Tennessee basketball trending for five-star PF, No. 3 player in country

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    (Photo courtesy of Kennedy Chandler’s Twitter)

    Tennessee basketball is trending for one of the best players in the country following Kennedy Chandler’s commitment to the Vols on Friday afternoon.

    Following Tennessee’s addition of Chandler, the No. 1 point guard in the country according to multiple recruiting outlets, the Vols are now trending for 2021 five-star power forward Paolo Banchero. 247Sports basketball analyst Jerry Meyer put in a crystal ball for Banchero in Tennessee’s favor on Friday evening.

    Meyer’s crystal ball prediction of Banchero is the first prediction out of five to go in Tennessee’s favor. Washington leads the way with three crystal ball predictions for Banchero, while Kentucky has one. Meyer has logged 1,370 predictions, and has been correct 75.69 percent of the time.

    Banchero is an unanimous five-star prospect by 247, Rivals and ESPN. 247 and ESPN consider Banchero the No. 3 overall player in the country, while Rivals lists the 6-foot-9, 235-pounder as the second-best player in the nation. 247 and ESPN consider him the best power forward in the country. Rivals considers him the second-best.

    Tennessee basketball assistant coach Kim English has been running point on Banchero’s recruitment and has played a pivotal role in the Vols being a serious contender for the Seattle, WA native’s services. The Vols made Banchero’s top six earlier this year on April 29 along with Washington, Gonzaga, Kentucky, Duke and Arizona.

    Chandler and Banchero’s friendship is well-documented. Both have openly talked about playing college basketball together.

    The two were teammates at the Team USA mini camp in Colorado in July of 2019. The pair played really well together at the event and its no coincidence Tennessee got them on campus the same weekend for an official visit in October.

    Banchero also took official visits to North Carolina, Kentucky and Duke in the fall, and then took an official visit to Gonzaga in January. John Calipari visited Banchero in February while Tennessee assistant coach Kim English was in to see him a handful of times since the fall.

    Will Chandler be the domino that pushes Tennessee over the edge for Banchero? Only time will tell, but Meyer seems to think so, and it sure won’t hurt UT’s recruiting pitch.

    Ben McKee
    Ben McKee is a graduate from the University of Tennessee and has a degree in Journalism and Electronic Media. He grew up an Army brat and lived in Alabama for a bit, but he bleeds orange. He covers Tennessee football, basketball, baseball, and the Lady Vols for RTI, and he's also a co-host on the RTI Live Show and RTI Podcast. You can also hear Ben on the morning sports radio show "The Swain Event." He's the producer and co-host along with former Vol wide receiver Jayson Swain.