Five-star commitment for 2011 class liked black jersey; commits to Pearl, Vols

The Tennessee men’s basketball team landed its first verbal commitment in the class of 2011, dipping into Georgia for five-star point guard Kevin Ware.

Ware, a 6-foot-4 prospect who’s ranked as the No. 21 player nationally in the Rivals 150, plays at Rockdale County High School in Conyers, Ga. He averaged 16 points, 8.5 assists and eight rebounds as a sophomore last season.

“I came up and caught the last part of the basketball game Friday night and saw how they played, and then the football game was real cool,’’ Ware said. “I loved those fans, and the black jerseys they wore . . . it was cool how they warmed up in orange and then turned around and put the black on.’’

Ware said recruits do notice and like that sort of thing.

“Oh yeah, you notice that, because I had never seen them in black before,’’ he said. “We went into the locker room, and the Tennessee players were all real excited putting them on, and the coaches were yelling and screaming and getting them real focused.’’

Ware’s focus is getting the ball up the court quickly and scoring in transition when he’s not defending and distributing the ball.

“Those are some of Kevin’s strengths, and we felt like Tennessee fit what he does best,’’ said Al Williams, who took Ware’s Rockdale County team into Georgia’s Sweet 16 in his first year there as head coach last season. “We were all very impressed with the university, and we do the same types of things that Coach (Bruce) Pearl does in our system, and that’s what prompted the commitment.’’

Williams said Ware’s commitment wasn’t necessarily planned before the visit, as he has also been offered scholarships by Miami, Fla., Florida and Georgetown.

“We went up there to look at the facilities and talk to the players, and even without Coach Pearl around, it was very evident those guys really love each other,’’ Williams said. “A lot of schools can talk that talk, but don’t walk the walk.’’

Ware is an AAU teammate on the Atlanta Celtics with the Vols’ two verbal commitments in the class of 2010, point guard Trae Golden and shooting guard Jordan McRae.

“It’s good knowing I’m going up there with people I already know,’’ said Ware, whose primary recruiter is UT associate head coach Tony Jones. “It’s just Tennessee’s style of play, how I fit the system, and the academics.

“Georgetown was too far away, Florida stopped recruiting me once, and the only reason they started up again was they lost a player, and I only talked to Miami four or five times.’’

Ware said he had a long talk with his parents about making a verbal commitment more than a year before he can sign with the team.

“It’s a commitment, and my dad told me once I’m in it, I should plan on staying with it,’’ Ware said. “He said if you decided to go somewhere else after making a commitment, people will look at you differently; I don’t want that.’’

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Comments » 24

UT4ever writes:

Awesome......stealin' from GA is our motto, HOHOHO!!

cdtvol writes:

WTG VOLS .... top five recuiting FB BB for years to come

BSweet writes:

Great news, now let's keep him away from those Nike camps, lol.

TopTenn writes:

Great pick up! Atlanta is where we should recruit, not Memphis.

rclarkvols#224537 writes:

Great pick-up. We are becoming a legit top 15 program and building toward top 10

TopTenn writes:

Now, close the deal on the two in New York.

BillsBrother writes:

in response to TopTenn:

Great pick up! Atlanta is where we should recruit, not Memphis.

Memphis is the largest city in Mississippi.

CoachFulmer writes:

Good deal. Great news.

Vol_Fan_4_Life_615 writes:

It would be sweet to see CBP beating down Slick Cali and the Mild cats in all black with that orange popping. Like a Hopson 3 at the buzzer to win.

Vol_Fan_4_Life_615 writes:

If CBP stays five more years we will own Memphis and the ATL. The Vols have the best group of recruiters in the country. Kiffin, Pearl and Summit, There is no way it can be better than that anywhere, EVER!!!!!!!!

Seriouslyorange writes:

Hitting on all cylinders!! That's the VOLUNTEER WAY!!

Volfan615 writes:

Hopefully he wont be just like Josh Selby...

ctownvol writes:

I live in Covington which is 7 miles from Conyers where this kid plays. I will be checking him out this year for sure. GBO

NeylandWest writes:

in response to BillsBrother:

Memphis is the largest city in Mississippi.

Don't you mean "Arkassippi"? :)

marvinVol writes:

Great programs in all sports, girls basketball, mens football and mens basketball feed off on each other. Great catch!

Go Vols!!!!

cwarden24 writes:

We need to get him on the phone with other recruits like a couple FB recruits are doing..."Hey brother, play here...together we can dominate the SEC". Especially that greasy headed punk at KY.

VolunteerLifer writes:

Way to go, Coach Pearl. And welcome aboard, Kevin.

ROCKYTOPVOL2012 writes:

in response to BillsBrother:

Memphis is the largest city in Mississippi.

Memphis is in tennessee bud.

GreenbackMike writes:

in response to NeylandWest:

Don't you mean "Arkassippi"? :)

No No! You're all wrong! It is Alarkassippi

GreenbackMike writes:

No NO No! You are all wrong... It is Alabarkissippi!

johnlg00 writes:

I love what he said about honoring his commitment. I hope he means it; this is the kind of player and person we need more of to stay relevant at the national level. Talk us up among all your buds down there, Kevin!

UTByrd writes:

The Kiffinator strikes again. "Recruits notice things like that" just goes to show, once again, there is a method to CLK's madness.
Let's not forget all the attention CBP brought to men's basketball. Perhaps CBP needs a little love for possibly helping CLK recruit top notch talent.
Here's hoping men's hoops and football teams reach the "Summit" just like Pat.
Ain't it good to be alive and in Tennessee!
Go VOLS!!!!!

steamboatticket#484773 writes:

So, is Knoxville in Keneorgialina? All you provencial brainiacs who think that West Tennessee isn't Tennessee need to go back to school...if they'll let you back in...if you ever went in the first place.

Biggie writes:

Vol committ or not, I'm proud of his Dad for teaching him what a man's word should mean. This kid will be a model student athlete.

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