Jarvis Hill Headed To The Hill

If head basketball coach Buzz Peterson can do as solid a job recruiting the state of Tennessee as he's done recruiting other SEC states, the Vols could be back in a big way by 2005.

On Sunday, Tennessee added Starkville combo guard Jarvis Hill to its Class of 2005. The commitment comes a mere two weeks after Alabama power forward Joey Cameron pledged his intent to sign with the Vols. It also follows UT's late addition to the Class of 2004 of Mason County, Ky., shooting guard Chris Lofton.

Hill, 6-foot-2, 190 pounds, informed Peterson of his decision over the weekend after making his second trip to Knoxville. He made an unofficial visit to Tennessee after participating in the Smoky Mountain Shootout last month. He was also considering Mississippi State and Ole Miss, both of which had offered, as well as North Carolina State, Florida and Oklahoma, which hadn't yet offered but were interested.

Rated a four-star prospect by The Insiders, Hill averaged 23 points and six assists per game for Starkville High School as a junior. His stock took a sharp upturn after he garnered all-tournament honors at the Bob Gibbons' Tournament of Champions in North Carolina.

However, Hill was a prospect Vol coaches had identified early in the year as one of their primary backcourt targets for 2005, and they were effective in establishing an early relationship with the Starkville star. Of course, he can't sign with Tennessee until November and he can expect plenty of pressure to remain in his hometown to play his college basketball.

Hill indicates he's aware of the pull that will take place, but insists he's firm in his decision to become a Vol and help rebuild the basketball program's prominence.

"I took an unofficial visit to Tennessee after the Smoky Mountain Shootout," Hill told The Insiders of that trip. "I loved it, but I still want to wait a little bit and weigh my options.

"Tennessee is probably my main out-of-state choice right now. I like their offensive style and they like to pour in the points. But I am going to look at all my options for college and take the long process of deciding a school."

It didn't take Hill long to decide Tennessee was the place he wanted to play. Now he's concentrating on improving his overall game in order to make an early contribution at the next level.

"I still have to get stronger and more aggressive on the floor," he said. "I feel comfortable playing the one or two guard but I have to improve my game every day."

Peterson can now turn his full attention to the Volunteer State where top 25 national prospects Tyler Smith, of Giles County, and Jamont Gordon of Nashville Glencliff are the top prizes and the keys to signing a stellar recruiting class.

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