(utsports.com) E.J. Anosike (pronounced: ann-uh-SICK-ee), a 6-6, 245-pound forward from East Orange, New Jersey, has signed an institutional aid agreement and plans to enroll at Tennessee this summer and play for the Volunteers as a graduate transfer during the 2020-21 season.
The name is familiar to many Tennessee fans, as his older sister, Nicky Anosike, was a two-time national champion with the Lady Vols basketball program from 2004-08 and twice was named to the NCAA All-Final Four Team. He plans to wear her No. 55 next season.
E.J. Anosike will earn his degree in Finance and Business Economics, with a minor in Accounting, from Sacred Heart University in May. He achieved a 3.57 GPA and received the 2020 Northeast Conference Men’s Basketball Scholar-Athlete Award.
A first-team All-NEC selection last season, Anosike ranked among the top 20 in all of Division I in offensive rebounds per game (4.18, fourth), total rebounds per game (11.6 rpg, sixth), double-doubles (18, seventh) and defensive rebounds per game (7.42, 19th). His career rebounding averages climbed from 3.9 rpg as a freshman to 8.1 ppg as a sophomore to a league-leading 11.6 rpg as a junior. Prior to transferring to Tennessee, Anosike was on track to become the just sixth player in NEC history to reach 1,000 career rebounds.
“Aside from being a great person from a great family, E.J. brings experience and toughness,” Vols head coach Rick Barnes said. “Anyone who averages a double-double for an entire season and displays the versatility he has is impressive. He also plays with tremendous competitive spirit, which is valuable for any team.”
Anosike started all 33 games for Sacred Heart this past season and led the team in scoring (15.7 ppg), rebounding (11.6 rpg), offensive rebounding (4.2 orpg) and minutes played (33.2 mpg) while shooting .484 from the field. He logged eight 20-point games and was a five-time NEC Player of the Week.
His 27 career double-doubles are fifth-most among all returning Division I players nationally.
Over the last two seasons, he started all 65 games in which he appeared. In his 94 career games, Anosike averages 11.7 points and 8.0 rebounds.
As his role expanded year over year, the Pioneers’ win total improved from 10, to 15, to 20 this past season.
A 1,000-point scorer at New Jersey’s Paramus Catholic High School, Anosike spent a postgrad year at St. Thomas More School in Montville, Connecticut, before enrolling at Sacred Heart.
Anosike becomes the second New Jersey native to suit up for the Vols, joining Steve Hirschorn (1968-72, Springfield, N.J.). He will be the sixth incoming graduate transfer in program history, following forward John Fields (2010-11), guard Antonio Barton (2013-14), guard Ian Chiles (2014-15), forward Lew Evans (2016-17) and guard James Daniel III (2017-18).
Tennessee’s crop of newcomers for the 2020-21 season now stands at four. Anosike joins incoming freshmen Keon Johnson, Jaden Springer and Corey Walker Jr.