Crews joins the fold

Tennessee basketball coach Bruce Pearl announced today that Duke Crews has signed a national letter of intent to play basketball at the University of Tennessee beginning with the 2006-07 season.

"After watching the first day at the Nike All-America Camp this summer, I told (associate head coach) Tony Jones that Duke Crews was the one player here I wanted more than anyone else," Pearl said. "He was the most competitive, physically tough and athletic guy I saw. When he came out of the camp rated in the top five, I told Tony that I didn't know if we could do this. We called Duke and he told us that he wanted to go someplace that he could make a difference. He has already done that. He has taken what was going to be a very good recruiting class and made it a great one."

One of the highest-rated players to sign with the Vols in recent years, Crews is a 6-foot-7 forward from Hampton, Va. Rated the No. 14 player in the nation, he is considered a five-star prospect. As a junior he averaged 16 points per game while leading Bethel High School to a 22-4 record last year. Last summer Crews was rated as the No. 2 player at the 2005 Nike Camp in Indianapolis.

Crews is the fourth early signee for the Vols. Wayne Chism, a 6-9 forward from Bolivar, Tenn.; Marques Johnson, a 6-5 guard from Fort Wayne, Ind.; and Josh Tabb, a 6-4 guard from Carbondale, Ill., have also signed national letters of intent to play for Tennessee.

As a group, this class has been rated among the top 10 classes in the nation.



Forward, 6-7, 235, Hampton, Va. (Bethel HS)

RANKINGS: five-star prospect, No. 10 small forward in the nation and the country's No. 28 overall player ... Rated as the No. 2 player at the 2005 Nike Camp in Indianapolis ... four-star prospect, No. 10 power forward and the No. 36 overall prospect ... No. 14 player in the country by ... Rated as the No. 10 best player and the No. 3 combo-forward at the NBA Camp in Virginia ... Rated the No. 28 player nationally by

STATS: Led Bethel to a 22-4 record while averaging 16 points per game as a junior ... Led the Bruins to the 2005 Eastern Region quarterfinals ... Attends the same high school as NBA star Allen Iverson ... Coached by Craig Brehon.

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