Tennessee basketball coach Donnie Tyndall signed his second student-athlete in four days Monday, as NJCAA first-team All-American Kevin Punter signed a National Letter of Intent to become a Volunteer.
A 6-foot-4-inch, 170-pound shooting guard from Bronx, N.Y., Punter has spent the past two years at State Fair Community College in Sedalia, Mo. He plans to enroll at UT this summer and will have two years of eligibility, beginning with the 2014-15 season.
“I’m extremely pleased and excited about Kevin’s decision to join our program here at Tennessee,” Tyndall said. “He’s a long, athletic perimeter player who can play multiple positions for us. That athleticism and length, coupled with his versatility, make him a player who fits our style perfectly.
“In addition to that, Kevin is a gym rat, which is exciting because guys like that who spend a lot of time in the gym always maximize their potential.”
As a sophomore last season, Punter shot 57 percent from the field and 37 percent from 3-point range while averaging 20.3 points, 4.6 rebounds and 1.7 assists per game. He also shot 83 percent from the free-throw line.
With Punter leading the way, State Fair advanced all the way to the 2014 NJCAA Championship Tournament in Hutchinson, Kan., where it fell in the round of 16 and finished with a 26-7 overall record. Punter scored 28 and 24 points in State Fair’s two games at the tournament.
As a freshman for the Roadrunners in 2012-13, Punter averaged 12.9 points, 4.1 rebounds and 1.7 assists.
He was coached at State Fair Community College by Kevin Thomas.
Punter graduated from Salesian High School in New Rochelle, N.Y., in 2011. He was coached there by John Miressi and finished as the school’s second all-time leading scorer. The New York State Sportswriters Association named Punter the 2011 Class B State Player of the Year and an All-State performer after he averaged 28.2 points as a senior.
Following high school, Punter spent one year attending Body of Christ Christian Academy in Raleigh, N.C. In his lone season there, he averaged 24.2 points and 2.5 steals.
Punter is the second player to sign with Tyndall since the coach was introduced at UT on April 22. Forward Jabari McGhee signed with the Vols last Friday.
(E-mail Larry Fleming at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @larryfleming44)