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SEC Foes Seen As Favorites For Coveted North Florida Transfer, Who Has Set A Pair Of Visits

The Tennesee Volunteers have had a relatively quiet spring, comparatively speaking. Meanwhile, UT’s archrival, Kentucky Wildcats, has had to completely overhaul its roster following mass departures after John Calipari left for Arkansas.

Tennessee and Kentucky are seen as the favorites to land North Florida transfer Chaz Lanier, according to 247 Sports’ Travis Branham. Branham said that Lanier is one of the top players remaining in the transfer portal. Lanier is expected to return to school, and his recruitment is expected to go quickly after he did not get an invite to the NBA combine. Lanier had a pro day on Thursday.

“The Volunteers remain the likely pick, but with the Wildcats making a strong move we aren’t calling this race until after Lanier checks out Knoxville and Lexington.”

SEC Foes Seen As Favorites For North Florida Transfer

Lanier made a huge jump last year and will have one year of eligibility left. The 6-4 shooting guard, known as an elite shooter with incredible range, quadrupled his production from his junior campaign last year. He averaged 19.7 points, 4.8 points, and 1.8 assists. An All-Atlantic Sun first-team selection, Lanier ranked 23rd in the nation with 106 3-pointers while shooting .510/.440/.880.

Lanier scored in double-figures in 31 of his 32 appearances. Lanier scored 20+ points on 15 occasions, including topping the 30-point mark four times. He also made at least one 3-pointer in 30 games and at least five triples on nine occasions. 11  of his triples were from at least 25 feet away.


Here is what C.J. Moore of The Athletic said about Lanier’s game:

The All-Atlantic Sun first-teamer made 106 3s and shot 44 percent from deep this past year. His release is way in front of his face and looks a little funky, but you cannot argue with the results. He gets it from the bounce to the shooting pocket quickly and actually shoots a better percentage off the dribble than off the catch. He does a good job finding space, able to pull it behind a ball screen or handoff. Lanier doesn’t have a lot of burst but uses his body and size well inside to shield off defenders and finish at the rim.

Potential Landing Spots For Lanier

While Kentucky and Tennesee are the leading favorites to land Lanier, several other programs would take him in a heartbeat. Lanier has reportedly heard from BYU, Cincinnati, Duke, FAU, Illinois, Kansas State, Louisville, Maryland, Miami, Mississippi State, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Vanderbilt, Villanova, and West Virginia.

Despite all indications that the battle for Lanier’s services will come down to the Wildcats and the Volunteers, his first visit will be at BYU. Branham said that Lanier will be in Provo (Utah) this weekend, meeting with BYU, and then heading to Kentucky on Monday. Tennessee is expected to receive a visit soon.

So, what does BYU have to offer Lanier? The Cougars have a new coach, former NBA assistant Kevin Young, who has never been a head coach before. They also lost two key players from this past season, Jaxon Robinson and Aly Khalifa.

According to Casey Lundquist of Cougs Daily, Young “Can pitch Lanier on the opportunity for a high-usage role at BYU. The Cougars need a high-volume shooter on the roster, and Lanier could fill that role. He can also pitch the potential to develop his NBA potential.”

BYU has brought in three freshmen and one transfer. The Cougars have five scholarships available.

Kentucky Wildcats

“Speaking of Kentucky, sources close to the recruitment tell me that the Wildcats have gone all in on Lanier, On3’s Jaime Shaw said. “Some have suggested he is their top option left on the board. Sources have indicated that the staff likes Lanier’s ability to score and feels he is the missing piece to the roster they have built.”

Pope was in Chicago last weekend to watch Lanier at the G-League Elite Camp. The Wildcats have two open scholarships after they secured the commitment of Fairleigh Dickinson forward Ansley Almonor. Almonor is the 10th player and eighth transfer in Pope’s 2o24 recruiting class.

The Wildcats are still looking to improve their roster. Alomonor fills one of the needs that Pope was looking for: frontcourt depth. However, the Cats are still looking “needs a proven bucket-getter,” which is where Lanier steps in.

Besides Lanier, the Wildcats are also targeting Jaxson Robinson, Wooga Poplar, Berke Buyuktuncel, David Coit, Baba MillerKris Parker, and Trazarien White, per Aaron Gershon of 247Sports.

Tennessee Volunteers

Tennessee has three scholarships available for the upcoming season. Like UK, Tennesee is expected to use all 13 scholarships this season.

UT has lost seven players this season, including four to the transfer portal. However, Rick Barnes has done a fantastic job in the transfer market, bringing in  Felix Okpara (Ohio State), Igor Milicic (Charlotte), and Darlinstone Dubar (Hofstra).

Tennessee is looking to add a guard who can score points with one of its remaining scholarships, though Barnes is expected to keep a scholarship available until the summer.

“I think what we’re looking for now is the best player we can find. And someone that … you’re always looking to add some scoring if you can. And that’s something we look at, whether it’s up front or in the backcourt. But right now it’s whatever we do, it’s got to be something that we think that we don’t have and something that we know can benefit us.”



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