Actions speak for McRae

Jordan McRae had nothing to say following his debut in the Rocky Top Summer Basketball League but that was OK. His performance said plenty ... and so did his Tennessee teammates.

McRae, a Hinesville (Ga.) product rated America's No. 9 shooting-guard prospect by Scout last winter, certainly came out shooting Tuesday night at Knoxville's Bearden High gym. The 6-5, 185-pound Vol signee hit 12 of 29 floor shots en route to a team-high 27 points in leading DeRoyal to a 115-104 defeat of Richardson Construction.

Jordan McRae was mediocre from behind the 3-point line and awful (1 of 6) from the foul line but he showed tremendous quickness and explosive leaping ability when taking the ball to the rim. He exhibited the same traits in blocking layup attempts by former Vols Damon Johnson and C.J. Watson (now with the Golden State Warriors) on back-to-back possessions.

Afterward, citing the fact he has yet to complete UT's new "media-orientation program," he apologetically declined to discuss his performance. Fortunately, his fellow Vols were happy to fill in the blanks.

"That boy can play," said Vol junior Renaldo Woolridge, who played for the opposing Richardson team Tuesday night. "Ever since we started playing pickup games, he showed a confident mentality.

"Me and Scotty (Hopson) kind of took him under our wing - like our little brother - and we're trying to work with him and teach him right. We want him to be the best he can be, and I know he's going to show it."

The fans at Bearden High were amazed by the hops McRae exhibited on several spectacular dunks and shot blocks.

"He's explosive," Woolridge said. "You saw some crazy blocks. He's long, he's quick and he can jump. I don't know whether to call him a guard or a forward but he's long and explosive, and that's going to help us a lot."

Melvin Goins, Tennessee's senior point guard and a summer league teammate of McRae's, also gave the rookie high marks.

"Jordan is nice," Goins said. "He's real athletic. He shoots the 3-ball well. He's young and he's got some things to learn but I think he's going to be a great player for Tennessee."

DeRoyal's Brian Williams, a senior center for the Vols, used almost the same words in describing McRae.

"Jordan's good," Williams said. "We already knew what he could do offensively. We just need to help him defensively, and he can be a great player.

"He's athletic, on offense and defense. He came up with some nice blocks, he's a great shooter, and the way he can dunk the ball is incredible."

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