Tennessee is hoping to have All-SEC shooting guard Santiago Vescovi available for Sunday’s top 15 matchup against Maryland in Brooklyn.
Vescovi’s missed Tennessee’s last two games after suffering a left shoulder strain in the Vols’ win over McNeese State last week. Eighth year head coach Rick Barnes said Vescovi was shooting on Wednesday when he met with the media following the Vols’ win over Eastern Kentucky.
Barnes had another positive — though brief — update on Vescovi’s status when meeting with the local media before Tennessee’s Friday practice.
“I think he is going to practice today,” Barnes said. “Again, if he gets out today we’ll see how it goes after today.”
Vescovi is off to a slow shooting start to the season, making just 32% of his threes on the young season. The left-handed senior is one of the SEC’s best shooters, making 40% of his triples a season ago.
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Despite the slow shooting start to the season, Vescovi’s still been effective. The Montevideo, Uruguay native is averaging 12 points, five rebounds and 3.4 assists per game. Barnes raved about Vescovi’s defensive performance in the Vols’ three wins at the Battle 4 Atlantis last month.
Vescovi’s averaging 2.6 steals per game this season and has guarded opponents better players all season. The senior shut down USC star Drew Peterson on his way to earning Battle 4 Atlantis Most Valuable Player honors.
Vescovi isn’t the only Tennessee veteran that’s fought injuries this season. Senior Josiah-Jordan James has been in-and-out of the lineup this season while dealing with the aftermath of an offseason knee scope. James played in each of Tennessee’s last two games and is expected to play against No. 13 Maryland though he admitted the injury is “game-to-game thing” following the Alcorn State game.
Tip-off between Tennessee and Maryland is at 4:30 p.m. ET Sunday. Jason Benetti and Jim Jackson are on the call for FOX Sports 1.