To this point, Rick Barnes’ only trip to the Final Four was with the Texas Longhorns in 2003. He lost to the eventual national champions, Syracuse, who were led by Carmelo Anthony. Now head coach of Tennessee basketball, it may come full circle for Barnes.
The Vols have reportedly offered a scholarship to Melo’s son, Kiyan Anthony. A 2025 guard out of New York, Anthony is a four-star on 247Sports but not yet rated on most services.
Coming out of Christ the King Regional in Middle Village, Queens, N.Y., Anthony stands in the 6’3″-6’4″ range and appears to be more of a combo guard. He announced the offer from Tennessee basketball on Twitter.
Given the fact that Barnes has Big East ties from his experience coaching Providence back in the day, he could have a shot with Anthony. After all, he coached against Jim Boeheim and Syracuse for years.
With Boeheim now retired, Anthony doesn’t seem like the lock to go to Syracuse that he may have been. It’s worth noting that Boeheim’s only national title was with Melo. Could his son do the same for Barnes?
Obviously, things are still extremely early in the recruiting process. However, in recent years, Barnes has had a pretty good track record with putting guards in the NBA, so Anthony would be a good fit for his program.
Add in the fact that Barnes has built somewhat of a New York pipeline in recent years, and the Vols have a great chance to land him. Zakai Zeigler and Tobe Awaka both come from there.
Historically, some of the greatest recruiting successes for Tennessee basketball come from New York. Bernard King and Ernie Grunfeld both came from the city, and Tobias Harris hailed from Long Island.
Barnes and the Vols are still filling out their 2023 class, but basketball is a year-to-year sport in recruiting, so it’s never too early to start on the next year or the year after that. Landing Anthony would be huge for the program.