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Auburn loses out on coveted Tennessee transfer

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On Sunday, Tennessee transfer and power forward Brandon Huntley-Hatfield announced his commitment to Louisville via his Instagram. The native of Clarksville, Tennessee recently released a final five of SMU, Arizona State, Wake Forest, Louisville, and Auburn. However, it appears that he is headed to Louisville to play for newly hired head coach Kenny Payne.

After visiting the Plains this past weekend, many expected Huntley-Hatfield to commit to the Tigers. Last season, he averaged 3.9 points per game and three rebounds per game for the Volunteers. After an injury sidelined big man Olivier Nkamhoua for a majority of the season, Huntley-Hatfield was called on to play more minutes for Rick Barnes’ squad. Through 35 games, he made 13 starts in Knoxville.

The Tigers’ coaching staff is still in the mix to land Morehead State big man Johni Broome. The Florida Gators are firmly in the mix to land Broome along with several others. 2023 five-star power forward Julian Phillips has also shown heavy interest in Auburn as he began his visit Sunday and remains on campus until Tuesday. However, losing out Huntley-Hatfield will still sting for quite a while.

(AP Photo/Stephen Spillman)

He was a former five-star recruit in the 2021 recruiting cycle. Jerry Meyer, director of basketball scouting for 247Sports, even went as far as comparing Huntley-Hatfield to former Kentucky and current Knicks forward Julius Randle. It is also worth noting that his cousin is actually Alex Poythress who also played forward at Kentucky. His recruitment will hurt the Tigers temporarily but it shouldn’t hurt long-term.

Players like Yohan Traore, Jaylin Williams, and Dylan Cardwell will all likely have increased roles at the four and five spots for the Tigers. Head coach Bruce Pearl will also likely look for some more players throughout the portal. The future still looks bright and Auburn fans should be excited for the future of the team in orange and blue.

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