Tennessee basketball blasts Lenoir-Rhyne in final exhibition without Zakai Zeigler

Dalton Knecht swiftly dashed down the lane and executed an incredible dunk. The Tennessee basketball guard effortlessly transitioned the ball from his right hand to his left hand and delicately guided it off the glass.

Not only was Knecht’s move smooth, but Tennessee’s second and final exhibition game was as well.

The undefeated No. 9 Vols dominated Lenoir-Rhyne in a 90-48 victory on Tuesday at Thompson-Boling Arena at Food City Center, culminating their successful exhibition schedule. In their exhibition opener on Sunday in Michigan, the Vols triumphed over No. 4 Michigan State with a score of 89-88.

Knecht, a Northern Colorado transfer, showcased his skills with 13 points. Jordan Gainey, a USC Upstate transfer, contributed 13 points, including three 3-pointers. Jonas Aidoo led the team with 14 points.

Tennessee will kick off its season against Tennessee Tech on Monday at 6:30 p.m. ET, airing on SEC Network+.

Zakai Zeigler’s Absence in Exhibitions

Zakai Zeigler did not participate in either of Tennessee’s exhibition games as he continues to recover from an ACL injury he sustained in February, followed by surgery in March. During Tuesday’s game, the junior guard sat on the bench wearing a No. 25 jersey in honor of Santiago Vescovi, who also missed both exhibitions due to a family matter in Uruguay.

In the previous season, Zeigler earned second-team All-SEC recognition and was voted preseason All-SEC. He averaged 10.7 points, 5.4 assists, and 28.7 minutes per game.

Members of the UT pep band wear Halloween costumes during a game between Tennessee and Lenoir-Rhyne at Food City Center at Thompson-Boling Arena in Knoxville on Tuesday, Oct. 31, 2023.

Members of the UT pep band wear Halloween costumes during a game between Tennessee and Lenoir-Rhyne at Food City Center at Thompson-Boling Arena in Knoxville on Tuesday, Oct. 31, 2023.

Cameron Carr Shines in Opportunities

Cameron Carr only played one minute in the game against Michigan State on Sunday. However, he had significant playing time on Tuesday and displayed his potential. The freshman guard recorded five points and five rebounds in the first half and finished with nine points and seven rebounds, tying J.P. Estrella and Josiah-Jordan James for the team-high in rebounds.

Ranked as the 56th prospect in the nation in the 247Sports Composite, the 6-foot-5 guard showcased his talent.

Tennessee Utilizes Entire Roster, Including D.J. Jefferson

The Vols utilized all 11 available scholarship players in their final exhibition game. This included redshirt freshman guard D.J. Jefferson, who did not get the opportunity to play against Michigan State.

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Jefferson, who redshirted last season, contributed two points in seven minutes and also showcased a strong defensive play with a block in the final minutes of the game. J.P. Estrella had an impressive performance in the second half, scoring six consecutive points.

Mike Wilson covers University of Tennessee athletics. Email him at [email protected] and follow him on Twitter @ByMikeWilson. If you enjoy Mike’s coverage, consider a digital subscription that will allow you access to all of it

This article originally appeared on Knoxville News Sentinel: Tennessee basketball blasts Lenoir-Rhyne in final exhibition

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