A bad night in Chapel Hill got worse in the closing minutes, as Tennessee star Dalton Knecht went down with an apparent ankle injury. Knecht, who had just scored his 37th point of the game, stepped on the shoe of a defender and went down in pain. He was not able to get up.
Knecht was leading the charge of a major comeback bid for Tennessee, one that ended up falling short. Now attention turns to the status of Knecht, who has been the only consistent performer on offense so far this year.
Rick Barnes offered an update after the game.
“He stepped on somebody’s foot, turned his ankle,” Barnes said. “It looked like he got it pretty good because he’s the kind of guy that, he bounces back. And for him not to get up, he, he got it pretty good. Looked good when I saw the whole thing. He stepped on somebody’s foot and rolled it.”
Tennessee is off until Tuesday, where they’ll welcome in George Mason, so Knecht will have a few days to rest. And there was this positive update from Wes Rucker of 247Sports, who reported that Knecht was able to walk to the bus last night.
I'm *not* a doctor, but Dalton Knecht is walking back to Tennessee's bus. No walking boot. No crutches. Limping a little, but walking on his own and seems to be in good spirits.— Wes Rucker (@wesrucker247) November 30, 2023
Still gonna get scanned and all that, but seeing him walk like that was good.
In seven games played this season, Knecht is averaging north of 20 points per game. He’s shooting 40 percent from three-point range, finally giving Tennessee the alpha scorer they’ve been missing since the days of Grant Williams and Admiral Schofield. Unfortunately, the support around him hasn’t been there, as the chemistry seems off, injuries continue to pile up, and with Zakai Zeigler still working back to form.
Look for another update early next week as Rick Barnes prepares to face a solid, 6-1 George Mason team.