5-star guard picks SEC school over Clemson
Five-star 2019 Porter-Gaud (Charleston, S.C.) guard Josiah James made a surprise commitment to Tennessee over Clemson on Wednesday morning in an announcement at his high school.
After a visit to Clemson this past weekend, the 247Sports' Crystal Ball prediction flipped to 94 percent to Clemson, which came on the heels of him canceling a scheduled visit to Duke. James had visited Tennessee and former Clemson coach Rick Barnes recently before the trip.
He went in-depth on his decision to the Moultrie News and referenced Clemson a couple times.
"I know a lot of people wanted me to stay home. Being able to put on for my home state at Clemson would’ve been amazing," James said. "It was in the back of my head. I admit, I don’t think I can get that same home-state feeling at Tennessee. But that’s not the only thing I was looking for. Players have to do what’s best for them. Everybody else is going to. And I know the people who really care for me will follow my journey to Tennessee.
"I can build a legacy of my own there. Not that Tennessee hasn’t had great players in the past because they have and they still do right now. But taking a little bit different route than what people probably expected was more for me."
James is rated as the No. 1 prospect in the state of South Carolina and the No. 13 prospect overall by 247Sports.
James is a second major basketball prospect with Clemson projections to go elsewhere this year, following a similar path to Duke's Zion Williamson.
Btw, hard not to feel bad for the Clemson coaching staff. Two years in a row they were a HEAVY favorite to land a five star kid (Zion Williamson last year, Josiah James today) and came up short. Basing your entire career on the whims of 18-yr-old kids aint easy, folks— Aaron Torres (@Aaron_Torres) September 19, 2018
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