Buzz chasing elite prospects

Three of the top 10 prospects in all of high school basketball are considering playing college hoops at the University of Tennessee. So says Mike Sullivan, writing for The Sporting News.

Sullivan recently compiled a list of the nation's top 10 rising high school seniors, and noted that three of them are considering UT.

The three are Brian Butch, a 7-footer from Appleton High School of Madison, Wisconsin; Charlie Villanueva, a 6-foot-9 power forward from Blair, N.J.; and Trevor Ariza, a 6-foot-8 power forward from Los Angeles.

Sullivan says Butch needs only to add some strength to become an NBA-caliber performer. The 7-footer reportedly is considering Arizona, Iowa, Kansas, Marquette, North Carolina, Stanford, UT and Wisconsin.

Sullivan says Villanueva has NBA skills but ''could use a year or two in college to make sure he's a top-10 draft pick.'' Sullivan lists Villanueva's college options, in order, as Tennessee, St. John's, Villanova, Syracuse, Seton Hall, Illinois, Maryland, Kentucky and Hofstra.

Ariza, according to Sullivan, ''will stop at Indiana, Maryland, North Carolina, USC, Louisville, Florida, UCLA, Kansas, Missouri, Texas, Tennessee or Kentucky on the way to the pros.''

Another of Sullivan's top 10 prospects, 6-foot-10 Ndudi Ebi, played at the same high school (Westbury Christian of Houston, Texas) as current Vol Andy Ikeakor. Tennessee is considered to be a longshot for Ebi's services, however. Sullivan lists Duke, North Carolina, Texas, Arizona, Houston or Louisville as the more likely destinations.

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