Tennessee basketball coach Rick Barnes announced Tuesday that combo guard Jordan Gainey has signed with UT following two decorated seasons at USC Upstate.
The 6-4 Gainey was named 2022 Big South Co-Freshman of the Year before garnering first-team All-Big South honors this past season while ranking among the top-10 in that league in 11 different statistical categories.
In his two years at USC Upstate, Gainey started 58 of the 61 games in which he appeared, averaging 14.6 points, 2.5 rebounds, 2.4 assists and 1.6 steals per game while shooting 42.8 percent from the field. He scored in double figures 49 times as a Spartan, totaling 929 career points.
Gainey—whose father, Justin, is Tennessee’s associate head coach—is a career 40.8-percent shooter from 3-point range. As a freshman in 2021-22, he led the Big South with a 49.3 3-point percentage. He has made four or more 3-pointers 10 times in his career.
“We obviously know and love Jordan’s family, but his ability as a player stands on its own merit,” Barnes said. “He plays with a high basketball IQ and is a guy who makes his teammates better. We love his offensive versatility and his ability to shoot and score the ball in a variety of ways. In addition to giving us another shot-maker, he also competes on the defensive end and led (the Big South) in steals last year.”
Active defensively, Gainey’s conference-leading 1.94 steals per game this past season guided USC Upstate to rank 59th nationally in turnovers forced per game.
In seven career games against high-major opponents, Gainey averaged 10.6 points and 3.0 rebounds per game. Last season at Clemson, Gainey scored 24 points on 8-of-16 shooting with four rebounds, two assists and a steal in 34 highly productive minutes.
His top scoring effort to date was a 28-point performance in Upstate’s home win over South Carolina State last December. It stands as one of 13 20-point games in Gainey’s career.
Prior to USC Upstate, Gainey prepped at South Kent High in South Kent, Connecticut.