Head coach Rick Barnes announced Thursday that junior-college transfer Chris Darrington is joining the Tennessee basketball family. The 6-1, 175-pound combo guard will be a junior for the Vols next season after spending the last two years at Vincennes University in Indiana.
A Toledo, Ohio, native, Darrington recently earned his associate degree from Vincennes, where he was coached by Todd Franklin. He plans to enroll at UT in June and pursue a major related to either education or communications.
“Chris brings two qualities we were looking for: confidence and the ability to score the basketball,” Barnes said. “Chris’ experience at Vincennes was valuable because he has developed an appreciation for what goes into winning. A lot of guys can score, but not many can do so and win. He has been very well coached, and we expect him to come into our program with a great foundation.”
As a sophomore last season, Darrington earned first-team NJCAA Division I All-America honors and helped Vincennes to a 32-3 record and a District XVI championship. He led the Trailblazers in points (20.7) and assists (5.1) last season while also boasting a 2.2 assist-to-turnover ratio and shooting .431 from 3-point range.
Darrington was the only player in NJCAA to average more than 20.0 ppg last season while also appearing in 35 or more games.
A volume scorer, Darrington logged 17 games of 20-plus points last year, including a career-best 45 in a road win at Indian Hills in early December. That outburst marked one of his eight games of 30 or more points in 2016-17, highlighted by a stretch of three consecutive 30-point outings in mid-February and a 33-point showing—featuring seven made 3-pointers—in Vincennes' victory over Northern Oklahoma Enid in its opening game of the NJCAA Tournament.
Darrington showed a unique knack for getting to the foul line during his time at Vincennes. He attempted 245 free throws last season—third-most in the NJCAA. The former Ohio Mr. Basketball made the most of those trips, shooting .804 from the charity stripe.
Other notable Vincennes basketball alums include NBA players Bob McAdoo, Shawn Marion and Carl Landry.
A four-year letterwinner at Scott High School in Toledo, Darrington was named District Player of the Year and earned first-team All-Ohio distinction as a senior. He averaged 23.3 points, 6.2 rebounds, 4.5 assists and 4.0 steals per game that season, leading the Bulldogs to their first City League title since 2006 and dropping 38 points in the championship game.
Darrington will be the first Tennessee men’s basketball player from Ohio since Cincinnati native Ryan Childress completed his eligibility in 2008-09. Darrington becomes the fourth member of this Volunteers signing class, joining forwards Zach Kent and Derrick Walker as well as wing Yves Pons.