Rick Barnes said Monday that star point guard and rising sophomore Zakai Zeigler doesn’t want to start for the Vols this season.

The 5-foot-9 guard may be short in stature, but he’s one of the most talented guards in the SEC. Zeigler also showed restraint against starting last year, saying he enjoyed his role off the bench with Kennedy Chandler running the show.

So even though he’s the only experienced point guard on the roster, Zeigler’s intentions shouldn’t exactly be surprising to anyone that has followed this team.

“To be quite frank, Zakai doesn’t want to start,” Barnes said Monday at his annual golf tournament, via 247Sports. “He feels like he can impact the game coming off (the bench), which I think has been good for our team.”

If Barnes allows Zeigler to sit on the bench to start the season there may be alternatives that can play to his strengths. Santiago Vescovi plays more of a shooting guard role for the Vols, thriving off the ball. But with Indiana State transfer Tyreke Key coming in, it would make sense for him to move back to his original position at the 1.

Freshman BJ Edwards is a true point guard, but wildly unrefined. The 4-star freshman out of Knoxville is thought to be an offensive-heavy player, but will have to lock in on defense to earn playing time under Barnes.

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