Buzz gets talented transfer

Tennessee's basketball team just got some much-needed scoring punch.

Jordan Howell, a 6-foot-4 combo guard who is deadly from 3-point range, has decided to attend UT. He reportedly sank at least 45 percent of his treys each of the past two seasons at Bob Jones High near Huntsville, Ala. He will be eligible immediately.

Primarily a point guard in high school, Howell is expected to supply depth at that position behind starter C.J. Watson in 2003-04. His greatest contribution, however, could be as a perimeter scorer from the off-guard spot. Tennessee's top two 3-point shooters of 2002-03 -- Jon Higgins (41.1 percent) and Thaydeus Holden (40.3 percent) -- are out of eligibility. Returning guards John Winchester (7 of 30, 23.3 percent) and Stanley Asumnu (5 of 25, 20.0 percent) struggled mightily from the outside as freshmen last season.

Howell originally signed with Georgia but was granted a release when head coach Jim Harrick resigned amid charges of NCAA violations in his program. Howell then secured a waiver from the SEC allowing him to change schools within the league without having to sit out a transfer period and without having to forgo financial assistance.

Howell reportedly notified UT head coach Buzz Peterson on Tuesday that he will be signing with Tennessee. The Vols have a scholarship available because sophomore forward Derek Stribling recently elected to transfer.

Howell also considered Alabama, Auburn and Vanderbilt of the SEC, plus Texas of the Big 12. Already qualified academically, he will join two November signees -- post prospect Major Wingate of North Gwinnett (Ga.) High and combo guard Dane Bradshaw of White Station High -- in Tennessee's 2003 signing class.

The signing of Howell will leave the Vols still just two scholarships for the 2004 class. One of these reportedly is being held for Portland High's Corey Brewer, a 6-7 wing who projects to be one of the top prospects in America.

Inside Tennessee's Jeffery Stewart is compiling an in-depth story on Howell, with quotes, that will be posted on this site later on.

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