Vols Want Mo Miller

Bruce Pearl's staff started its search for a point guard last year in west Tennessee, but fell short after getting a late start on Bolivar's Willie Kemp.

Now that the Vols have hit their stride — with a 21-8 record, an SEC East Division title and the No. 2 seed in the NCAA Tournament — they are returning to west Tennessee and taking their best shot with the top lead guard in Memphis

. Tennessee has extended a scholarship offer to Maurice "Mo" Miller of Raleigh-Egypt High School and is aiming to leverage its newfound credibility to land the rising star, who is rated the nation's No. 15 point guard in the Class of 2007 by Scout.com.

A recent growth spurt has pushed Miller's size to 6-foot-3, 190 pounds and spending some time as a junior at the two-guard has helped to round out his game. As a sophomore, Miller averaged 14 points and 10.5 assists playing primarily at the point.

As a senior, he led the Fighting Pharaohs to a 34-2 record and the Class-3A state semifinals. He scored a team-high 23 points in a 72-60 victory over Knoxville Bearden in the state quarterfinals. The big-game performance included perfect four-of-four shooting from 3-point range as he out dueled Bearden star Tony White Jr.

Maurice Miller is also an outstanding student and solid leader. He boasts a 4.6 GPA and is a very unselfish player whose mentality matches that of the prototypical point guard. Naturally, there's no shortage of competition for his services with Memphis, UConn, Georgia Tech, Tennessee and Ole Miss among his current list of favorites. He has made an unofficial visit to Georgia Tech and is expected to visit UT later this spring.

TWO SPORT STAR

Speaking of point guards, Tennessee football signee Brent Vinson, of Phoebus High School in Hampton, Va., has said he's talked to UT's basketball staff and is interested in playing both sports at some point in his college career.

A close friend of UT basketball signee Duke Crews, who attends rival Bethel High School in Hampton, Vinson is a combo guard who excelled at the point and normally drew the toughest defensive assignment

In a recent interview with Crews high school head coach, Craig Brehon, was asked about Vinson as a basketball player and athlete.

"He played against us," Brehon said. "I'm not sure if he's SEC talent in basketball, but he's another athlete who's gifted with his body. He's 6-3 and he's another explosive kid that plays well above the basket at 6-foot-3.

"He was one of the top scorers in our District and our Region here. He averaged 20 (points) a game, and can shoot well from the perimeter. Quick first step and very explosive. Plus he's a tremendous competitor. I know he would be excellent in football. Basketball that's a different level and I'm not sure he's really ready for Tennessee there, but his confidence is such that he can play anything. He's a very gifted athlete."

Vinson is a wide receiver who is regarded as the Vols fastest signee in the Class of 2006.


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