Tennessee Stars To Return Wednesday Against Ole Miss

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    Titans End Dolphins’ Playoff Hopes In 34-3 Win

    Tennessee point guard Kennedy Chandler and power forward John Fulkerson will return to the lineup Wednesday night when the Vols host Ole Miss at Thompson-Boling Arena, Tennessee announced Monday.

    The two starters missed Tennessee’s SEC opener at Alabama after testing positive for COVID-19 following Christmas break. Following the loss in Tuscaloosa, Barnes said Fulkerson couldn’t rejoin the team when they returned on Dec. 26 while Chandler practiced for one day before testing positive.

    The Vols led for most the game at No. 19 Alabama thanks to strong play from Zakai Zeigler, Santiago Vescovi and Olivier Nkamhoua. However, Alabama stormed back late for the upset win as Tennessee’s offense faltered.

    The absence of Chandler and Fulkerson was certainly missed on that end of the floor, especially when Zeigler and Vescovi picked up their fourth foul on back-to-back possessions with six-plus minutes remaining.

    Chandler is averaging a team-high 14 points per game along with 5.3 assists and three rebounds per game.

    Fulkerson has improved in his super senior season, averaging 9.9 points and 6.6 rebounds per game including four double-digit scoring efforts in the five games he’s played against power six teams. The Kingsport native is coming off one of the best games of his career, scoring 24 points and grabbing 10 rebounds in the Vols win over then-No. 6 Arizona.

    As of Monday, no one involved with Tennessee’s team has tested positive for COVID-19 and everyone is available to practice.

    The Vols host Ole Miss Wednesday night at 7 p.m. ET. The Rebels are 8-4 this season and rank 107th in KenPom entering the matchup. The SEC Network will broadcast the game.

    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.