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Pair Of Tennessee Basketball Players Land On Preseason All-SEC Teams

Photo By Andrew Ferguson/Tennessee Athletics

Tennessee basketball’s backcourt landed on the media’s two Preseason All-SEC teams Tuesday afternoon.

Shooting guard Santiago Vescovi is one of seven players on the first team while point guard Zakai Zeigler in one of five players on the second team.

Vescovi was a First Team All-SEC selection by the league’s coaches each of the last two seasons after breaking out as one of the conference’s best players as a junior. Last season, Vescovi averaged 12.5 points, 4.6 rebounds, 3.1 assists and 1.8 steals per game while shooting 37% from the perimeter.

The senior guard is one of the SEC’s top perimeter shooters and kept Tennessee’s offense afloat after Zeigler suffered a season ending ACL injury on the final day of February.

Zeigler was Tennessee’s spark plug as a freshman in 2021-22 and had growing pains as a starting point guard last season. Still, Zeigler was steadily improving by the start of SEC play and was one of the conference’s best pass first point guards before tearing his ACL the final week of the regular season.

More From RTI: Where Tennessee Basketball Ranks In Preseason Polls

The 5-foot-9 point guard averaged 10.7 points, 5.4 assists and two steals per game a season ago and totaled five double-doubles in SEC games.

Zeigler continues to progress from his knee injury and while he’s not full-go just yet, he’s started to do more-and-more work as the season approaches.

Expectations are high for the 2023-24 Tennessee team after returning Zeigler, Vescovi and Josiah-Jordan James from last season’s Sweet 16 team. The Vols also added transfers Dalton Knecht and Jordan Gainey and are hoping returning role players such as Tobe Awaka and Jahmai Mashack take a step forward.

The Vols are a preseason top 10 team in both the AP and USA Today Coaches Poll while the league’s media picked Tennessee to win the conference’s regular season title.

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