UT vs. top NBA picks

Tennessee's basketball team faced some truly outstanding players last winter. In fact, one ranking suggests four of the top 10 prospects for the upcoming National Basketball Association Draft were Volunteer opponents during the 2005-06 season.

The ESPN.com website features a list of the top 100 prospects compiled by draft analyst Chad Ford. He tabs 6-9 LSU freshman Tyrus Thomas the No. 1 prospect in the draft. LaMarcus Aldridge, a 6-10 sophomore from Texas, is No. 2. Arkansas junior Ronnie Brewer, a 6-7 wing, is ranked No. 8. Memphis wing Rodney Carney, a 6-7 senior, is tabbed No. 10.

How did these guys fare against Tennessee? Two did exceptionally well. Two were good, not great.

Thomas played like a mad man. The freakishly talented Tiger hit 7 of 7 from the field and just missed a triple-double – finishing with 17 points, 9 rebounds and 9 blocks as LSU beat Tennessee 88-74 Jan. 14 in Baton Rouge.

Aldridge was solid but not spectacular. The lanky Longhorn hit 4 of 5 from the field and finished with 15 points, 9 rebounds and 3 blocks. Still, Tennessee won 95-78 Dec. 17 in Austin.

Brewer had a half-decent game against the Vols. He hit just 4 of 12 floor shots and finished with a mere 9 points. He added 9 assists and 5 rebounds, however, as the Razorbacks prevailed 73-69 Feb. 25 in Knoxville.

Carney was pretty spectacular against Tennessee. He drained 8 of 17 from the floor – 6 of 12 from 3-point range – and finished with 22 points and 7 rebounds as the Tigers tamed the Vols 88-79 Jan. 18 in Memphis.

To view the top-10 prospects list go to espn.com and click on the "Ford's Top 100 prospects" link. To view the entire 100 requires an "ESPN.com insider" membership.

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