Florida beats UT for Brewer

As expected, Portland High basketball standout has publicly committed to play college ball for the University of Florida. He had been leaning to the Gators for several weeks.

Brewer, a 6-foot-7, 170-pound wing player, picked Florida over Tennessee, his homestate university. He is expected to sign in November and join Billy Donovan's program in time for the 2004-05 season.

Widely regarded as the No. 1 prospect in the state and one of the top 50 prospects in America, Brewer averaged 22.3 points and 7.5 rebounds last winter in leading Portland to the TSSAA Class 2A semifinals. He has been playing this summer for the Tennessee Travelers AAU team. Interestingly, Vol coach Buzz Peterson recently hired Chuck Benson -- son of Travelers head coach Charlie Benson -- as an aide in a move he hoped would ''lock up the state's borders.''

It didn't.

Brewer picked Florida over UT because he feels the Gator offense is a better fit for him. Florida plays an uptempo style that relies heavily on perimeter scoring.

''It was a hard decision, and it was real close,'' he told The Tennessean. ''The coaching staffs and the recruiting was about even. It was what guys did I want to play with, and what style of play fit? I think Florida's style of play can help me reach my goal.''

Florida will have two Tennesseans on its roster for the 2004-05 season. Maryville's Lee Humphrey signed with the Gators last November and will enroll at Gainesville this fall. Tennessee's coaches reportedly questioned Humphrey's quickness and did not pursue him aggressively. Conversely, the Vols went after Brewer with everything they had.

It just wasn't enough.


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