Tennessee made their second splash in the transfer portal a few weeks back, picking up versatile forward Chris Ledlum from Harvard. The veteran will more than likely fill the place of Olivier Nkamhoua, who exited via the transfer portal and is exploring professional opportunities.
With Ledlum, Tennessee is getting a bucket getter. He’s undersized for a traditional four role, but he can score in a variety of ways. The 6-6 ‘swingman’ scored 18.8 points per game for Harvard last season, while adding 8.4 rebounds per contest. He scored in double figures in 26 out of 28 games played.
Ledlum will have one season left to play in Knoxville.
“Chris has many of the characteristics we value in our program,” Rick Barnes said on Wednesday. “He has a tremendous work ethic and plays with grit, toughness and a bit of swagger. We’ve seen similar traits in other Vols from New York, and we expect Chris to build on that history.”
Ledlum was a unanimous All-Ivy League selection last season. He joins a Tennessee front court that will consist of Jonas Aidoo and Tobe Awaka, along with true freshmen JP Estrella and Cade Phillips.
“He comes from a wonderful family and had a tremendous career at Harvard playing for a great coach in Tommy Amaker, so he’s coming in with a strong foundation,” Barnes continued. “He’ll give us an inside-outside scoring presence. And his versatility—scoring, rebounding and playmaking—extends our ability to create mismatches.”
It’s dangerous to compare anyone to Grant Williams, but there definitely is some of that just-find-a-way in Ledlum’s game. Ledlum has more slashing ability than Williams did, and he’s proven to be a strong finisher at the rim. He’s a career 29 percent three-point shooter, which is a number Tennessee would obviously like to improve this season.
Ledlum does a little bit of everything, and at least on the surface, he does seem to be a really nice program fit with Tennessee. We’ll have to see if his game translates to SEC play, however. This staff hasn’t had great luck in the portal over the last couple of cycles, but this group is by far their biggest pull to date. With James, Phillips, Plavsic and Nkamhoua all likely gone, Barnes is going to need them all ready to roll come November.