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Elite 2023 PG Kanaan Carlyle Adds Tennessee to Final List

Carlyle is also considering Stanford, Auburn, Baylor, Florida and Kansas.

Earlier this month when Milton (Alpharetta, Ga.) point guard Kanaan Carlyle trimmed his list to five – Stanford, Auburn, Baylor, Florida and Kansas – he didn’t anticipate it triggering increased interest from a school that didn’t make the cut.

Yet, since then, Tennessee has been relentless in its pursuit of the 6’2” floor general; so much so that Rick Barnes and the Vols have now made Carlyle’s list a top six.

“Yeah, you could say that,” Carlyle said of expanding his list. “I’m gonna get down there for a visit in December. They offered a while back, but then they weren’t coming as hard. They called me and explained everything, and it changed my mind a little bit. I’ve always liked how they develop players.”

Carlyle has already taken visits to Baylor, Auburn and Stanford and plans to visit Florida early next year.

“I love the official visits, but they definitely make the process harder,” Carlyle said. “You leave one place and you’re like ‘I want to go there’ then you go to the next one and you want to go there! It’s fun, but it’s stressful.”

Especially when Stanford is literally rolling out the red carpet upon Carlyle’s arrival.

“Right when we got off the plane, they had a big red carpet for us to walk on,” Carlyle said. “It was pretty cool.”

The star treatment is understandable for one of the most impressive guards in the 2023 class this summer.

Carlyle averaged 18 points, seven rebounds and three assists for The Skills Factory (Ga.) in the Nike EYBL.

Carlyle's explosiveness makes him nearly impossible to stop.

Carlyle's explosiveness makes him nearly impossible to stop.

His combination of athleticism, quickness, shiftiness and IQ make him a headache of a defensive assignment and worthy of his on-court moniker of “K-9.”

“It’s because of the way I play,” Carlyle said. “Aggressive! Just like a dog.”

That said, it’s his mentality and approach on the defensive end that sets him apart from other guards in the 2023 class. Every game, no matter who he’s playing, Carlyle’s primary goal is to hold his man under five points.

“If I don’t do that, I’m not happy,” Carlyle said. “Defense is way more fun than offense to me. Everyone can score, but not everyone is bringing that same energy and effort on the other end of the court. I love to play defense.”

What he’s not as fond of is the stress that accompanies the recruiting process, and to alleviate that part could “potentially” have a decision before the end of the year.

“We’ll see, I’m looking at maybe before the end of the year or early next year,” Carlyle said. “Either way, it’ll be when I know for sure.”