Vols Visit 5-Star In-State Point Guard

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    (Photo via Jon Lopez/Nike)

    Tennessee’s men’s basketball team won’t play another game for about a week and a half after Wednesday night’s contest against Florida A&M. With finals upcoming at the University of Tennessee, the basketball team is focusing on academics for a bit.

    With the break in action on the court, Tennessee’s coaches have some time to go make some visits on the recruiting trail. Along with visiting five-star power forward Paolo Banchero on Friday, the Vols sent an assistant to go see UT’s top point guard target in the 2021 class on Thursday.

    Per Jake Weingarten of Stock Risers, Tennessee sent an assistant coach to see five-star in-state point guard Kennedy Chandler on Thursday.

    According to the 247Sports Composite rankings, Chandler is the No. 15 overall prospect, No. 2 point guard, and No. 2 prospect in the state of Tennessee in the 2021 cycle. Chandler plays for Briarcrest Christian over in Memphis, the same school as a couple Vol football recruiting targets in the 2020 class, defensive tackle Omari Thomas and running back Jabari Small.

    Tennessee has had a strong relationship with Chandler for a while, and several UT coaches have gone over to Memphis to visit the five-star. Chandler took an official visit to Tennessee’s campus on October 25th, the same day as the aforementioned Paolo Banchero was also in Knoxville for an official visit.

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    Along with his offer from the Vols, Chandler also holds scholarship offers from Memphis, North Carolina, Kansas, Michigan, Syracuse, and others.

    Though he’s just 6-foot-1 and only a junior, Chandler is already a match-up problem for teams. He’s quick and can create his own shot at all three levels of the court. Chandler is capable of hitting threes but tends to use his quickness and play-making ability to drive to the hoop. Once there, he’s good at finishing, but he can also dish the ball back out and find open teammates. He has good vision and exceptional passing ability all over the court. He looks like an absolute star as a floor general. He still needs to work on his consistency as a three-point shooter, but everything else about his game is superb.

    As a sophomore for Briarcrest Christian, Chandler averaged 19.5 points, four rebounds, 3.6 steals, and three assists per game according to MaxPreps. He was also voted TSSAA Division II Class AA Mr. Basketball this season. This season, Chandler is already averaging 29.6 points a game.

    During the Nike Elite Youth Basketball League in April through July, Chandler played for the MOKAN Elite squad. In 19 total games during the EYBL, Chandler averaged 14.7 points, 5.9 assists, 4.2 rebounds, and 2.2 steals a game while shooting 50.5 percent overall, 31.1 percent from three, and 72.9 percent from the free throw line according to D1Circuit.com.

    The Vols don’t currently have any prospects committed to them in their 2021 class, but UT did just sign one of the top fall signing period classes in the 2020 cycle. Tennessee got signatures from five-star guards Jaden Springer and Keon Johnson and four-star small forward Corey Walker in the fall signing period last month. Four-star point guard Santiago Vescovi committed to the Vols late last month as well, and he’s expected to try and enroll at UT in January and join the team this year.

    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.