Melvin Goins said he has signed his paperwork to join the Tennessee men’s basketball team and is on course to report for the first term of summer school in June.
“I’m ready to get there and get acclimated to the school and my teammates,’’ said Goins, a 5-foot-11, 195-point guard from Mount San Jacinto Junior College in California. “I want to get into the Tennessee practices and workouts.’’
Goins started at Ball State two seasons ago and made the Mid-American Conference All-Freshman team before transferring to Mt. San Jacinto.
“There were a lot of losses (at Ball State), and I don’t like losing, and I didn’t see the program turning around,’’ Goins said. “It was a tough decision, but I did what I had to do.’’
The 21-year-old Goins earned Foothill Conference Player of the Year honors last season, averaging 17.4 points, five assists and two steals per game.
“I’ve been getting a lot of congratulations and well wishes since I announced I was coming to Tennessee,’’ said Goins, who will play in the Pilot Rocky Top League this summer. “Everyone is happy I’ve landed in a situation like this, and they say the way I play will fit Coach (Bruce) Pearl’s style.’’
Goins said he looks forward to healthy competition at point guard with incumbent Bobby Maze, who was a junior college All-American before transferring to UT last summer.
A former running back, Goins said he also looks forward to football Saturdays at Neyland Stadium.
“My first sport was football, and I’ve heard it’s a big-time environment,’’ Goins said. “I want to go to all the games and be a part of that, too.’’
Goins said his days as a tailback helped prepare him for some of his point guard duties.
“When you’re in the backfield, you see the hole and you have to hit it quick,’’ Goins said. “You’ve got to accelerate. When I see an advantage on my man, or I get him off balance, I still have that acceleration to get past him and get into the lane.’’
Goins is a San Diego native but he played his high school basketball at Christian Life Center, a high school just outside of Houston.
Other schools Goins considered were Kentucky, Cincinnati, Nebraska and Marquette. He has two years of eligibility remaining.