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Five-star point guard Kennedy Chandler leaning towards Tennessee?

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Rick Barnes has been getting who he wants lately.

City Of Palms Classic Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images

Tennessee’s top target in the 2021 class has been clear for some time now. Five-star guard Kennedy Chandler has been the main focus of Rick Barnes lately, and those efforts may soon be rewarded.

The crystal ball projections exploded in favor of Tennessee on Tuesday. The Volunteers now hold five projections for Chandler, leaving Duke in the dust with just one. Chandler now has a Tennessee prediction from each of Duke, Memphis and Tennessee insiders.

Chandler is the 11th ranked player in the class of 2021, per 247Sports. The 6-1, 165 pound prospect called Duke his dream school this spring, but nothing has seemed to derail Tennessee’s momentum with him. Kentucky, Memphis and North Carolina are also still in the picture.

Rivals’ Corey Evans called Tennessee the ‘team to beat’ for Chandler on Tuesday.

It’s fair to classify Chandler as a Tennessee lean, and there is a decent chance that he pushes for someone such as Paolo Banchero and/or Jabari Smith to join him in Knoxville. Chandler hasn’t been willing to outline a timeline, but if does decide soon, the Vols would be the choice.

For what it’s worth, Banchero and Kennedy took official visits to Knoxville on the same weekend back in October. If Tennessee does land Chandler, the focus will undoubtedly go to Banchero, who is the 4th ranked player in the class. It would also be the fourth five-star guard to commit to Tennessee over the last two years.

Tennessee added five-star guards Keon Johnson and Jaden Springer in the last cycle. Four-star guard Santiago Vescovi joined the team mid-season as a true freshman, while five-star guard Josiah-Jordan James endured a bumpy first season in Knoxville. Oregon transfer Victor Bailey Jr. will be eligible this season after sitting out 2019-20. Bailey will have two seasons of eligibility remaining.

The Volunteers are completely loaded and Rick Barnes doesn’t appear to be slowing down anytime soon.