- Advertisement -

Tennessee Basketball placing too much stock in Chaz Lanier

- Advertisement -

I want to get out ahead of this so it doesn’t look like appeasement in hindsight in case he commits elsewhere: Tennessee Basketball won’t benefit significantly from landing Chaz Lanier. In fact, he won’t affect the Vols’ system next year at all.

Over the past two weeks, there has been obsessive coverage over whether or not the North Florida Ospreys transfer guard, who is testing the NBA Draft waters, will commit to the BYU Cougars, Kentucky Wildcats or UT. It’s an unusually exciting sweepstakes for a guy who didn’t average double-figures until his fourth year in college.

Lanier, who stands at 6’4″ 175 pounds, has averaged just 8.9 points for his college career. He’s a combo guard, and regardless of whether or not Tennessee Basketball adds, him the Vols already have a backcourt rotation of Zakai Zeigler, Jordan Gainey, Jahmai Mashack and Cameron Carr.

Carr’s development throughout the season and Rick Barnes’ preference toward him, based on reports, is what sent Freddie Dilione and D.J. Jefferson into the transfer portal. It’s clear he’s poised to take that next step in 2024-25, so UT’s backcourt will be elite no matter what.

Now, you might say the backcourt involves three positions, not just two, but Mashack can move over to the wing, and Rocky Top already added next year’s version of Dalton Knecht in Darlinstone Dubar. What’s wrong with a rotation where five players move around for three spots, or three for two?

- Advertisement -

This isn’t to say Lanier wouldn’t add value. Last year, he had a breakout season in averaging 19.7 points per game and shot 44 percent from three while hitting three and a half a game from outside. He clearly took a major step forward, and he would give the Vols more depth and another three-point shooting option.

Yes, this team missed both of those factors last year. However, the key to them going further, assuming a guy like Dubar can replace Knecht, actually comes in the post, and that’s where they upgraded. Losing Tobe Awaka and Jonas Aidoo doesn’t mean much now.

J.P. Estrella is back after developing late. Felix Okpara, the Ohio State Buckeyes transfer, is the physical, athletic post player who won’t get worked by a guy like Zach Edey the way Aidoo did against the Purdue Boilermakers in the Elite Eight. Then there’s Igor Milicic Jr., who is 6’10” and can play from outside.

Those three plus Dubar and Mashack and then the three guards already give Barnes plenty to work with. That’s an eight-man rotation that can do everything last year’s team can do. As a result, the stress over whether or not Lanier will commit is just not worth it.

If he does, that doesn’t mean Tennessee Basketball shouldn’t celebrate. The Vols add more scoring and more depth, and that’s always a good thing, particularly when it comes to the backcourt in today’s game. However, he’s basically the equivalent of an extra credit question on a test at this point.

- Advertisement -

Latest YouTube Video

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *