Impact Report: 2020 PG Santiago Vescovi

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    (Photo via UnoContraUno.com)

    Every time Tennessee gets a commitment in either football or men’s basketball, we will write up an impact report looking at what that recruit does well, what we feel he needs to improve in his game, and what his projected impact with the Vols could be over the next few years.

    Latest Commit: Santiago Vescovi, PG
    Height/Weight: 6-foot-2, 180 pounds
    School: NBA Global Academy (Australia)
    Home Town: Uruguay

    Rankings
    247Sports Composite: 
    No. 165 overall, No. 26 PG
    247Sports: No. 74 overall, No. 13 PG
    Rivals: N/A

    Notable Offers: Kansas, Louisville, Maryland, Butler, Miami

    What we like:

    When watching Vescovi’s highlights, the first name that sprang to my mind was Ricky Rubio. It’s not because both were international prospects who play point guard, either; when you watch his highlight film, you’ll see what I mean. Vescovi just looks so smooth handling the ball, and his passing skills are phenomenal. He’s an elite ball handler, and his awareness is off the charts. His passing and dribbling are exceptional, and it’s no surprise that some high-major schools like Kansas, Louisville, and others were very interested in him after the summer. Vescovi isn’t some finesse player; he’s not afraid to drive in the paint and earn tough points near the basket. He has surprisingly good hops and can sky for dunks despite only being 6-foot-2. That’s one of the more surprising aspects of his game, to me.

    As a lefty, guarding him is a little unconventional for opponents. He’s not just tied to one hand, though. Vescovi is plenty capable of finishing at the rim with his left or right hand. His body control is astounding.

    Places to improve: 

    At least from what I was able to tell on his highlights, Vescovi doesn’t appear to be the fastest guard on the floor usually. He’s not slow, but he doesn’t have the type of quickness I thought he might. It’s not a huge knock on his game, but it’s just something I noted on his film. One area I definitely think needs some improvement is getting a more consistent, quicker release on his jumpers. He can shoot the ball quick at times, but there are other times where he seems to hesitate on his release. It’s evident some in the video included down below, but it’s even more apparent on some of his other highlights.

    Even with that, though, Vescovi is still a good three-point shooter and can score inside the arc pretty effectively given that he’s not a long, spindly guard. I would like to see more of his defense on his film.

    Analysis:

    The Vols are in need of a true ball handler on the roster, and Vescovi could join the Vols as soon as January if he’s able to take the SAT in December and enroll for next semester. Yes, Lamonte Turner has done a good job as a point guard, and Josiah-Jordan James is plenty capable of playing at the point, too. But both of those players aren’t natural point guards like Vescovi. He has undeniable skill as a distributor, and he brings a flare and skill set that Tennessee’s roster just doesn’t have right now. Even if he doesn’t contribute a ton this season, I fully expect him to make an impact next year with all the five-stars he can pass the ball to.

    Nathanael Rutherford
    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.