Family ties

One of the state's top basketball prospects for the 2013 signing class would be observing a family tradition by signing with the University of Tennessee.

Demetrius Dyson, a 6-5, 180-pound wing from Brighton High in Covington, is related to a pair of former Vols. He's a first cousin of ex-UT basketball star Ron Slay and a cousin of ex-UT football player Ramon Foster. Slay led all SEC scorers in 2003, earning recognition as the league's Player of the Year and a third-team All-American that season. Foster started at right offensive tackle in 2007 and 2008.

Dyson paid an unofficial visit to the Tennessee campus for the LSU football weekend, and came away most impressed.

"It was great. I loved it," he told InsideTennessee by phone. "I like the campus and environment, the big fan base. I loved the football game and everyone I met. The best part was just enjoying the fans and being in a great sports atmosphere."

Dyson thinks highly of Vol head basketball coach Cuonzo Martin, especially his approach to practice.

"I loved the way he pushed the guys to work hard," Dyson said. "I want a coach to be on me and push hard every second of practice. He's very tough and he gets his points across. He doesn't just put 'em out there and let 'em play. He is so organized. After practice he had the players come out and introduce themselves. Some places I've been the players don't say anything, and you don't know who they are. And the staff has a winning attitude."

Asked how the tour of UT's campus affected his opinion of Vol basketball, Dyson replied: "My opinion of Tennessee basketball has always been great."

The prospect said he averaged around 20 points, 8 rebounds and 6 assists per game as a sophomore last season, adding that he getting recruiting interest from 35 schools, including Memphis, UConn, Louisville and Marquette.

Brighton High head coach Darryle Rogers said Dyson reminds him of former University of Memphis standout Rodney Carney due to "the athletic ability and the shooting range."

Asked what sets Dyson apart from most prospects, his high school coach replied: "His attitude. He's a very respectful young man, very mannerly and a good, quality student-athlete."

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