Back in January, five-star point guard Kennedy Chandler released his list of his top 10 schools in his recruitment. On Thursday afternoon, he trimmed down that list, and Tennessee made the cut as one of his finalists.
The 6-foot-1, 210-pound guard from Memphis took to Twitter to release his list of five finalists in a graphic, and the Vols were included along with Duke, Kentucky, Memphis, North Carolina, and Kentucky.
— Kennedy Chandler (@KChandler_1) April 30, 2020
According to the 247Sports Composite rankings, Chandler is the No. 15 overall prospect, No. 2 point guard, and No. 2 recruit in the state of Tennessee in the 2021 cycle. Chandler plays for Briarcrest Christian in Memphis, the same school as Tennessee football signees Omari Thomas and Jabari Small.
Chandler’s list of top five schools comes a day after the Vols made the top six for five-star power forward Paolo Banchero. Tennessee joined Gonzaga, Washington, Arizona, Kentucky, and Duke as his finalists.
The Vols have been involved with Chandler and Banchero for quite some time. Both five-stars took an official visit to Knoxville together back in late October, which was no coincidence. The two were teammates at the Team USA mini camp in Colorado in July. There’s a relationship with the two that Tennessee has been selling the pair on, along with the fact that they play really well together on the floor.
In addition to playing with Banchero at the Team USA mini camp, Chandler was also roommates with five-star Tennessee signee Keon Johnson at the event.
Chandler has also officially visited Duke, Florida State, Michigan, Ole Miss, and Syracuse. He unofficially visited Kentucky in February after receiving an offer from the Wildcats in December.
Though he’s just 6-foot-1 and only just finished his junior year, 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.
Chandler averaged 22.2 points per game, 4.3 assists, and 2.6 steals per game this past season as a junior at Briarcrest Christian. He lead the Saints to the TSSAA Division II Class AA state title game.
Banchero, on the other hand, has also officially visited North Carolina, Kentucky, Duke, and Gonzaga. Arizona is the latest team to offer the five-star, extending an offer to him on Tuesday. That was enough to get them in his top six, replacing North Carolina, Memphis, Georgetown, and Baylor from his original list of nine.
Rick Barnes and his assistants have visited Chandler and Banchero several times before the COVID-19 outbreak shut down visits temporarily. Assistant coach Kim English has been the primary recruiter for Banchero and Chandler for Tennessee.
Tennessee does not have any players committed to them in the 2021 cycle as of yet, but Banchero and Chandler are just two of several highly-rated prospects the Vols are involved with. Five-stars Jabari Smith, Harrison Ingram, Charles Bediako, and Moussa Cisse are a few others.
Barnes is looking to make a splash in the 2021 recruiting cycle a year removed from signing the No. 4 overall recruiting class in the 2020 cycle. Tennessee’s 2020 class consisted of Johnson, five-star guard Jaden Springer, and four-star power forward Corey Walker. The Vols also added coveted grad transfer E.J. Anosike from Sacred Heart.