Blake Morgan/ SEC Country
Chris Darrington (middle) and Derrick Walker (right) shined in their first action with the Vols.

Tennessee basketball: G Chris Darrington validates coach Rick Barnes’ decision

Rick Barnes validated after one game

Junior college transfer Chris Darrington proved why coach Rick Barnes brought him to Tennessee only one game into the European exhibition trip.

Barnes said before the trip he wanted more scoring ability in the backcourt this season, and Darrington delivered with a team-high 19 points Friday in an 86-79 win over the Catalan All-Stars at the Pavelló Esportiu Municipal in Spain.

RELATED: Guards James Daniel, Chris Darrington to add scoring punch

The Catalan All-Stars opened the third quarter on a 21-5 run to cut the Vols’ lead to eight, 54-46.

Darrington scored 11 points in the second half in an effort to take the game over. He turned up his intensity on the defensive end, as well.

“They went on that run, and I felt a lot of their shots came way too easy,” Darrington said in a release. “So, I felt if I started picking up the ball full-court, with a 24-second shot clock. I could disrupt some of that. And I think I was able to do that in the second half. That kind of slowed them down a little bit.”

Another Tennessee newcomer shined in the exhibition, too. Freshman forward Derrick Walker scored 13 points and grabbed 10 rebounds.

“I really just played for my teammates,” Walker said. “I was fighting for offensive rebounds, putting the ball in the bucket when I needed to. Just playing hard to help us win.”

All 11 Vols who played, scored.

Forward Grant Williams scored 11 points and added 9 rebounds. Guard Lamonte Turner scored all 12 of his points with four 3-pointers. He also grabbed six rebounds.

The Vols play their second of three European exhibition contests Monday in Godella, Spain.