Another five-star is joining Rick Barnes’ Tennessee basketball Volunteers.
For the third recruiting class in three years, Tennessee basketball will have at least one five-star guard heading to Rocky Top. Rick Barnes’ prominence clearly isn’t going anywhere with that type of track record.
Kennedy Chandler, the No. 1 ranked point guard for 2021 on Rivals, 247Sports Composite and ESPN, committed to UT Friday. Chandler, who hails from Memphis, had been playing at Briarcrest Christian School in Eads, Tenn. but will transfer to prep school in Kansas to finish out his career.
The upcoming student at Sunrise Christian Academy in Bel Aire, Kan. stands at 6’0″ 165 pounds. As the No. 10 ranked prospect overall on Rivals and the No. 11 ranked prospect on 247Sports composite, he announced his commitment to Tennessee basketball to ESPN and then with a video on his Instagram account.
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Chandler joins Josiah-Jordan James in 2019 and Keon Johnson and Jaden Springer in 2020 as five-stars to commit to the Vols under Rick Barnes. All four of those players are guards as well, although Chandler is the first true point guard.
So far, Chandler is the only commitment to UT for 2021, but there can be no denying that he’s another huge pickup for Barnes. He chose the Vols over the Duke Blue Devils, Kentucky Wildcats, North Carolina Tar Heels and Memphis Tigers. Getting him out of Memphis and beating out such other elite schools were major accomplishments.
In terms of what he brings to the table, Chandler may or may not be the main point guard when he arrives in Knoxville. After all, Santiago Vescovi will be a junior at that point if he doesn’t leave early for the NBA, and Victor Bailey Jr. will still be on the roster. Simply put, we don’t know where Barnes will use him yet. Here’s a look at some of his highlights.
As you can see, he’s great on the drive, has an incredible vertical for a guy his size, is very athletic, has great handles and is a great defender. He already is drawing comparisons to Ja Morant, although he’ll have to show more with his outside shot and passing while also getting a bit taller to fully earn those comparisons.
Still, Chandler is definitely another great addition for Tennessee basketball, and he help Barnes make sure the program remains loaded at guard for the years to come. However, with Yves Pons, E.J. Anosike and John Fulkerson all graduating, Barnes will need to focus on boosting his frontcourt on the recruiting trail for 2021-2022 as well.