESPN.com recruiting profile states that, “in many ways, Burns has an old-school post game with great mobility that should make for a winning combination in Knoxville.”
Burns received team MVP honors during a standout junior season this past winter. He averaged a double-double (14.2 ppg, 10.3 rpg), was named MVP of both the C. Dan Joyner Poinsettia Classic in Greenville and the USA National Prep Championships in North Myrtle Beach. He also was one of 24 players selected to compete in the South Carolina Junior Showcase in Columbia. He received an invitation to participate in the upcoming NBPA Top 100 Camp in Virginia June 12-17.
As a sophomore in 2016-17, Burns averaged 14.2 points, 8.1 rebounds, 3.2 assists and 3.1 blocks per game while shooting 55 percent from the field. He scored in double figures 15 times and logged three 20-point games.
Burns, who will wear jersey No. 32 at UT, joins former Tennessee basketball team captains Garland “Mule” O’Shields (Spartanburg, 1944-46) and Major Wingate (Florence, 2003-06) as just the third South Carolina native ever to sign with the Vols.