Tennessee lands No. 6-rated grad transfer E.J. Anosike

Tennessee has landed a commitment from Sacred Heart graduate transfer E.J. Anosike, a first-team All-Northeast Conference selection last season.

Anosike chose the Volunteers over a final seven that also included Louisville, Gonzaga, Wake Forest, Georgia, Georgetown and Boston College.

"The first time I stepped foot on the court at Tennessee, it became my dream to one day play there," Anosike told ESPN.

Anosike is the younger brother of Nicky Anosike, who won two national championships with the Tennessee Lady Volunteers in 2007 and 2008 and then spent four seasons in the WNBA. She is now back in Knoxville as a basketball trainer after finishing up a stint as a graduate assistant on the Tennessee women's team.

"It's good to be following in her footsteps after seeing her success here at Tennessee," Anosike said. "I was actually at both Final Fours when the Lady Vols won championships in 2007 and 2008. And if I can get one national championship, my collegiate career will really mean something.

"I was 9 years old [when they won the 2008 championship]. I went to my sister's first Final Four when I was 6 in 2005. I was there for everything. I heard Pat Summitt talk to the team and I was in the locker room after winning the championship."

Anosike, a 6-foot-6 power forward, averaged 15.7 points and 11.6 rebounds last season. One of the reasons he picked Tennessee was the success he saw Grant Williams and Admiral Schofield -- two forwards with unique size and skill sets -- have a couple of seasons ago in Knoxville.

"Thinking about the impact Grant and Admiral had definitely impacted my decision," Anosike said. "I respect the hard work that they put in and I'm determined to do the same."

Tennessee was slotted at No. 14 in ESPN's Way-Too-Early Top 25 for the 2020-21 season. The Volunteers bring back four starters and add a top-five recruiting class that includes five-star guards Jaden Springer and Keon Johnson.

Rick Barnes' team was the worst defensive rebounding squad in the SEC last season, which is where Anosike's double-double proficiency should help. He'll bring toughness and elite rebounding ability to the frontcourt alongside John Fulkerson (13.7 PPG, 5.9 RPG) and Yves Pons (10.8 PPG, 5.4 RPG).

"I want to win a conference championship and a national championship," Anosike said. "And after speaking with the coaching staff, who have similar goals, they felt that we could not only achieve that goal at Tennessee but that I could be a major part of it."

Anosike was ranked No. 6 in ESPN's initial graduate transfer rankings earlier this month.