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ESPN: Tennessee five-star point guard signee Kennedy Chandler ‘one to watch’ at Geico Nationals

Syndication: The Commercial Appeal Joe Rondone/The Commercial Appeal via Imagn Content Services, LLC

The Geico Nationals, one of the premier high school basketball events in the country, returns this season after being canceled in 2020. The event will give Kennedy Chandler a national stage to showcase his skills before he joins the college ranks later this year.

Chandler committed to Tennessee over Duke, Kentucky, North Carolina and Memphis. He’s expected to walk directly into the starting point guard role for the Volunteers, giving them a creator that they were missing for much of last season.

ESPN’s Paul Biancardi will have his eyes on Chandler this week. He named the five-star prospect as ‘one to watch’ ahead of the start of the event, and gave a quick scouting report on the future Tennessee star.

Chandler combines speed with the mental make-up needed to be a high-level point guard. He displays the innate abilities to be an elite playmaker, change and control the tempo with his dribble and be a scoring threat when needed. He is best in the conversion game, as he pushes the ball with speed dribbles or will make the hit-ahead pass. He also understands to pause at the free throw line and make a decision if he doesn’t have a clear path. A big improvement has come with his 3-point shot; the ball comes out of his shooting pocket with ease.

According to ESPN’s rankings, Chandler is the 10th rated prospect in the 2021 class. The 6-1 point guard is originally out of Memphis, but finished out his high school career in Kansas at Sunrise Christian. Earlier this year, Chandler was named to the McDonald’s All-American team.

Chandler is the fourth five-star guard that Rick Barnes has signed over the past three seasons. He joins Josiah-Jordan James, Keon Johnson and Jaden Springer in that category.

Sunrise landed the No. 2 seed in the Geico Nationals tournament, which will be carried on the ESPN networks. Chandler and Sunrise are scheduled to play on Thursday afternoon at 2 p.m. ET.