Report: Tennessee In Final Three For Highly Touted LSU Transfer

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    Tennessee is in the top group for LSU transfer guard Brandon Murray, Jon Rothstein reported Wednesday night.

    According to the report, Murray is down to Tennessee, Georgetown and Illinois and plans on visiting all three schools before making his final decision on Monday. Visiting all three schools in that time period could be difficult.

    Georgetown is the closest school to his hometown — Baltimore, Maryland — and the Patrick Ewing hired former LSU assistant coach Kevin Nickelberry as a Hoyas’ assistant coach this offseason.

    Illinois has been one of the best programs in the Big 10 over the last three seasons and one of the Illini’s leading guards — Andre Curbello — entered the transfer portal earlier this offseason after playing 19 minutes a game.

    The Vols have actively pursued Murray since he entered the portal last month. The 6-foot-5 guard is one of the most sought after players in the transfer portal after posting a strong freshman season in Baton Rouge.

    A complete two-way guard, Murray averaged 10 points, three rebounds and 1.9 assists per game on 43% shooting from the field and 34% from three-point range.

    According to college basketball analytics based site EvanMiya.com, Murray is the 11th best player that’s entered the transfer portal this offseason. Murray fits Tennessee’s defensive heavy system as a versatile defender.

    The freshman guard posted a 16.1 Offensive Bayesian Performance Rating and a 18.3 Defensive Bayesian Performance Rating according to Miyakawa. To compare that efficiency to Tennessee’s 2021-22 team his defensive performance ranks closest to Brandon Huntley-Hatfield (20.1) and his offensive performance ranks closest Zakai Zeigler (16.9).

    Tennessee has had three scholarship players depart its program this offseason with Kennedy Chandler declaring for the NBA Draft and Handje Tamba and Victor Bailey Jr. entering the transfer portal. Knoxville Catholic guard B.J. Edwards will fill one of those vacant scholarships and Tennessee would love for Murray to fill another.

    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.