Georgia Tech Basketball – 2017-18 player previews: #2 Shembari Phillips

NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 27: Shembari Phillips
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 27: Shembari Phillips /

Guard Shembari Phillips joins the Georgia Tech basketball program after playing two seasons at Tennessee.

Despite not being able to make an impact on the court in 2017-18 due to NCAA transfer regulations, we continue our 2017-18 player previews with guard Shembari Phillips.

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A three-star guard in the 2015 recruiting class, Phillips was not originally recruited by Georgia Tech basketball. That being said, Phillips was able to rack up a total of 17 scholarship offers from schools across the country including Wichita State. Auburn, Georgia, and UCLA all had interest in the Wheeler native but never offered.

Phillips decided to end his recruitment on September 1st, 2014 committing to Tennessee, the commitment came two days after an unofficial visit to Knoxville.

Once Phillips arrived on campus in Knoxville, he was able to make an impact. In his true freshman season, Phillips saw action in 33 games, he started in a total of 11 games that season. During his true freshman season, Phillips showed potential shooting at a .408/.368/.770 clip, averaging 5.4 ppg, 0.9 apg, and 1.9 rpg. When Phillips got the chance to show off his potential, he took advantage, over the course of four consecutive starts, Phillips scored 13, 16, 13, and 23 points.

In his sophomore season, Phillips minutes per game went up by over four minutes but the rest of his numbers did not go up as the Tennessee coaching staff hoped. In his second year, Phillips shot .384/.375/.773 and averaged just 6.2 points per game. That being said, Phillips did see an increase in his assists per game and rebounds per game as he averaged 1.7 assists per game and 3.1 rebounds per game.

Phillips’ biggest asset is his defense. In 2016-17, while Phillips was on the floor, opposing teams turned over the ball almost 2% of the time. While the number seems small, it is quite a significant percentage, which included Phillips’ 10 steals.

Phillips game definitely didn’t take the biggest step forward in 2016-17 and perhaps transferring will give him one year to have a career year. Either way, while Phillips won’t play in 2017-18, the Jackets will have a player in Phillips who can come off the bench and provide a decent shooting percentage and be strong fundamentally on defense.