Tennessee forward Dalton Knecht was magnificent on Wednesday night against North Carolina, dropping 37 points in a 100-92 loss against the Tar Heels from Chapel Hill.
While Knecht’s night might be overshadowed by the concern for his game-ending injury late into the contest, the former transfer’s shooting night will go into the record books at the Dean E. Smith Center.
Knecht’s 37 points tied for the most points scored by a visiting player in the Dean Dome, evening out with La Salle’s Lionel Simmons from the 1988 basketball season. What’s even crazier to think about is that Knecht had the opportunity to pass Simmons’ mark had he been able to attempt the free throws after the play that took him out of the game with an ankle injury.
Knecht finished the game a perfect 9-of-9 from two-point range, 4-of-8 from three-point range, and 7-8 from the free-throw line. The 6-foot-6 forward also added in six rebounds and three assists on the night.
“You felt like he made those threes from the out-of-bounds situation and you could tell he was starting to get going,” Tennessee head coach Rick Barnes said after the game. “We were just gonna let him get it and put him in a high ball-screen with Jonas [Aidoo].”
Twenty-two of Knecht’s 37 total points came in the second half as he went 8-of-9 shooting from the floor with three shots from deep.
“It wasn’t surprising to see because, you know, I see it on a daily basis, but he was hot,” veteran forward Josiah-Jordan James said about Knecht’s performance after the game. “If he gets going, that’s the type of games he can have. We just have to do better as a team, I have to do better individually of getting guys ready, but what he was able to do in that second half, keeping us alive on the offensive end, really paid off. I’m proud of him and I know he’ll be just fine.”
More from RTI: Tennessee Comeback Bid Comes Up Short At North Carolina
Here’s a look at all of Dalton Knecht’s 37 points in the game against North Carolina on Wednesday night in Chapel Hill:
Dalton Knecht’s bag is absolutely lethal pic.twitter.com/3IXH2J5Kxi
— CBB Content (@CBBcontent) November 30, 2023
Knecht suffered an ankle injury with less than two minutes on the clock in the Vols’ game against the Tar Heels. The 6-foot-6 forward was down on the ground for an extended period of time and was helped to the bench by Tennessee’s trainers.
“He stepped on somebody’s foot, turned his ankle,” Tennessee coach Rick Barnes said after the game. “It looked like he got it pretty good because he’s the kind of guy that, he bounces back. And for him not to get up, he, he got it pretty good. Looked good when I saw the whole thing. He stepped on somebody’s foot and rolled it.”
Tennessee will return to Knoxville and play George Mason on December 5 at 6:30 p.m. ET. The Vols have not had a home game since November 14 in an 82-61 win over Wofford.
Stay tuned to Rocky Top Insider for more on Dalton Knecht’s injury as information is released.