KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) – The Vols need an offensive spark. That was proven Saturday afternoon when Tennessee suffered a 20-point loss at home to then 6-5 Wisconsin.
A spark may have arrived in the moments prior to the opening tip, in mid-season enrollee and four-star prospect Santiago Vescovi.
“I don’t think there is any question he will help us,” Tennessee coach Rick Barnes said of Vescovi. “He’s competitive. He has been around. He has played some high-level teams, obviously internationally.”
With Lamonte Turner out of the lineup, the Vols are thin at the guard position – particularly at the point – Vescovi’s true position.
“Naturally, he’s a point guard,” Barnes said Monday. “He’s able to run a team. Now has he done it at this level? No. That’s why we brought him here because we think he’s capable of doing that.”
There’s no set-in-stone timeline for Vescovi, although Southeastern Conference play looms this weekend with the Vols hosting LSU on Saturday. Barnes insisted the timeline will be determined by Vescovi and how quickly he’s able to ‘absorb’ things.
“Today (Monday) will be his first practice,” Barnes said. “I think we will see. I just think it’s not just what we do offensively, it’s defensively.”
Vescovi has already begun working to get caught up to speed, spending time with the scout team in order to begin learning the Tennessee offense. The Vols are still awaiting eligibility clearance from the NCAA.