The Tennessee transfer will look to make an impact for the Georgia Tech basketball program in 2018-19.
For the second straight player preview, we highlight a transfer in the Georgia Tech basketball program, yesterday we showcased Texas transfer James Banks III. Today, we highlight guard Shembari Phillips. The former Tennessee Volunteer transferred to the Georgia Tech basketball program following the 2016-17 season and sat out the 2017-18 season but with the new season less than a month away, the Atlanta native is eligible to play for the Yellow Jackets and is primed to make an impact.
At Tennessee, Phillips played in 64 games over his freshman and sophomore season under Volunteers head coach Rick Barnes and was of high enough quality to start 24 games over his two seasons in Knoxville.
On average, Phillips played 18:24 minutes per contest and a line of 5.8/2.4/1.3. While the stat line is rather underwhelming, Phillips did show the ability to be a strong scoring option, with 14 games of 10+ points and five games of 15+ points. He had a career-high at Tennessee of 23-points in his freshman year against Vanderbilt. Which shows that the potential is there for Phillips, it may just be a matter of getting the opportunities more than anything else. Phillips offensive rating of 100.6 in the 2016-17 season proves just that as well.
The good news with Phillips is even if he struggles offensively, he should be able to contribute on the defensive side for the Yellow Jackets. With Tennessee, Phillips had defensive ratings of 111 and 104. While neither are preferable numbers, the improvement is notable and his statistical increases and consistency in several defensive categories is also encouraging.
After recording just eight steals in his first season with the Volunteers, Phillips saw an 11-steal increase to 19 his sophomore season. His defensive win share also saw a considerable increase going from 0.3 to 0.8.
Overall, Phillips is a player who has a great deal of potential on both sides of the ball and should be an asset to the Yellow Jackets in both 2018-19 and 2019-20.