Vols Have a New Point Guard Target

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    (Photo via The Rookie Wire/USA Today Sports)

    Tennessee already has one of the top recruiting classes in men’s basketball in the 2020 cycle, but they aren’t done adding to that class just yet. The Vols are targeting a couple big men in the class still, and now it looks like they have a new point guard target for the class.

    According to Evan Daniels of 247Sports, 2020 point guard Santiago Vescovi has scheduled an official visit to see Tennessee later this month on November 20th. Vescovi has picked up a ton of interest from some high-major programs in men’s basketball as of late, and along with a visit to Temple last month, he plans on seeing the Vols.

    “Now I’m visiting Tennessee on the 20th,” Vescovi told Daniels. “I’m just waiting to visit and see how things go and how are the guys and if I see myself fitting into that team.”

    The 6-foot-2, 175-pound point guard from Uruguay is viewed as one of the top international prospects in the 2020 class. He first caught the eyes of analysts and scouts at the NBA Academy Latin America last year. After spending time there, he transferred to the NBA Global Academy in Australia and excelled at the Basketball Without Borders Global Camp during the NBA All-Star Weekend in Charlotte. While there, he earned All-Star honors.

    After that, Vescovi played in a six-team NBA G-League International Challenge in Uruguay. The talented point guard was one of the youngest players participating there, but that didn’t hold him back.

    Vescovi averaged 12.5 points, 4.3 rebounds, three assists, and 1.5 steals in four games. He made seven of his 13 three-pointers and went up against teams with former NBA players such as Greg Monroe, Paul Zipser, and Josh Huestis.

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    “I think it was high level,” Vescovi told Cody Taylor of USA Today’s Rookie Wire. “It helps everyone on our team to learn what the level is in other countries. Obviously, they have a higher level because they are in the G League and that means they are really close to the NBA. I think they have really big guys, who are really strong.”

    While he’s not currently ranked by 247Sports, Evan Daniels states that Vescovi is “tracking as a four-star and top 100 level recruit” in the 2020 class.

    Right now, the promising point guard has interest or holds offers from schools like Kansas, Louisville, Butler, Temple, Maryland, and Miami along with Tennessee.

    On the court, it’s easy to see why Vescovi grabbed so much attention over the summer. His highlights from the G League Challenge show off his incredible ball handling skills and passing ability. Not only that, but he can finish around the rim and is capable of driving to either side of the basket. He’s a lefty, which makes him unconventional to guard for opponents. He has a lot of toughness in his game, and his awareness is off the charts. He makes difficult plays look routine. His release isn’t always the quickest, but he has the ability to just pull up and nail a jumper, too. He has a good outside game to complement his slashing ability. There isn’t a whole lot of film of his defense, however.

    Tennessee currently has three players committed to them in their 2020 class, and all three are some of the highest-ranked prospects in the cycle. Five-star shooting guards Jaden Springer and Keon Johnson are pledged to the Vols, and four-star small forward Corey Walker is also part of UT’s 2020 class.

    Right now, Springer could project as a point guard for Tennessee, but Vescovi looks more like a natural floor general. The Vols are targeting five-star Kennedy Chandler as a point guard in the 2021 class, but Vescovi might be UT’s top point guard prospect in this current cycle now.

    Nathanael Rutherford is the managing editor and social media manager for Rocky Top Insider. Nathanael graduated from the University of Tennessee and cultivated a passion for the Vols while growing up in Knoxville a mere 10 minutes from Neyland Stadium. He's been a part of the RTI team since November of 2015 and has been the editor of RTI since June of 2017. If he's not talking or writing about Tennessee athletics, he's probably talking about Star Wars.