With suspension up, Shay hits recruiting trail for Vols

Tennessee head coach Bruce Pearl, left, and assistant coach Jason Shay, left, call to their players as they take on Oakland at Thompson-Boling Arena Tuesday, Dec. 14, 2010.  The Vols lost 89-82 to the Golden Grizzlies.

Photo by Adam Brimer

Tennessee head coach Bruce Pearl, left, and assistant coach Jason Shay, left, call to their players as they take on Oakland at Thompson-Boling Arena Tuesday, Dec. 14, 2010. The Vols lost 89-82 to the Golden Grizzlies.

The University of Tennessee men’s basketball team will be back on the recruiting trail today in the form of Vols assistant coach Jason Shay.

Shay is expected to attend the Beach Ball Classic high school tournament in Myrtle Beach, S.C., before heading to Atlanta to see other top recruiting targets and Class of 2011 signees Kevin Ware and Chris Jones.

The Vols’ coaching staff was suspended from off-campus recruiting beginning Sept. 24 as part of UT’s self-imposed sanctions related to the NCAA investigation into the men’s basketball program.

Shay’s suspension was for three months, associate head coach Tony Jones was given a nine-month suspension and head coach Bruce Pearl and assistant Steve Forbes were handed one-year suspensions.

In the absence of off-campus recruiting, Forbes and Pearl have been active communicating with players on Facebook.

“It’s a good way to communicate with kids because a lot of them are on it every day,’’ said Forbes, the primary recruiter for current UT players Scotty Hopson and Melvin Goins. “You can e-mail them on Facebook, but you can’t post on their wall, and you can’t (Facebook live) chat.

“We can also send them links to articles or videos.’’

While Facebook has been an effective way to maintain relationships, Forbes concedes there’s no substitute for face-to-face communication and evaluation.

While UT has not yet received its letter of allegations, much less gone in front of the NCAA’s committee on infractions, the self-imposed penalties are taking their toll.

The off-campus recruiting suspensions have short-circuited UT’s efforts to evaluate players and start new relationships this recruiting season.

That’s why Shay’s appearance at the 16-team Beach Ball Classic is significant.

The tournament has been rated the No. 2 high school boys basketball tournament of the season by MaxPreps.com.

The Targets: Among the 2012 blue chip prospects playing in the Beach Ball Classic is Tony Parker (6-foot-9, 250 pounds) from Miller Grove (Ga.) High School in Lithonia, Ga.

The Vols are clearly in need of posts in the next two recruiting classes, as current UT centers Brian Williams and John Fields are seniors.

Pearl has said UT sophomore Kenny Hall will grow more into the position as he adds size, but in Pearl’s system up to three post players see minutes in each game.

Tennessee has heavily recruited Parker, along with Jarnell Stokes (6-7, 230) of Memphis Central High School in the Class of 2012.

Stokes will play against another UT post recruiting target, Shaq Goodwin (6-8, 230) of Southwest Dekalb High School in Decatur, Ga., on Tuesday night in Atlanta.

Stokes and Goodwin played together on the Atlanta Celtics AAU team at the adidas Invitational in Indianapolis last summer.

Shay also is expected to go to the 27-team Hoops in Overdrive tournament at Centennial High School in Roswell, Ga., this week.

The Hoops in Overdrive tournament will enable Shay to catch up with Class of 2011 UT signees Jones (Oak Ridge, N.C., Military Academy) and Kevin Ware (Rockdale County, Ga., High School).

The Vols also have interest in class of 2011 prospect Lekan Ajayi, a 6-11, 235-pound post from the Quality Education Academy in Winston-Salem, N.C., who also will be competing in the Hoops in Overdrive tournament.

Ajayi is averaging 9.5 points, 15.5 rebounds and 2.3 blocks this season.

Rankings: Jones is the No. 39 overall player and Ware is No. 56 in the Class of 2011 Rivals 150.

Stokes is the No. 9 overall player in the Class of 2012 Rivals 150, while Goodwin comes in at No. 20 and Parker is No. 64.

Mike Griffith covers Tennessee men's basketball. Follow him at http://twitter.com/mgrif32 and http://blogs.knoxnews.com/askgriff

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Comments » 34

jhayes0926#638474 writes:

A year late in recruiting the Bigs, but I guess late is better than never!

txvolsfan writes:

in response to jhayes0926#638474:

A year late in recruiting the Bigs, but I guess late is better than never!

Maybe they should be paying you millions every year to recruit!!!
NOT

TommyJack writes:

Come on, haters. Hate.

