Whenever there’s a coaching change, there tends to be some player turnover at that particular program. That’s the case at Tennessee, where freshman forward Tariq Owens has decided to request a releas from his scholarship according to Ben Frederickson of the Knoxville News-Sentinel. Owens’ decision comes just a couple days after the school introduced Rick Barnes as its new head coach.
In Frederickson’s story, Owens’ father discussed his son’s decision and made note of the uncertainty that surrounded Owens’ future in the program and how Barnes would fill out the remainder of his coaching staff.
“My concern is him getting recruited over and not being a part of the plan going forward,” Renard Owens said. “And the reason that I have that feeling is because Coach Barnes, with all due respect, didn’t recruit Tariq. The coaches who did recruit Tariq who are there, we don’t even know if they are going to be retained. There may not be anybody on the staff that has a relationship with Tariq or any of the boys.”
The 6-foot-9 Owens played in 28 games this season, making five starts and averaging 1.2 points, 1.1 rebounds and 7.6 minutes per contest under Donnie Tyndall. According to Jeff Goodman of ESPN.com, Owens is expected to visit St. John’s in the near future.
New head coach Chris Mullin certainly has some holes to fill on his roster, with the nucleus of this year’s NCAA tournament team out of eligibility and suspended center Chris Obekpa’s status yet to be determined.