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Barnes: Santiago Vescovi ‘unlikely’ to play this year

An update on the latest Tennessee commit.

PANAM-2019-BASKETBALL-VEN-URU Photo credit should read LUKA GONZALES/AFP via Getty Images

Tennessee is looking for a spark on the basketball court. It doesn’t sound like they’re going to get it from Santiago Vescovi, though. Rick Barnes spoke today after practice for the first time about his newest point guard commitment, saying that he would arrive in Knoxville on December 28th.

But Barnes said it was “highly unlikely” that he would play.

Vescovi committed to Tennessee on November 22nd, coming from the NBA Global Academy. 247Sports reported at the time that Vescovi was planning to take the SAT in December so he could enroll early.

While Barnes didn’t completely rule out the possibility, things don’t sound promising for a mid-season addition for Tennessee.

Vescovi is the 74th rated player in the 2020 class, per 247Sports.

Tennessee basketball has dropped two games in a row, losing to Memphis and Cincinnati. Lamonte Turner is dealing with a lingering shoulder issue, which has pretty clearly hurt his shooting ability. Adding a player like Vescovi to the mix would take some minutes off of his plate.

But it sounds like we’ll have to wait. Tennessee now has Vescovi set to make an impact in 2020-21, along with Oregon transfer Victor Bailey. Those two will join five-star guards Keon Johnson and Jaden Springer, along with four-star wing Corey Walker.

The future is bright for the program, but Tennessee is going to have to grind things out until Turner is healthy again.