Tennessee will have another body available for Saturday’s matchup with LSU. As expected, point guard Santiago Vescovi was cleared by the NCAA today, paving the way for him to contribute immediately in the second half of the schedule.
Rick Barnes was unsure if he would play Vescovi this season initially, but Lamonte Turner’s season ending shoulder surgery seemed to speed things along. Tennessee has also dropped three of their last four games, so Barnes is now looking for some sort of offensive spark.
More than that, Tennessee needs another body at the point guard position. Freshman guard Josiah James is still learning the position on the fly and has struggled with the offensive transition to this point. Outside of James, Tennessee doesn’t have another true point guard on the roster.
That’s where Vescovi comes in.
Vescovi committed to Tennessee back in November and signed in December. The four-star guard from Uruguay ranks as the 74th overall player in the class, according to 247Sports. He’s spent the last year at the NBA Global Academy in Australia, preparing for the college level.
He joined the team last week, getting a week’s worth of practice in after Tennessee was blown out by Wisconsin last weekend. He’s a true point guard, giving the Vols something that they really don’t have anywhere else on the roster. It’s going to be fascinating to see how quickly he’s worked into the rotation, and if he can help a struggling offense.
Tennessee and LSU will tip-off at Noon ET on ESPNU.