BASKETBALL: Pearl chases top guard

New Tennessee basketball coach Bruce Pearl continues to get his foot in the door on some top-notch prospects.

The latest is Ramar Smith, a 6-3, 185-pounder rated the country's No. 6 shooting guard by ScoutHoops.com. As a sophomore, he was tabbed the top wing player at the 2003 Hoop Jamboree.

While attending the prestigious Nike All-American Camp in Indianapolis this week, Smith revealed his top six college options -- Arkansas, Illinois, Connecticut, Arizona, Tennessee and Miami (Fla.)

''I like Tennessee,'' he told Steve Helwagen of Bucknuts.com. ''I have some family down there.''

Smith said he likes Arizona because ''They let the guards play,'' and is interested in Miami because the Hurricanes are ''starting to get some good players there.''

He has no timetable for announcing a commitment. He hasn't even made an official visit yet. He wants to keep the recruiting process on a slow pace.

''I'm not rushing it,'' he said.

Although Smith hasn't decided on a college for 2006, he has decided on a new high school for 2005. He is transferring from Detroit¹s Martin Luther King Jr. High School to Philadelphia American Christian.

''I¹m not going back to my regular high school,'' Smith told Helwagen. ''I¹m going to American Christian in Philly. I¹m looking forward to that and getting to play with (top sophomore point guard) Tyreke Evans.''


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