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Back to the point, it is a little odd to me that some of the greatest players in UT basketball history have come from K'ville, such as Ron Widby, Bill Justus, Jimmy England, and several others. Yet almost ever since, there have been several guys from this area that have gone other places and become stars, such as Elston Turner and Tony White's sons. Then there are a whole slew of others from elsewhere in the state, and not just Memphis, who have gone on to star for other top-notch programs, many of whom never got much respect from whoever was coaching at UT at the time.
A program like ours which can't count on luring the "can't-miss" types from all over the country can't afford NOT to know who the rising stars are in their own backyard and get in on these guys EARLY before our opponents get a chance to poach them. It is almost like a reverse case of "not invented here" syndrome; out-of-state players almost HAVE to be better than our own guys. Besides, if they get good enough that other good programs want them, we can always swoop in at the last minute with an offer that they will jump on because they grew up "bleeding orange". Well, clearly that is nonsense!
We may not be able to fill up a whole nationally-competitive roster with guys from Tennessee, though on one of Jerry Green's better teams every starter was from within the state, but we can come a HECK of a lot closer doing that in basketball than we can in football. It should almost be a RULE that in-state guys should start showing up on our recruiting boards no later than their freshman years in HS. Just initiating enough contact with HS coaches around the state to KNOW who these young prospects are can set the stage for getting in early on the true "can't-miss" prospects that show up EVERY YEAR in this state. Get it done, CCM!
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