JC Point Has UT's Interest

In their search for quality depth and an experienced point guard that can break down a defense on the dribble, the eyes of the Vols are upon Texas.

Midland Junior College sophomore guard Tim Crowell, 6-1, 170, has emerged as a prospect of some interest to Tennessee. After playing his high school basketball in Albuquerque, N.M., Crowell started two seasons for the Chaparrals, leading them to a 24-7 mark as a freshman and to a 27-6 record this year.

Crowell was named to the Western Junior College Athletic Association All-Conference squad as a sophomore after averaging 12 points, eight assists, 4.5 rebounds and two steals per contest. He hit an average of 83 percent from the foul line and 31 percent from 3-point range. The Chaps scored an average of 84.5 points per highlighted by a 110 and 119-point outputs.

Crowell's numbers as a freshman were near the same levels as he averaged 7.2 points, 4.0 rebounds and seven assists per game. He averaged 31.7 minutes per game and finished his rookie campaign with 175 assists vs. 91 turnovers. He had 54 steals, hit .358 percent of his 3-point attempts and connected on 79 percent of his charity tosses.

Four of Midland's six losses this season came against No. 1 rated Howard Junior College (32-1). However Crowell played his best against the toughest foe. In a regular season meeting against Howard, he led Midland with 19 points including scoring 12 of its 21 second half points. When the No. 11 rated Chaps ‘season came to a close in an 81-71 setback to Howard in the NJCAA Region 5 title game, Crowell scored a team high 18 points.

In a 72-61 regular season setback to South Plains College, Crowell played all 40 minutes, scoring 14 points, dishing out eight assists, pulling down six rebounds and grabbing a pair of steals. In that game he hit 2 of 3 from beyond the arc and 4 of 5 from the foul line.

At a recent team banquet Crowell won the Fighting Chaps Award given to the player judged to be the most competitive.

While Crowell isn't considered to be a big-time scorer, he is capable of running an offense and is particularly effective in the half court game. His level of experience as a point guard could be a benefit to Tennessee since the Vols don't currently have such a player on the roster or among the early signees, although 6-foot-6, 210-pound Marques Johnson remains a favorite to eventually win the role vacated by C.J. Watson. A player like Crowell could take some pressure off the freshman while giving Tennessee head coach Bruce Pearl some added flexibility.

The Vols also continue to court highly regarded shooting guard Ramar Smith of Detroit. Smith is scheduled to visit Knoxville during Spring Game weekend. He is expected to choose between Arkansas and Tennessee, after withdrawing an earlier commitment he made to UConn.

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