Assuming no other scholarships become available, the Vols will spend their remaining two scholarships on a pair of prospects that can play power forward, center or both.
However, Pearl's staff is still evaluating point guards to determine if there are prospects that might give UT options in event any current signees fail to gain admission. Also the Vols have a scholarship committed to 6-7 forward Cameron Tatum, who will attend prep school this fall to raise his grade point average. According to sources within the Scout.com network, the Vols have broken off pursuit of Memphis guard Maurice Miller, but maintain an interest in Atlanta floor general Trevor Gaston.
Tennessee has aimed high, going against perennial hardwood powers for the best post prospects in the Class of 2007. During the month of August we have featured some of the primary post prospects on UT's basketball board. To update Tennessee's situation: Josh Southern of Saginaw, Mich., does not appear to be in the Vols plans now. Ditto for D.C. forward Julian Vaughn.
Still UT continues to aggressively pursue forward Patrick Patterson and will host forward prospects J.J. Hickson and Matt Carswell for the Florida football game on Sept. 16. San Antonio forward Terrence Jennings is also considering an official visit to Knoxville. Meanwhile Winterhaven, Fla., standout Chandler Parson is still slated to visit UT the first weekend of September.
One of the more intriguing prospects to emerge as a player of interest for the Vols is Cincinnati big man Brian Williams, who checks in at a robust 6-foot-10, 320 pounds. He is also considering Pittsburgh, DePaul and Cincinnati. While Williams doesn't have the transition skills that are ideal for Pearl's up-tempo system, he does offer a defensive presence in the paint that would allow the Vols to pressure the ball and overplay passing lanes.
Another prospect to watch is 6-foot-8, 225-pound power forward Tracy Smith of Mt. Zion Christian Academy in Durham, N.C. After losing 50 pounds in the last year Smith has seen his stock soar and was considered one of the top players at the ABCD Camp this summer where he averaged 12.6 points and five rebounds per game to earn top 10 status at the camp, according to Scout.com. Smith scored 22 points and pulled down eight rebounds in the ABCD Camp All-Star Game to earn MVP honors.
"I did good against Kevin Love up at ABCD," Smith told James Henderson Pack Pride. "I played pretty good defense on him, and at that camp I think I showed what all I could do. My best game all year was probably the ABCD All-Star game. That's about the best time to have your best game, and I did that."
Scout.com National Recruiting Director Dave Telep offered the following evaluation of Smith after monitoring his progress through the summer.
"He's lost over 50 pounds and man he looks good. He's gone from high-major recruit because of his size and reputation to a guy the high-majors want to play an integral part on their team. While his waistline shrunk his game expanded and now he's a threat to face or post up with equal success.
"Tracy Smith had one of the most productive summers of any big in the South," Telep added. "It began at Reebok and then in Vegas with the Georgia Hurricanes he was outstanding. The single biggest reason for the spike in his play was that he committed himself to conditioning, shed the weight and his game expanded exponentially. It's a real credit to his commitment to the game. He'll rank in our Top 100 the next time around."
Smith has become more mobile and has demonstrated the ability to beat defenders off the dribble. His perimeter skills are advanced for a player at his position and his up side has college coaches and scouts drooling.