Pearl 'excited' to get Childress

Basketball coach Bruce Pearl announced today that Ryan Childress has signed to play basketball at the University of Tennessee beginning with the 2005-06 season.

''I am really excited about having Ryan be my first signee at Tennessee,'' the first-year Tennessee head coach said. ''He embodies so much of what I feel a player should possess. He's physically and mentally tough and he has the physical size to complement our roster. Ryan has worked extremely hard at his game and he wanted very badly to play for us at the University of Tennessee.''

A 6-foot-8, 225-pound power forward from Archbishop Moeller High School in Cincinnati, Childress averaged 16.0 points and 8.7 rebounds per game while leading the Crusaders to a 22-4 record and the Division I state Final Four in 2004-05. Following the season he earned honorable mention all-state, second team all-district, first team Greater Catholic League of Cincinnati and was named to the Cincinnati Enquirer's Boys Basketball All-Stars Division I first team.

A three-year starter for national high school power Moeller, Childress helped the Crusaders win a state championship as a sophomore and the following season they were nationally-ranked and posted a 22-3 record before being upset in the Elite Eight of the state tournament. Childress, who models his game after Ben Wallace of the Detroit Pistons, averaged 10 points and eight rebounds while earning second team All-GCL honors as a junior.

''The coaching staff was a huge sell for me,'' Childress said. ''I love the coaches and the players there. The chance to play at the University of Tennessee with all of their tradition and in the SEC was just something that I could not pass up.''

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