Crews out till January

Rocky Top's top basketball signee is off to a rocky start.

Duke Crews, 6-6, 225-pound power forward for Bethel High School of Hampton, Va., reportedly will be sidelined until mid-January after undergoing surgery to repair a broken thumb.

Crews, who signed with new Tennessee coach Bruce Pearl in November, sustained the injury in a preseason practice, according to The Hampton (Va.) Daily News.

Crews is the Vols' most celebrated hoops signee since Vincent Yarbrough came on board in the late 1990s. Yarbrough was ranked No. 1 nationally heading into his senior year at Cleveland (TN) High School.

Crews averaged 16 points per game as a junior but didn't become a household name until he starred at the Nike Camp in Indianapolis last summer. He was rated the No. 2 prospect at the camp.

He also gets high marks from ScoutHoops.com, which ranks him the country's No. 10 power forward and from HoopScooponline.com, which rates him the No. 14 prospect in the country, regardless of position.

Crews was rated the 10th best player – third-best combo forward – in the NBA Camp at Virginia earlier this year.

Crews is the centerpiece of a November signing class that also includes 6-8 Wayne Chism, 6-5 Marques Johnson and 6-4 Josh Tabb. They comprise a Vol haul generally ranked among the top 10 signing classes in college hoops.


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