Hardwood Craftsman

In gaining an early commitment from Aaron Craft of Findlay, Ohio, Bruce Pearl acquired a point guard capable of directing his offense as well as enforcing his will on the hardwood and reflecting his gung-ho spirit in the arena of competition.

At a shade over six-feet tall, Craft isn't a big point guard by collegiate standards, neither is he highly ranked in the still evolving Class of 2010, but that oversight should correct itself as his junior and senior basketball seasons unfold. When you talk about Aaron Craft you're talking about a prospect who looks better every time you see him. When you project that potential it's easy to understand why Coach Pearl didn't hesitate to offer.

An excellent athlete with intangibles off the charts, Craft is a cat-quick, hard-nosed, in-your-face defender with a deft feel for the game. He turns hustle into an art form and compiled some solid stats as a sophomore at Liberty Benton High School averaging 18.3 points per game, shooting 56 percent from the field, 82 percent from the free throw-line and 37 percent of his three-point attempts. He also grabbed 3.9 rebounds per game and dished out 4.2 assists.

He followed that with another outstanding AAU season as floor general of All-Ohio Red which won the 16-and-under national championship. Craft has directed All-Ohio Red to 134-3 record. In the 2008 title tilt Craft hit the three-point field goal which put the decision on ice.

His acute decision making skills, competitive toughness, poise under pressure and ability to perform in the clutch are evident in Craft's performance as starting quarterback for Liberty-Benton where he passed for over 2,500 yards, rushed for 1,372 yards and accounted for 37 touchdowns as a sophomore. Craft shows excellent mobility escaping the rush and good touch on his passes.

"I think he'll fit into Tennessee kind of like how fits in with us," All-Ohio's Quentin Rogers told Scout.com's Dave Telep after Wednesday's announcement. "To be honest with you, I don't think we win all our guys without him. He does the little things and he competes. He's got a high IQ and he's a defensive competitor. He's efficient and he doesn't do what he can't do. He's on a team with high-major prospects and he fits in well with those guys."

Craft is the type of point guard the basketball elite follows because wherever he goes he's sure to do two things: (1) His team will win, and (2) He'll helps make his teammates better players.


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