The first big domino of the Tennessee offseason came from the coaching staff. Kim English, of the more well-regarded young names in the profession, took the leap and accepted the George Mason job on Tuesday.
His departure is notable mainly because he was the lead recruiter of Kennedy Chandler, a five-star point guard who chose Tennessee over the typical blue bloods of the college basketball world.
Shortly after the news became official, Chandler addressed the situation, reaffirming his excitement to join the Tennessee program.
“I would like Vols nation to join me in sending a HUGE congratulations to Coach English as he has accepted a job to become a head coach,” Chandler said on Tuesday. “My family and I grew extremely close to him during the recruiting process, and wish him nothing but the best. He will be missed on the sidelines. Nonetheless, I am still excited as ever to put on the Vols jersey and get to work for the legendary Coach Barnes. See you soon Vols Nation. #VFL.”
Barnes will now be faced with adding an assistant coach, ahead of a key offseason that will see plenty of change on the roster. Tennessee has experienced a new height in recruiting, and English was heavily involved in that aspect. It will be interesting to see if Barnes can keep that momentum rolling, and who he turns to next to fill that role.
Chandler is a 6-1 point guard out of Memphis and is expected to take control of the Tennessee offense right away. He’s the 13th ranked prospect in the 2021 class — the second-ranked point guard, according to 247Sports. With Jaden Springer and Keon Johnson expected to enter the NBA Draft, Chandler will help replace some of that production, along with a returning Santiago Vescovi and Victor Bailey Jr.