Hot Guard Tabs UT

As a prospect that catapulted to stardom as a senior point guard Daniel West, of Saginaw, Mich., is a fitting addition to a program Bruce Pearl guided from the depths of disparity to the height of prosperity in just three years.

West took a break from the state championship chase Saginaw High is engaged with long enough to take a visit to Knoxville, where he attended Sunday's Tennessee-Kentucky game and fell in love with all things orange.

Upon his return home he notified the other contenders he was committing to Tennessee. Then he promptly went out and scored 27 points to pace Saginaw to another tournament victory and a step closer to consecutive state titles.

"It was real big," West told Dave Telep of his game day experience. "That was the center of Tennessee. With them being No. 1 that made it big. They showed me love and everyone around there was showing them love."

Big Orange fans will certainly love what the 6-foot-1, 165-pound prospect brings to the court. He projects as combo guard at the next level which dovetails with Tennessee's most pressing needs. The Vols lose guards Chris Lofton, JaJuan Smith and Jordan Howell and could use a lead guard with shooting range.

"They play my style," West told's Dave Telep. "They go up and down. They've got a nice energetic coach and they got a good team. They go fast and play hard-nosed defense."

West is the third D-I prospect Saginaw has produced since 2006, joining Draymond Green who signed with Michigan State and Larry Wright who is a sophomore at St. John's.

"For a young man to come out of nowhere in an 8 month time period to one of the top players, I believe, in the nation … with a great player in Draymond Green (on his team) he's a real floor general," Saginaw head coach Lou Dawkins told Telep. "He's a great guard.

"He loves to pass the basketball. I call him a floor general. His handles are very unique – he handles it like its on a yo-yo. He can flat play."

West, who is averaging 16 points, nine assists, seven steals and only two turnovers per game this season, is fully qualified. He also had offers from Bradley, Fairfield, Cleveland State, St. John's, SMU, Central Michigan and Western Michigan.

He is the third prospect the Vols have signed to Class of 2008 along with center Phillip Jurick and small forward Renaldo Wooldridge. Tennessee got a commitment from center Kenny Hall on Sunday for the Class of 2009.

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