Tobias Harris, the top-rated power forward prospect in the nation, is expected to arrive in Knoxville Friday for an official visit.
The 6-foot-8, 220-pound Harris will attend the Vols’ football game against Georgia at 12:20 p.m. Saturday where he’ll find himself immersed in a sea of orange.
But the recruiting game is not all about the hub-bub for this well-schooled prospect out of Half Hallow Hills West (N.Y.) High School.
His father, Torrel Harris, said as much in a ZagsBlog.com article, explaining that his son’s decision will come down to the program that best emphasizes the point-forward position.
That’s why Tobias Harris attended the Vols’ elite basketball camp in June, and it’s why he’s using one of his five official trips to re-visit Tennessee.
Pearl’s success at maximizing his forwards’ talents are well-documented, from the Dane Bradshaw years through Tyler Smith’s sterling run.
Pearl who coined the phrase “Power Point” when Bradshaw led the team in assis ts as a senior, and Smith has led the Vols’ in assists the past two seasons.
Harris has noticed.
“(Pearl) has seen how good Tyler can be in his offense,’’ Harris told Scout.com, “and they see me doing a lot of the same things.’’
Harris, who averaged 29.2 points per game, has been rated the No. 5 overall player in the nation by Rivals.com and the No. 9 overall player by Scout.com.
He has already visited Syracuse, and in addition to Kentucky is also considering visits to Louisville, West Virginia, Georgia Tech and Maryland.
The Vols are in dire need of an impact player at power forward after the announcement that sophomore Emmanuel Negedu will not play this season.
UT coach Bruce Pearl said Wednesday that Negedu was expected to assume some of the power forward duties.
“Emmanuel was brought in here to tutor behind Tyler, and when Tyler left, he (Negedu) was looking at playing a major, major role. Emmanuel was going to be a huge piece of our puzzle next year.’’
After this season the Vols lose center Wayne Chism, Smith at forward, J.P. Prince on the wing and point guard Bobby Maze. There’s a chance sophomore shooting guard Scotty Hopson might also declare himself eligible for the 2010 NBA draft.
UT has four scholarships to offer in the Class of 2010, and it has already received verbal commitments from shooting guard Jordan McRae and point guard Trae Golden.