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Tennessee shooting guard Santiago Vescovi is the Vols’ most improved player this season. Rick Barnes said it before the season and it’s shown itself on the court.
Vescovi is averaging 5.9 more points per game than he did a season ago, more rebounds and has already made 13 more two-point baskets than the 2020-21 season.
Despite all the improvements, Vescovi’s biggest strength is what it’s always been — his ability to knock down three-pointers.
The Uruguay native is doing that at an exceptional rate this season. Through 18 games, Vescovi is 59-of-149 (39.6%) from beyond the three-point line. If Vescovi keeps shooting it at the rate he is, he’ll end the regular season with 95 made threes.
That many triples would give Vescovi the fifth most made threes of any Tennessee player in a single season. That’s before the SEC and NCAA Tournament where Vescovi would need five made three-pointers to move into fourth all time and 23 three-pointers to become the Tennessee single season three-point record holder.
As good as the junior has been all season, he’s been even better in SEC play. Through eight games, Vescovi is 29-of-64 (45.3%) from beyond the arc. That’s the most three-pointers a Tennessee player has made through the first eight conference games since Chris Lofton made 32-of-68 (47%) in the first eight SEC games of the 2007-08 season.
In fact, Lofton holds the top three spots on Tennessee’s single season three-point record list. Vescovi has made more three-pointers through eight SEC games than Lofton did in his sophomore and junior seasons.
Vescovi’s 3.63 made three-pointers per SEC game currently leads the conference as we approach the midway point in conference play.
The 6-foot-3 junior’s improvements have made him the best player on Tennessee’s basketball team and his elite three-point shooting has him climbing the Tennessee record books.