"What really separated (Tennessee) was staying in state and knowing that I have a support group," the 6-foot-11 Jurick said. "The group is there and it'll get bigger. I'm always going to see this is as my home and I didn't feel the need to away and come back."
Chattanooga East Ridge's top prospect was thinking SEC all along until Indiana entered the mix late. "Down the stretch it was really just Tennessee and Kentucky," Jurick said. "With Tubby leaving Kentucky eliminated themselves but I was thinking about Indiana and Tennessee."
Jurick, known more for his defense than offense at this stage, liked the idea of how the Volunteers would use him early and eventually transition the center to another position. "They told me I'll come in as a (center). My game is rebounding and blocking shots. I'll be like Wayne Chism who started at the five and developed his four game so I can face the basket and shoot."
A few years ago, Tennessee might not have been the same viable option it is for in-state players. Pearl and his staff have done wonders with the program since taking over and now another Top 100 prospect is on board, taking the coach's total to 6 during his tenure in Knoxville.
"What he's done with the school you can see. They've been in the NCAA Tournament. They don't have all the players yet and they're still competing. I think I can be that cornerstone guy that can help them win it all."