Tennessee’s latest basketball commitment is officially a part of the program. The Volunteers announced the addition of point guard Santiago Vescovi this morning, who will join the team this weekend.
The 6-2 point guard out of Uruguay committed to Tennessee back in November. He will begin classes on January 8th.
According to the release from the school, Vescovi must await proper clearance from the NCAA and SEC before he can play.
(Vescovi) must await standard NCAA and SEC clearance protocols before becoming eligible to compete in games, and a decision on whether or not he will compete this season has yet to be made.
Rick Barnes said on Friday that Vescovi was unlikely to play this season, but that comment was made before senior point guard Lamonte Turner was lost for the season. Now with just one true lead guard in Josiah James left on the team, we’ll see if that changes Barnes’ thinking.
Vescovi has been taking part in the NBA Global Academy in Australia, competing against elite talent and being coached by NBA-trained professionals.
The 18 year old lefty will wear No. 25 for Tennessee.
His addition would seem to come at an ideal time for the Vols, who now desperately need some depth behind James. Tennessee now has just four scholarship guards that can play — Jordan Bowden, Josiah James, Davonte Gaines and Jalen Johnson. Barnes probably trusts only Bowden or James to truly operate the point.
Would he trust Vescovi? Is Vescovi even close to being ready? This isn’t like a typical freshman situation who gets camp to work out the kinks. He would be getting a handful of practices, then live SEC matchups to figure things out.
So it’s totally understandable for Barnes to be hesitant here. Problem is, Tennessee might not have another option right now.