Jurick, Woolridge join Vols

Phillip Jurick and Renaldo Woolridge have signed national letters of intent to play basketball at the University of Tennessee beginning with the 2008-09 season, head coach Bruce Pearl announced Wednesday.

"One thing that I am really pleased about is that we are able to continue to bring in players that can help us compete in the Southeastern Conference," said Pearl, who is 47-19 in his third season at Tennessee. "Both Renaldo and Phillip are prospects whose best basketball is down the road."

Phillip Jurick, a 6-foot-10, 250-pound center will give the Vols an added presence in the paint next season. He averaged 16 points, 15 rebounds and nine blocks per game as a junior at East Ridge High School in Chattanooga last year. Rated as a four-star prospect by Scout.com, Jurick led the Pioneers to a 27-5 record last season.

"I believe Phillip is one of the most underrated players in the country because he has not gotten a lot of national visibility," Pearl said. "He can become a dominant big man defensively. He has a tremendous ability to block shots and rebound in traffic. Phillip could be a factor on defense right away. As his offensive skills and conditioning improve, he could really become a force in the paint."

A 6-foot-8, 205-pound wing, Renaldo Woolridge is rated a four-star prospect by Scout.com. As a junior at Harvard-Westlake High School in North Hollywood, Calif., he averaged 19.2 points and 7.9 rebounds while leading the Wolverines to a 22-6 record. Woolridge, who was a 6-1 guard as a freshman in high school, is the son of 13-year NBA veteran Orlando Woolridge.

"Renaldo has a tremendous upside and provides us with great flexibility," Pearl said. "He can play shooting guard, small forward or power forward depending on how he continues to develop physically. His ability to shoot the ball from three with great range and his length as a defender on the perimeter will be a greater asset with the three-point line moving back next season. Additionally, Renaldo comes to us from one of the finest high school programs in the country. With his brother Zach playing at Princeton and given his obvious bloodlines, he could be a terrific role model as a student-athlete here at Tennessee."


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