Vescovi, Chandler and Zeigler recognized by SEC coaches
Men’s Basketball-March 08, 2022
A trio of Tennessee basketball players have earned postseason honors from the Southeastern Conference head coaches, the conference announced Tuesday.
Junior guard Santiago Vescovi earned first-team All-SEC acclaim, while freshman guard Kennedy Chandler was a second-team All-SEC selection.
Freshman guard Zakai Zeigler was also recognized, as he was named to the five-man SEC All-Defensive Team.
Chandler and Zeigler both also earned inclusion on the SEC All-Freshman Team.
Vescovi became the third Vol to garner first-team All-SEC honors under seventh-year head coach Rick Barnes, joining Grant Williams (2018, 2019) and Admiral Schofield (2019).
Vescovi concluded the regular season as the SEC’s leader in 3-point percentage (.445) and made 3-pointers (57) during conference play. The Montevideo, Uruguay, native averaged 14.3 points per game in SEC play while also dishing out 3.0 assists per contest.
Entering the SEC Tournament, Vescovi’s 87 total made 3-pointers this season stand as the eighth-most made threes by a Tennessee player in a single season in program history.
A consensus five-star prospect and Memphis native, Chandler has burst onto the scene as a freshman on Rocky Top. In 17 regular-season SEC games, Chandler averaged 13.8 points, 4.4 assists and 2.2 steals per game while shooting 47 percent from the field.
He finished the regular season as the SEC leader in overall steals per game (2.2) and ranked fifth in overall assists per game (4.6). With 64 total steals this season entering the SEC Tournament, Chandler also set the record for most steals by a freshman in program history.
Zeigler was a consistent sparkplug off Tennessee’s bench during conference play, averaging 10.1 points per game—scoring in double figures during nine of the Vols’ final 11 conference games.
Zeigler also finished the regular season just one steal shy of the SEC lead during conference play, averaging 2.2 takeaways per game with 40 steals in 18 SEC games.
This season marks Tennessee’s second year in a row placing two players on the SEC All-Freshman Team after first-round NBA Draft picks Keon Johnson and Jaden Springer made the team last season. Overall during the Barnes era, Chandler and Zeigler are UT’s fourth and fifth SEC All-Freshman Team selections, joining Williams (2017), Johnson (2021) and Springer (2021).
Zeigler also is only the fourth Vol ever to be selected to the SEC All-Defensive Team and the first to do it as a freshman. He joins JaJuan Smith (2008), Josh Richardson (2014, 2015) and Yves Pons (2020, 2021) as Tennessee players to receive that honor.
SEC All-Freshman Team
SEC All-Defensive Team