KNOXVILLE — Between the campus he'd seen at least 10 times before and some familiar faces, Ian Chiles must have felt he was experiencing some sort of homecoming while visiting the University of Tennessee the past two days.
It was enough for the transferring IUPUI guard to decide where he wanted to play his final season of college basketball.
The 6-foot-1 guard, who led the Summit League's Jaguars in scoring this past season by averaging 15.8 points per game, committed to the Volunteers and signed scholarship papers with new coach Donnie Tyndall's program Tuesday.
As a fifth-year graduate transfer, Chiles, who will pursue his master's degree in a counseling program, will be eligible to play this upcoming season.
"I chose Tennessee because [of] the opportunity for me to come in and make a big impact on a team ready to make big moves in the SEC as well as around the nation," Chiles said Tuesday afternoon in a text message to the Times Free Press.
"The ties I had to Tennessee were also a major part of my decision with my sister India Chiles being the first SEC player of the year for the softball program, and they took good care of her down there that I know that I'm in good hands.
"Assistant coach Chris Shumate played with my brother at Murray [State], and I've been knowing him for at least 10 years, and I just felt comfortable with the staff as a whole."
Chiles likely will play point guard for Tennessee. The Vols are thin at the position after rising sophomore Darius Thompson was granted a release from his scholarship last week. The door isn't closed on a return for the Murfreesboro native, but he reportedly took a visit to Purdue this week.
Tennessee was able to land Chiles, a Louisville resident who visited Auburn and was slated to visit Maryland later this week, because of its ties to the player.
His older sister played softball for the Lady Vols from 2004 to 2007 and was the SEC's player of the year as a senior, and brother Adam played with Shumate under Mick Cronin, now the coach at Cincinnati.
This past season, Chiles recorded just 44 assists in 25 games while shooting 42 percent from the field and 31 percent on 3-pointers for IUPUI, which went 6-26 and won just once in conference play. He scored 20 or more points in 15 games, including 28 against Evansville and 21 at Marquette.
Against UT-Chattanooga in the Las Vegas Invitational in November, Chiles scored 15 points.
After he redshirted last season due to injury, Chiles was IUPUI's third-leading scorer (10.5) in 2011-12, and he joined the Jaguars after averaged 11.7 points at Wabash Valley College in Illinois.
Chiles is the second fifth-year transfer to commit to Tennessee. Forward Eric McKnight, from Florida Gulf Coast, pledged to the Vols on Monday. He plans to sign papers while on a visit to campus this weekend.
Contact Patrick Brown at email@example.com.
Patrick Brown has been the University of Tennessee beat writer since January 2011. A native of Memphis, Brown graduated from UT in May of 2010 with a bachelor’s degree in Journalism/Electronic Media and worked at the Knoxville News Sentinel for two years on the sports editorial staff and as a freelance contributor. If it’s the NBA, the NFL or SEC football and basketball, he’s probably reading about it or watching it on TV. Contact him ...