Congratulations:Tennessee basketball has confirmed the recruitment of Chaz Lanier.

Tennessee basketball made it official, announcing the signing of Chaz Lanier, a transfer guard from North Florida, over the weekend. Lanier chose the Vols over offers from Kentucky and BYU. He had visited all three schools officially, with visits to BYU, Kentucky, and Tennessee earlier in the week. According to 247Sports, Lanier ranks as the 11th overall transfer and the third-ranked shooting guard in this year’s transfer cycle.

Lanier made official visits to his top three choices, starting with BYU on Sunday, followed by Kentucky on Monday, and finally, Tennessee on Tuesday. According to 247Sports, he’s ranked as the 11th overall transfer and third overall shooting guard in this year’s cycle. Lanier’s commitment marks the fourth addition for the Vols from the transfer portal, joining Darlinstone Dubar from Hofstra, Felix Okpara from Ohio State, and Igor Milicic Jr. from Charlotte.

“We are delighted to welcome Chaz and his family to Rocky Top,” stated Rick Barnes in a press release. “From the moment Chaz entered the transfer portal, we knew he was someone we wanted to bring back home to the Volunteer State. His character, humility, and work ethic will resonate with our fan base, and his strong basketball IQ is impressive. Chaz has already showcased himself as one of college basketball’s most efficient scorers, and we believe his scoring ability from all areas of the court will be a great asset in the SEC.”

Chaz has a desire to help us win another SEC championship, as well as contend for a national title. It is clear his goals and mindset blend well with the rest of the guys in our program and this is an excellent fit. Chaz’s excitement about the opportunity to return to a state he loves so much was evident to us and we know Vol Nation will embrace him from day one.”

Prior to his decision, Lanier declared for the 2024 NBA Draft on March 16 while retaining his final year of eligibility. He was actively engaging in the draft process before entering the transfer portal on April 24.

During the previous season, Lanier had a breakout performance, earning First Team All-ASUN honors by leading the conference in points per game during conference play with an average of 24.5 points. His impressive season saw him tally 629 points, making him just the second player in North Florida’s program history to exceed the 600-point mark.

The 6-foot-4 guard scored at least 20 points 15 different times, including 11 times in ASUN games, while also scoring 30 points in at least four games. Lanier scored a career-high 35 points against North Alabama. He was one of two players this season to win ASUN Player of the Week on three different occasions.

Lanier ranked fifth in the country in three-pointers (106) and ninth in three-point percentage at 44%, while also ranking top 20 in made field goals (214) and points. He led the ASUN in made three’s (56), free-throw percentage (90.5%) and minutes played (36.9 mpg), during conference games.

The mid-state native was a three-year varsity letterwinner at Ensworth High School in Nashville were he averaged 23 points, 6.1 rebounds and 4.0 assists during final season with the Tigers when he was a finalist for Tennessee’s Mr. Basketball award.

Busy Offseason

Tennessee’s season concluded in March with a loss to No. 1-seeded Purdue, 72-66, in the Elite Eight of the NCAA Tournament. Despite the loss, the Vols had a successful season, winning their 11th SEC Championship and reaching the Elite Eight for only the second time in program history.

During the offseason, four players decided to transfer. Junior forward Jonas Aidoo transferred to Arkansas, sophomore forward Tobe Awaka moved to Arizona, while redshirt-freshmen guards Freddie Dilione V and DJ Jefferson transferred to Penn State and Longwood, respectively.

Next season, Tennessee under Rick Barnes’ leadership will undergo some changes as he embarks on his 10th season at Rocky Top. Dalton Knecht, who emerged as a breakout star and secured the SEC Player of the Year title during his sole season in Knoxville, is departing for the NBA. Additionally, guards Santiago Vescovi and Josiah-Jordan James have reached the end of their five-year careers due to eligibility constraints.

However, the team will still have familiar faces for the upcoming season. Guards Zakai Zeigler, Jahmai Mashack, Jordan Gainey, and Cameron Carr are all expected to return, along with forwards Cade Phillips and J.P. Estrella.

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