Tennessee Without Two Starters In Tuscaloosa

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    How Has COVID Shifted The World Of Sports?

    Tennessee point guard Kennedy Chandler and power forward John Fulkerson are out tonight in the Vols’ SEC opener against Alabama after testing positive for COVID-19, a Tennessee spokesperson confirmed with RTI.

    Chandler has been the straw that stirs the drink for Tennessee this season, scoring 14 points while dishing out 5.3 assists to just 2.2 turnovers a game. Rick Barnes has adjusted his offense to feature the star freshman in an abundance of ways on the offensive side of the floor.

    How the Vols adjust will be one of the storylines to watch for tonight.

    Fulkerson is the reigning Co-SEC Player of the Week after scoring 24 points and grabbing 10 rebounds in Tennessee’s win over No. 6 Arizona.

    The power forward has bounced back from a rough 2020-21 season with a strong start to his super senior campaign. Fulkerson is averaging 9.9 points, 6.5 rebounds and 2.5 assists per game and has scored in double figures in four of UT’s five games against quality opponents.

    At point guard, Zakai Zeigler and Santiago Vescovi will be thrust into a bigger role. Inside Brandon Huntley-Hatfield and Uros Plavic will be relied on for bigger minutes.

    Ryan Schumpert is a senior at the University of Tennessee-Knoxville who has covered University of Tennessee athletics since the moment he stepped on campus. He just completed a three-year stint with the Daily Beacon, the last two of which as the Sports Editor. Ryan also spent last three years at Volquest providing strong Tennessee baseball coverage of Tony Vitello's resurgent program. While the bulk of Ryan's responsibilities involved beat coverage and writing, he also recorded podcasts for both the Beacon and Volquest. Did we leave out the part about Ryan interning for the Smokies? Ryan's work ethic, versatility, and strong writing skills are but three of the reasons why Vol Nation will be hearing from Ryan for years to come.