Vols Pick Up Tabb

Tennessee head basketball coach Bruce Pearl reached into the Buckeye State and pull out a true gem today in swing guard prospect Josh Tabb, 6-4, 180, of Cincinnati Harmony Christian High School.

The three-star prospect selected the Vols over Iowa and Southern Illinois, and is expected to ink his scholarship papers during the early signing period that begins on Nov. 22. He'll bring a solid overall game, versatility and a can-do attitude to the program.

"He's just one of those kids that's a gym rat," Harmony coach Travis McAvene told Scout.com's Dave Telep. "He loves to play basketball and is coachable. He wants to get better and his attitude is priceless. He always carries himself well."

Tabb overcame a broken wrist to average 19 points and 7.5 assists per game as a junior, and scored 31 in a 90-88 victory over Meridian High School.

"He's got good height and a good build," McAvene said in a story written last month by IT's Randy Moore. "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."

Tabb could provide immediate help at the point next fall, a position that will be left vacant by of C.J. Watson who is entering his senior season at Tennessee. He has some work to do on his jump shot but he's an excellent fit for Pearl's uptempo, pressing system that demands athleticism and tenacity.

"What sets Josh apart from most guards is that he's so fundamentally sound," McAvene told Moore. "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."

Telep offered the following short appraisal of Tabb's overall game: "Tabb is a top shelf wing athlete capable of flying in for cloud piercing jams. He has deep - albeit very streaky -range and is a creative And1 type ball handler."

Tabb joins power forwards Duke Crews and Wayne Chism and combo guard Marques Johnson as UT commitments in what projects as a top ten national recruiting class. Tennessee's Class of 2006 currently lacks a true point guard, but Johnson is expected to vie for playing time with Tabb at lead guard.

Tennessee has also expressed interest in Tabb's teammate Phil Jones, a 6-foot-11, 240-pound pivot, who is rated a three-star prospect by Scout. Jones has been offered by Georgetown, St. John's, Connecticut, Georgia and UCLA. Jones currently favors Georgetown, St. John's and Tennessee, although the Vols have yet to offer.

Originally from Brooklyn, N.Y., Jones played last season at Lutheran Christian Academy in Philadelphia before deciding to transfer to Harmony Christian. He had an impressive showing at July's ABCD Camp.

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