It’s been known since May, but now it’s official: Tennessee has its point guard for 2013-14.
Vols coach Cuonzo Martin confirmed Tuesday morning that Memphis transfer Antonio Barton is on campus and officially enrolled at UT.
“Yes, full go!” Martin said in a text message.
Barton graduated from Memphis on Aug. 11 after completing three online summer courses. The 6-foot-2 point guard is eligible for the 2013-14 season, as per the NCAA's graduate transfer rule, and projected as the Vols’ likely starting point guard.
All UT players were required to return to campus Monday in preparation for the fall semester. Classes begin Wednesday.
Barton, a Baltimore native, averaged 5.6 points and 1.1 assists in 16.7 minutes per game as a junior last year. After falling behind starting point guard Joe Jackson and others in the Memphis rotation, Barton suffered a hairline fracture in his right foot and missed the final nine games.
Barton decided to transfer from Memphis after Jackson announced he was bypassing the NBA draft and returning for his senior season. Barton verbally committed to UT on May 26 over scholarship offers from Maryland, Texas A&M and Kansas State.
That pledge was crucial in the wake of former UT starting point guard Trae Golden’s departure from Tennessee. The Vols would have been left only with freshman Darius Thompson and walk-on Brandon Lopez as natural point guards.
Golden has since enrolled at Georgia Tech.
Barton is billed as a strong defensive player and a career 41.6 percent 3-point shooter (100-240). He is the brother of Portland Trail Blazers shooting guard Will Barton, his former teammate at Memphis.
Brendan F. Quinn covers Tennessee football and men’s basketball. Follow him at Twitter.com/QuinnKNS