Top-ranked point guard Kennedy Chandler officially signs with Vols

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    (Photo via @KChandler_1 on Twitter)

    2021 five-star point guard Kennedy Chandler has signed with Tennessee. The Memphis native signed with the Vols on Instagram Saturday afternoon.

    Chandler committed to Tennessee over Kentucky, Duke, Memphis and North Carolina back in August.

    “Coach Rick Barnes, they have been recruiting me ever since they knew who I was — ever since Day 1,” Chandler said at the time of his commitment. “(Assistant) Coach Kim English and them, they recruited me hard. On my official visit, it felt like home. It was my first official visit and I really liked it.

    “I’ll be looking forward to winning and going to the Final Four and winning the national championship and bringing energy and excitement to Thompson-Boling Arena.”

    Chandler is considered the top point guard by multiple recruiting services. Rivals has Chandler ranked as the top point guard in the country and No. 10 overall player, while ESPN ranks the Memphis, TN native as the top point guard as well, but the No. 12 overall player in the country. Both outlets list him as a five-star. 247Sports lists Chandler as a four-star, but the second-best point guard in the class of 2021, and the No. 19 overall player in the country.

    In his commitment video that Sportscenter posted on its social media accounts, Chandler stated that he “will always rep my city, but I am going to play for my state.”

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    He is the highest rated prospect (No. 10) to commit to the Vols in the Rivals.com era. Chandler is the fourth five-star to pick Tennessee in the last three classes.

    The 6-foot-1, 160 lbs. point guard is set to play his senior season of high school basketball at Sunrise Christian Academy in Wichita, Kansas. Chandler had previously played his first three years of high school basketball at Briarcrest Christian School, which is located just outside of Memphis.

    Rick Barnes and his coaching staff made Chandler a big point of emphasis in the 2021 recruiting cycle. Chandler took multiple visits to UT’s campus in person, and Tennessee’s staff conducted multiple calls with the five-star guard since the COVID-19 pandemic temporarily shut down recruiting visits.

    “Rick Barnes is a great coach,” Chandler said. “He is going to be a Hall of Fame coach one day. He tells the stories about the point guards he coached at Texas like D.J. Augustin and T.J. Ford and them. He said I could be the next T.J. Ford and I am looking forward to him coaching me.”

    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 for both his sophomore season and his junior season this past year, winning the title in back-to-back years. As a junior, Chandler averaged 22.2 points and 4.3 assists. He helped lead Briarcrest to the state title game where they lost 50-47 to Knoxville Catholic. Chandler totaled 13 points and five assists in the game.

    During the Nike Elite Youth Basketball League in April through July of last year, 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.

    Chandler is the second player to sign with Tennessee this week. Four-star wing Jahmai Mashack signed with the Vols on Thursday. UT currently has the 24th-best recruiting class in the country according to 247. The class ranks as the sixth-best in the SEC.

    Ben McKee
    Ben McKee is a graduate from the University of Tennessee and has a degree in Journalism and Electronic Media. He covers Tennessee football, basketball, baseball, and the Lady Vols for RTI, and he's also the host of the 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.