Barton confirmed to The Associated Press on Sunday that he had chosen Tennessee, where the guard says he thinks the Volunteers have all the pieces in place for him to play immediately on a team that can win.
"I'm so excited," Barton said. "I'm just ready to get started as quick as possible."
Barton's older brother, Will of the NBA's Portland Trail Blazers, tweeted earlier Sunday that his brother had decided to transfer to Tennessee. University officials could not comment because a signed letter of intent had not been received as of Sunday afternoon.
But Barton told the AP that he sees plenty of opportunity for playing time at UT, which he did not get in Memphis as a junior in a crowded backcourt. Barton announced in April he intended to transfer after graduation. He started 31 games his first two seasons, but the 6-foot-2 guard averaged 5.6 points and 1.3 rebounds coming off the bench this past season. He missed most of the final two months because of a hairline fracture in his right foot.
Barton fills a big need for Tennessee, which had a very thin backcourt after Trae Golden left the Vols earlier this month. Golden was UT's third-leading scorer with 12.1 points per game and ranked third in the Southeastern Conference with 3.9 assists per game this past season while helping Tennessee finish 20-13 and reach a second straight NIT.
Golden's departure had left the Vols with their only experienced point guard a walk-on in Brandon Lopez, who played in 17 games this past season. They also have incoming freshman Darius Thompson.
Barton will join a Tennessee roster that features four players who made at least 16 starts last season, including Jordan McRae and second-team All-SEC forward Jarnell Stokes. The Vols also welcome back Jeronne Maymon, a former second-team all-conference forward who sat out the entire 2012-13 season with a knee injury.
Tennessee had room to add another point guard because the Vols revealed three days before Golden's departure was announced that freshman guard Travon Landry had been released from his letter of intent. That left the Vols with 12 scholarship players, one below the NCAA limit.