WATCH: Rick Barnes Surprises Chris Lofton With Jersey Retiring

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    Photo By Andrew Ferguson/Tennessee Athletics

    Tennessee is retiring Chris Lofton’s No. 5 jersey on Jan. 14 during the Kentucky game.

    Rick Barnes, ever the jokester, had a little fun with a drawn out announcement informing Lofton of the news during Tennessee’s practice Thursday.

    The eighth-year head coach discussed the challenges of being a main offensive threat on a basketball team when opponents scout you. Barnes then brought Lofton over to ask him about his mindset as being a No. 1 offensive option that teams game plan against.

    Barnes asked Lofton about a handful of his iconic shots in Knoxville, including his deep triple over Kevin Durant that gave Lofton and the Vols a win over Barnes’ Texas Longhorns.

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    Barnes then asked the leading question, “Have you ever thought what it would be like to someday se your number up there?” while pointing to the rafters.

    Lofton soon caught on to what the question and conversation meant. The Maysville, Ketucky native will forever be immortalized as a Volunteer basketball great.

    Few deserve the honor more than the star shooting guard. One of the best shooters in SEC history, Lofton thrice earned All-SEC honors, twice earned All-American honors and was the 2007 SEC Player of the Year.

    The overlooked recruit now joins Bernard King, Ernie Grunfeld, Allan Houston and Dale Ellis as the Tennessee greats with their jerseys retired

    Watch Barnes surprise Lofton below.

    Ryan Schumpert is a recent graduate of the University of Tennessee-Knoxville who has covered University of Tennessee athletics since the moment he stepped on campus. Ryan spent three years with the Daily Beacon, the last two of which as the Sports Editor. Ryan also spent three years at Volquest providing strong Tennessee baseball coverage of Tony Vitello's resurgent program before joining RTI. While the bulk of Ryan's responsibilities involved beat coverage and writing, he also recorded podcasts for both the Beacon and Volquest. Ryan's work ethic, versatility, and strong writing skills are but three reasons why Vol Nation will be hearing from Ryan for years to come.