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ESPN ranks the top 100 transfer portal additions

Tennessee had three on the list.

North Dakota State v Northern Colorado Photo by Sam Wasson/Getty Images

Tennessee hit the transfer portal harder than ever this year, bringing in a trio of veterans in hopes of creating more depth and offense for the 2023-24 season. Rick Barnes doesn’t have a great track record in the portal, but this is pretty easily his best crop to date.

It seemed like Tennessee was gearing up to lose Santiago Vescovi, Josiah-Jordan James, Olivier Nkamhoua and Julian Phillips early on in the offseason. However, Vescovi and James ended up coming back, creating quite the loaded roster for Barnes this season. Now the question becomes.... how do they all fit? Tennessee can legitimately go 11 or 12 deep, giving the staff a ton of versatility if things aren’t clicking.

For now, let’s focus on the transfers themselves. ESPN has restacked their top 100 players in the portal, and the Volunteers put three on the list. Jeff Borzello broke each player down below.

No. 32: Dalton Knecht

Borzello: An All-Big Sky selection this past season, Knecht brings size and high-level scoring ability to the perimeter. Averaged 20.2 points and 7.2 rebounds, shooting better than 38% from 3.

Borzello is lower on Knecht than others, but still, this is an exciting fit for Tennessee. The Volunteers just lacked shooting last year, and Knecht forms a pretty stout duo with Vescovi. Knecht also gives Barnes the ability to play small, potentially giving the 6-6 wing some time in four-guard lineups.

No. 72: Chris Ledlum

Borzello: Ledlum has been one of the most productive players at the mid-major level the past two seasons, averaging 18.8 points and 8.5 rebounds this season and 16.7 points and 9.3 boards last season.

Ledlum is a bucket getter and should be able to help Tennessee’s thin frontcourt. I worry about his size and ability to bring that production with him to the SEC, however.

No. 77: Jordan Gainey

Borzello: One of the best shooters in the portal, Gainey was lights-out from the perimeter as a freshman, going better than 49% from 3. His numbers took a dip as a sophomore, but he still averaged 15.2 points.

Gainey adds legitimate shooting, but Tennessee’s guard rotation is loaded. Keep in mind that Gainey is just a junior, however. Vescovi, James, Knecht and potentially others will clear out in front of him, which could set up a big chance for him to play for his father (Tennessee assistant Justin Gainey).