KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) Tennessee guard Robert Hubbs won’t play Saturday at No. 18 Butler as he recovers from arthroscopic surgery to his right knee.
School officials had indicated Hubbs was doubtful for the Butler game after he underwent the procedure on Dec. 1. Tennessee coach Rick Barnes updated Hubbs’ situation Thursday by saying the 6-foot-4 junior “is making good progress, but he’s not going to be ready for this one.”
Barnes didn’t know when Hubbs might return to action. Hubbs is averaging 15.3 points and 3.7 rebounds per game for Tennessee (4-3).
The trip to Butler (7-1) ends a 13-day break from games for Tennessee, which represents the program’s longest layoff during a season since December 1967.
Tennessee guard Robert Hubbs III arrived in Knoxville as one of the nation’s best shooting guards, but unfortunately for the Volunteers they didn’t get to see much of the freshman in action in 2013-14. Due to a shoulder injury Hubbs played in just 12 games, scoring 5.1 points in just over 18 minutes of action per game.
Given the personnel losses incurred this offseason Hubbs would be a key player for new head coach Donnie Tyndall if he decided to remain at Volunteer. And on Thursday night Hubbs announced via his Twitter account that he’ll be returning for his sophomore season, making what has already been a good week for the Tennessee program an even better one.
Hubbs’ announcement comes on the heels of four-star guard Detrick Mostella signing with the program, with Mostella joining guard Kevin Punter and forward Jabari McGhee in Tyndall’s first recruiting class at Tennessee. Add in Josh Richardson (10.3 ppg, 2.9 rpg) and the Volunteers have some quality pieces to build with in 2014-15.
Front court depth, even with the addition of McGhee, remains a concern at this point in time. But given the uncertainty that surrounded the program prior to Tyndall’s hiring, Tennessee’s in a better place now than they were in mid-April.