Hoops recruiting update

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A lanky 2014 power forward is moving onto Tennessee's radar and a 2015 commitment is wavering in the latest edition of "As The Recruiting World Turns."

Matt Cimino is the former; Camron Justice is the latter.

Cimino is a 6-foot-10, 215-pounder from Worcester (Mass.) Academy whose game resembles that of former Florida Gator star and current Houston Rockets forward Chandler Parsons. Despite his length, Cimino does a lot of his best work away from the basket.

"We've asked him to play a lot of 5 (center) but that's not his natural position," Worcester Academy assistant Dan Sullivan told InsideTennessee. "He's more of a stretch 4 (power forward). His potential is through the roof."

That's because Cimino can do a little bit of everything. Sullivan says the player's jumper is accurate "a couple of steps out from 3," and that Cimino is shooting 40 percent from beyond the arc on roughly 50 attempts this season.

"He can shoot from 3 and he's a real good foul shooter," the coach said. "He has really good post moves, especially up and under. He has a very good jump hook over his left shoulder. He can play face-up and back-to-the-basket in the post. He's also a very good rebounder. His versatility sets him apart from most big guys."

Although he generally battles the opposing center, Cimino reportedly moves well enough to guard power forwards.

"His defense is good," Sullivan said. "He goes up against physical players. He's probably better suited to guard 4s than 5s but he's very active, gets up off the floor well and is a very solid defender."

Like Tennessee's Jarnell Stokes, Cimino runs well for his size and is capable of fitting nicely in a transition offense.

"Definitely," Sullivan said. "We try to drill it into him: If you can beat that ‘big' down the floor, go.'"

Although Scout lists Cimino as a three-star prospect and the No. 20 center in the Class of 2014, his coach thinks forward will be a much better fit at the college level.

"He's not 6-10 and 250; he's probably never going to be 250," Sullivan said. "He's smoother and quicker than most of the guys he's facing."

The coach said Cimino is averaging 15.5 points and 7.5 rebounds per game this season, shooting 48 percent from the field and 78 percent from the foul line.

In addition to his physical attributes, Cimino apparently has a good head for the game.

"He's a very good decision-maker," Sullivan said. "His assist/turnover ratio is second best on the team. His success is more about decision-making than taking the ball one-on-one. He's very good at kicking the ball out (to perimeter shooters). Much of our offense is him having the ball in his hands, then finding open cutters."

The coach said Cimino has scholarship offers from Tulsa and George Washington but the coaching staff is getting "a lot of calls recently" from Tennessee, Cal, Stanford, Indiana, Florida, Virginia Tech, South Carolina, Virginia and Wake Forest.

Although Cimino projects to be one of the hotter prospects when the spring signing period arrives in April, he hasn't firmed up a visit schedule at this time.

"He's not that far along yet," Sullivan said. "He'll wait till after the season to take visits."

Can a Southern school such as Tennessee lure a prospect from New England? Maybe.

"He's open to anything," Sullivan said. "He's originally from Maine, so going away from home – South, Midwest or whatever – is not a big deal for him."

Meanwhile, the decommitment of Camron Justice – announced via his Twitter page – does not mean he won't wind up signing with the Vols come November. He just decided to re-open his recruitment before putting his name on a letter of intent.

"Tennessee's still in the picture," said B.B. King, Justice's head coach at Knott County Central High in Hindman, Ky. "I just think he wants to look at some other schools, make sure that's really the best fit for him."

Tennessee was among the first schools to pursue Justice, a 6-foot-3 sharpshooter known for his dynamic range. He wore orange shoes in some AAU events last summer and has been considered a Tennessee "lean" for quite some time. He committed during a visit to UT on Oct. 19.

The obvious question: Has another school turned his head?

"I don't think it's Kentucky or anything," King said. "He just said he wasn't sleeping well and didn't know if he'd made the right decision or not. Vanderbilt, Butler and Western Kentucky are recruiting him. West Virginia has come into the picture. Virginia, too."

Justice, who has started for Knott County Central since his freshman year, hung 62 points on Cincinnati Bacon as a sophomore. Midway through his junior season he is averaging 23.7 points per game, shooting 60.2 percent from the field, 47.3 percent from 3-point range (44 of 93) and 87.3 percent from the foul line. He scored 22 points Saturday night in a three-point loss to Pleasure Ridge Park of Louisville, ranked No. 2 in the state.


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