On Thursday night, Tennessee had three players selected in the 2019 NBA Draft, marking only the third time in school history that UT had three players taken in a single NBA Draft. Now, a fourth Vol is going to try to work his way onto an NBA roster.
According to ESPN NBA Draft analyst Jonathan Givony, Tennessee center Kyle Alexander has been picked up by the Miami Heat and will participate in the NBA Summer League next month.
Canada update: Simi Shittu will play summer league with the Memphis Grizzlies. Lindell Wigginton will play summer league with the Toronto Raptors. O’Shae Brissett: summer league with the LA Clippers. Kyle Alexander summer league with Miami Heat. All will keep their options open
— Jonathan Givony (@DraftExpress) June 21, 2019
The 2019 NBA Summer League will be held in Las Vegas and starts on July 5th and runs through July 15th. All 30 NBA teams and two national teams — China and Croatia — will participate in the tournament-style setting. The games will be broadcast on ESPN and NBA TV.
Most Summer League rosters are comprised of rookies, second-year players, and G League affiliate players.
Alexander will look to use the Summer League as an opportunity to work his way onto an NBA roster. It’s unlikely he’ll earn an actual contract to be on the active roster for most of the 2019-20 season, but he could be brought on to a G League roster and be affiliated with an NBA team that way.
When Tennessee signed Alexander, he was a scrawny 6-foot-9 forward out of Milton, Ontario in Canada who had only played basketball for a couple years. By the time he finished his four years of basketball with the Vols, he was a 6-foot-11 center who finished high up in Tennessee’s record books in both blocks and rebounding.
Alexander was forced into action as a true freshman in Rick Barnes’ first year as head coach because of the Vols’ utter lack of frontcourt depth. Alexander could’ve used a redshirt year, but Tennessee couldn’t afford that luxury. Instead, the Canadian big man appeared in 32 games and made 11 starts, averaging 1.7 points and 3.2 rebounds in 12.2 minutes per game.
Alexander’s minutes and production steadily increased over the next couple years, and it culminated in him starting the final 71 games he played as a Vol. In his last season with UT, Alexander averaged 7.3 points and 6.6 rebounds a game while shooting 61.4 percent from the floor in 23.8 minutes a game while starting all 37 games during the season.
The 64 blocks Alexander totaled as a senior are the second-most in a single season in school history, trailing only CJ Black’s 73 rejections he had in the 1997-98 season. Alexander finished his UT career with 185 career blocks, the second-most in a career in program history. He, again, trailed only Black in that category. Black finished with 212 career blocks. Alexander’s 1.37 blocks per game in a career were also second all-time in UT history, trailing Black’s mark of 1.80 swatted shots a game.
Not only that, but Alexander finished fifth all-time in school history in career offensive rebounds (287), and his 2.12 offensive rebounds per game in a career are 10th all-time in Tennessee history.
Alexander’s 135 career games with the Vols places him fourth all-time in most games played at Tennessee. In those 135 contests, Alexander averaged 4.6 points, 4.9 rebounds, 1.37 blocks, and shot 58.5 percent from the floor in 17.8 minutes per game.
Tennessee had three players taken in the 2019 NBA Draft on Thursday night, the most since the 1977 draft also saw three Vols selected. Grant Williams was taken No. 22 overall in the first round by the Boston Celtics, Admiral Schofield went No. 42 overall and was traded to the Washington Wizards, and Jordan Bone went No. 57 overall and was traded to the Detroit Pistons.