The Tennessee Volunteers will be without freshman Robert Hubbs III for the remainder of the season due to season-ending shoulder surgery. Hubbs has been dealing with the nagging shoulder injury for the majority of the season. The injury has prevented him from being the bench scorer that Tennessee had hoped he would be.
Hubbs was a five-star recruit for the Volunteers, but has not lived up to that billing so far; he is only averaging five points per game, and shooting 30.7 percent from the field, but in fairness the injury has hindered him a lot. In high school Hubbs was a high-flying, aggressive wing-player that went to the basket with intensity, and had a beautiful stroke on his jumper. With the ongoing shoulder problems Hubbs has not been the same player. He rarely goes to the rim, and his lack of aggressiveness, especially on the defensive end, has caused him to sit on the bench more than he should have been.
Since Hubbs has already played in more than 30 percent of Tennessee’s games (12), he will not be eligible for a medical redshirt. That isn’t that big of a deal though, because Hubbs has the type of talent that rarely stays in college for all four years. He is a 6-foot-6 shooting guard, with long arms, plenty of athleticism, and long range on his jump-shot. Once he is healthy you will be able to see the type of player he can be.
Jordan McRae, Josh Richardson and Derek Reese give Tennessee plenty of wing depth this year, so the loss of Hubbs will not hurt them too badly this season. The important thing is that Hubbs gets healthy for next season when seniors McRae and starting point guard Antonio Barton will be gone.
This team doesn’t have a lot of stud underclassmen, Hubbs was supposed to be the scorer for this team in the future. Having this surgery now will allow him to get fully rehabilitated by next season, then he can show everyone the type of player he really is.
Follow Robbie on Twitter @rmarbury