Size to Spare

Tennessee basketball coach Bruce Pearl's search for a big man took a giant step forward over the weekend with word that Brian Williams, a super sized space-eater out of Brooklyn, N.Y., will sign with the Vols on Wednesday.

Williams is currently listed at 6-foot-9, 300 pounds, but his weight was in the 360-pound range before he took undertook a conditioning and nutrition program a year ago that was designed to get him ready for the rigors of the D-I game. Plans call for Williams, who is known as "Big Baby", to lose another 30 pounds by the time he enrolls at UT.

He played at Christopher Columbus High School in the Bronx, before taking his developing frame and game to Harmony Community Prep School in Cincinnati this fall. Over the summer he played for the Long Island Lightning and had a good showing at the Big-Time Tournament in Las Vegas. He also made a couple of all-star teams in summer league play.

Scout.com basketball analyst Mike Sullivan caught Williams at a tournament last summer and filed the following report: "Williams has some skills that division one schools find intriguing. He has soft hands and is a solid passer from the high or low area of the court. Williams has always impressed us here at Scout.com's High School New York/New Jersey website due to his ability to hammer people inside with his offensive skills. As he trims down and transforms some of the weight into more muscle, Brian could be a very capable player at a division one program."

UT's coaching staff hopes that Williams addition to the front line will allow Wayne Chism and Duke Crews to move to their natural positions of power forward and small forward, respectively. The dismissal of senior center Major Wingate during the offseason forced them into their current roles for the Vols.

St. John's, Rutgers, Rhode Island, Pittsburgh, Akron, Cincinnati, Seton Hall, and Massachusetts are some of the other Division I programs besides Tennessee to recruit Williams.

He decided to accept Tennessee's offer after a visit to campus, which included conversations with former Harmony standout Josh Tabb, who is now a freshman guard at UT.

Also expected to ink with the Vols on the first day of the early signing period is 6-foot-5 swing man Cameron Tatum, who is presently enrolled at the Patterson School in Lenoir, N.C.

The Vols have three scholarships to award, but will wait until the spring signing period to fill the last roster opening.


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