Breaking News: Turmoil In Tennessee Vols Home Stadium As Star Player Is Confirmed…

Dalton Knecht traveled a long way to get to March Madness, from community college to starting for Tennessee.

Dalton Knecht had limited options for his basketball career after graduating from Henderson, Colorado’s Prairie View High School.

Tennessee guard Dalton Knecht celebrates after scoring against Saint Peter's during the second half of a first-round college basketball game in the NCAA Tournament, Thursday, March 21, 2024, in Charlotte, N.C. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)

He still went on to become a standout at Tennessee despite that.

Knecht stated on Thursday, “There are some people who are not the highest-rated players and stuff like that.” “It simply demonstrates that you take a different path, utilizing the JuCo and transfer portal.”

Knecht carried out both.

He remained in Colorado after high school and sent his undeveloped skills to Northeastern Junior College, which was located around 120 miles away. He received a mid-major offer from Northern Colorado two years later, and a season ago, he led the Big Sky in scoring with 20.2 points per game.

Knecht placed another wager on himself, and this time it paid off as he transferred to Tennessee and was selected for the AP All-American first team.

“What he’s done could not have been projected by anyone,” stated Volunteers coach Rick Barnes.

On Friday night in the Sweet 16, third-seeded Creighton (25-9) will pay close attention to Knecht, the undeniable star player for second-seeded Tennessee (26-8).

A Final Four spot is up for grabs for the victor of Sunday’s Midwest Region final, which pits first-seeded Purdue against fifth-seeded Gonzaga.

College basketball’s showcase has been elusive for the Vols, whose longest run in the NCAA Tournament left them one win short of the Final Four in 2010 under coach Bruce Pearl. The past two years, Barnes’ Vols have lost in the Sweet 16.

Tennessee, of course, did not have Knecht yet a year ago, and the team was also without lightning-quick point guard Zakai Zeigler due to a torn ligament.

Knecht is a difference-maker, whose ability to make 3-pointers, create off the dribble and dunk over defenders has made him a likely lottery pick in the NBA draft this summer.

The SEC Player of the Year averages 21.1 points — making 39% of his 3s — along with nearly five rebounds and two assists.

“I don’t know that you’d guard him with one guy,” Creighton coach Greg McDermott said. “I think you have to give him different looks, and that’s the plan.

Hopefully take away his easy ones because he’s going to make enough tough ones because he’s an elite player.”

Like Knecht, the Bluejays have a late-blooming star.

Baylor Scheierman took the only Division I offer he had at South Dakota State. He spent three years with the Jackrabbits before transferring two years ago to Creighton.

The 6-7 Scheierman, the first Division I men’s player in history to have at least 2,000 career points, 1,000 rebounds, 500 assists and 300 3-pointers, is a third-team AP All-American.

“Dalton attended Northern Colorado and Baylor attended South Dakota State two years ago,” McDermott remarked. It’s an amazing narrative that two All-American teams—one from the first team and the other from the third—are now competing in the Sweet 16.

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