Tyler Smith eligible for '07

The University of Tennessee basketball outlook just keeps getting brighter and brighter. The NCAA has granted a waiver to University of Iowa transfer Tyler Smith, making him eligible for the upcoming 2007-08 season.

Transfers normally must sit out a year, as was the case with the Vols' J.P. Prince, who transferred to UT from Arizona in January of 2007 and will not be eligible to represent the Big Orange until January of 2008. NCAA officials occasionally grant waivers, however, that override the one-year sit-out rule. They approved such a waiver for Tyler Smith, so he can be closer to his father, Billy, who is battling cancer in Murfreesboro.

"This is really good news for Tyler, his family and the Tennessee basketball program," head coach Bruce Pearl said in a university release. "I am pleased to see the process work and I believed all along that granting the waiver was the right decision. I am looking forward to Tyler contributing to the team next year and I'm pleased that his Dad will have an opportunity to watch him play in a Tennessee uniform."

Following a heralded prep career at Giles County High School in Pulaski, Smith signed with UT in November of 2004. A convoluted series of events led him to spend a year at Hargrave Military Academy and another year at the University of Iowa,

"I'm appreciative of the University for working with the NCAA and their support during this process," Smith said. "I'm anxious to play and contribute as a member of next year's team."

Smith, who was considered an elite prospect coming out of high school, will have three years of eligibility at Tennessee. His arrival adds even more pop to a roster that returns eight of the top nine players from 2006-07, plus Prince and incoming freshmen Brian Williams and Cameron Tatum.

Smith was a third-team All-Big Ten selection as a true freshman last season, averaging 14.9 points and 4.9 rebounds per game. The 6-foot-7, 220-pounder can play power forward or small forward, giving Pearl even more versatility.

Here's how the Vol roster shapes up for 2007-08:

POST: Wayne Chism (6-9), Duke Crews (6-7), Brian Williams (6-10)

POWER FORWARD: Tyler Smith (6-7), Ryan Childress (6-9), Chism

SMALL FORWARD: JaJuan Smith (6-2), J.P. Prince (6-8), Cameron Tatum (6-6)

SHOOTING GUARD: Chris Lofton (6-2), Josh Tabb (6-4), Jordan Howell (6-2)

POINT GUARD: Ramar Smith (6-2), Lofton, Howell, Prince


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