Tennessee gets big assists from Barton, Thompson

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- Tennessee point guards Antonio Barton and Darius Thompson have turned a potential area of concern into a major strength.

The Volunteers needed someone to fill the void created by Trae Golden's transfer to Georgia Tech. Barton and Thompson, newcomers to Tennessee's roster, have wasted no time responding.

Barton, a transfer from Memphis, is shooting 69.6 percent overall (16 of 23) and 61.5 percent on 3-pointers (8 of 13). Thompson, a freshman, ranks fourth in the Southeastern Conference in steals despite averaging just 16.3 minutes per game off the bench. They've helped Tennessee average just 9.3 turnovers per game, which ranks ninth among all Division I teams.

They'll attempt to continue their fast start Thursday when Tennessee (3-1) faces UTEP (3-2) in the Battle 4 Atlantis at Paradise Island, Bahamas.

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