Keeping tabs on Tabb

A muscular point guard could be the next player to cast his lot with Tennessee basketball coach Bruce Pearl.

Josh Tabb is a 6-4, 180-pounder who attends Harmony Christian Prep School in Cincinnati. He averaged 19 points and 7.5 assists per game last season, finishing among the top 10 vote-getters for the Mr. Basketball award.

At Harmony, Tabb is playing for a team loaded with outstanding guards.

"We have two other guards here who are going to sign with high-major schools," Harmony coach Travis McAvene said by phone from his office. "Deonta Vaughn has committed to Indiana and Tyrone Appleton is down to Virginia Tech, Missouri and Washington. We feel like we've got some of the best guards in the country at the prep school level. They're definitely our strong suit."

Tennessee's interest in Tabb has increased since Bolivar's Willie Kemp picked Memphis over the Vols. UT's coaches brought Tabb in for an official visit during the Georgia football weekend.

"They're getting pretty involved with him," McAvene said. "He had a good visit with Coach Pearl. He seems to be building a good relationship with him."

With three-year starter C.J. Watson down to his final year of eligibility, point guard may be Tennessee's most pressing recruiting need. Tabb isn't your typical point guard, however. He's taller and stronger than most. He's also left-handed.

"He's got good height and a good build," McAvene said. "He's probably 180 pounds of solid muscle. He's cut and strong. He likes the weight room. Most point guards are slender and lanky but he's a strong kid who is put together very well.

"And being left-handed sets him apart from most people, makes him a little deceptive. He handles the ball very well with his right hand, too, which throws people off. He's got great speed and he's good at taking people off the dribble."

McAvene said Tabb's jump shot needs a little work, although he "shoots the 3 pretty consistent." The young man's greatest attribute may be his mind.

"What sets Josh apart from most guards is that he's so fundamentally sound," the coach said. "He's coachable, with a good attitude and a good work ethic. When you have those, good things are going to happen. There's not too much negative to say about Josh Tabb. He's a pleasure to coach."

Tabb originally committed to Southern Illinois, then decided to take a look at Tennessee and DePaul. He expects to sign with one of those three schools in November.

"We feel he could play in any major conference – Big Ten, SEC, anywhere," McAvene said. "He isn't a great athlete but he's a good athlete who's skilled. If he ends up going to Tennessee, they're going to be very happy."

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