Dane likes frosh

Tennessee basketball coach Bruce Pearl's ballyhooed freshman class hasn't taken part in an official practice yet. Still, one Vol has seen enough in pickup games to know that Wayne Chism, Duke Crews, Ramar Smith, Marques Johnson and Josh Tabb are going to provide a significant infusion of speed and talent.

"They all look good," senior forward Dane Bradshaw said this week. "They're coming along as expected. It's only a matter of time. Once Coach can work with them, they'll come along even further."

The most heralded of the newcomers is 6-7 forward Duke Crews. He should start from Day 1.

"Duke is obviously an amazing athlete," Bradshaw said. "It's just a matter of time before his skill work and athleticism combine into some great things."

Chism, a 6-9, 240-pounder, was projected to play power forward until Major Wingate was dismissed from the team a few weeks ago. Now Chism projects to be the starting center.

"Wayne is one of the best prospects I've seen since I've been here, and I expect him to do some very big things," Bradshaw said. "His development so early is impressive. He's like an Elton Brand, I'd say. I think he's ready to carry the load as our big man."

Smith is a mercurial 6-2 combo guard who projects to succeed four-year starter C.J. Watson as the No. 1 point guard.

"Ramar hasn't been here that long but I haven't seen too many flaws in his game thus far," Bradshaw said. "He can shoot, pass, dribble. One of the most impressive things people will notice is the way he can speed down the court, advancing the ball just off his dribbling alone. And his change of direction is huge."

Johnson, a 6-6 swing man, can play anywhere on the perimeter. He'll probably split time among the point, off guard and small forward.

"Marques Johnson is the kind of pass-first, unselfish type of guy that every team needs," Bradshaw said. "He'll pass first but he's willing to take the big shots. We've seen that in pickup games. He likes to have the ball in his hands and he makes some great decisions."

Tabb, though the least heralded of UT's newcomers, is a 6-4 combo guard who plays with tremendous hustle and determination

"Josh has been kind of overshadowed by the other recruits but by no means does that leave him out of the mix," Bradshaw said. "I think he'll be very valuable to us. He does a lot of great things on the court."

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