Ironcity writes:

We need an active big with good hands. I think when Hall gets the full time gig he will really improve.

Come on NCAA give us what you got so we can move on.

wigmeister writes:

Just bring home the bacon!

HtownVol writes:

If UT does not sign 2 recruits at least 6'9 240 this year, the next few years are going to be very hard to watch.

HtownVol writes:

in response to andforhisnexttune:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

No, it depends on the school and if the team can bring in the ratings.

USC lost Caroll, lay the hammer
Auburn in the NC game, let them go
UK buys NC talent and they will dray crowds, let them go
UT picked to finish 4th in SEC-E, lay the hammer

Greyfeathers writes:

Not to worry, Lyin' Bruce will bring them in. Anyone else notice how much longer his nose is compared to a year ago??

voloffaith writes:

in response to Greyfeathers:

Not to worry, Lyin' Bruce will bring them in. Anyone else notice how much longer his nose is compared to a year ago??

thanks Pinnochio for your in-depth analysis of the situation.

On topic, we need big men no doubt. The article doesn't say where we stand with these or other targets. Belated Merry CHRISTmas!

jryevols#222657 writes:

in response to Greyfeathers:

Not to worry, Lyin' Bruce will bring them in. Anyone else notice how much longer his nose is compared to a year ago??

Lazybones....your comments are generated based upon your

" little man " syndrome. Those who make such comments are trying to hide " little things " Maybe you are just jeleous because his is bigger...hmmmmmm nose ....you think? Lazybone... now there it is in your own name.... may you shoud just be called lamed-......never mind.Why I 'd take abet that even a man of your quality size has told a lie as well......

AHoffman writes:

in response to TommyJack:

Come on, haters. Hate.

Tommy - do you play a mean pinball?

TommyJack writes:

in response to AHoffman:

Tommy - do you play a mean pinball?

from SoHo down to Brighton.

toldyouthatspsuckedfor3years writes:

Heck if I was one of these post players then I would defintely come to Tenn. Steven Pearl graduates and someone is going to have to fill in for the guy that one the game for us other night and all those minutes that he gets.

scvols writes:

in response to landocommando:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Ohhh, he talked about your mommy!!! But I guess you did open up the door Lazybones.

Slystone writes:

Stokes is key, but will be a hard get to pull from Memphis. One can only imagine the things being said about the UT program by other schools and coaches.

rdrgtr writes:

in response to Slystone:

Stokes is key, but will be a hard get to pull from Memphis. One can only imagine the things being said about the UT program by other schools and coaches.

We will feel the repercussions from this for a long time even if we do get a pass from the ncaa. I cannot imagine what the effects would be if we do not get a pass. If we were Ohio State this probably would not be a story.

ellerbee123 writes:

in response to HtownVol:

If UT does not sign 2 recruits at least 6'9 240 this year, the next few years are going to be very hard to watch.

I think that is precisely the point. We are watching now....

rdrgtr writes:

I would play Kenny Hall before I would play Steven Pearl. I thought he would be further along than he is. He played very well at the begining of his freshman year. He gets into foul trouble when he gets in the game because he over plays. I guess he trys to hard to impress the coaches by giving to much effort. In my opinion, Kenny is the most underrated talent on the team. I think if he got more minutes he would let the game come to him. I will be glad when little pearl is gone.

allvollego writes:

First off, The big men the vols have will be fine in my opinion. None of them are polished on the offensive end of the court which means we lose nothing there. The defensive part can be improved and seeing that Maymon and Harris are only freshman, Hall will be a junior, and Woolridge will have the ability to guard the post positions, it wont be pure agony. Anybody that thinks UT will be bringing in an impact big man next year is sadly mistaken. Those guys have mostly signed with their respective college choices. All UT needs to do is land one guy with a size, and things will be perfectly fine. Sorry not many programs compete for a final four every year. Stokes and Parker really like UT and they fit our system for 2012. One developing big will bring use a very strong year in 2012. 2011 our team will be perimeter reliant as I dont see anyone leaving for the NBA one because we do not have one overpowering player (Harris is very consistent though and if someone does leave it will be him), and two I believe the NBA will lock out and force many players back to school. The vols will be fine this season and the next and the next after that providing solid coaching is at the university.

yabadabadoo1026 writes:

in response to toldyouthatspsuckedfor3years:

Heck if I was one of these post players then I would defintely come to Tenn. Steven Pearl graduates and someone is going to have to fill in for the guy that one the game for us other night and all those minutes that he gets.

one the game for us-------unbelievable!!!!!!!

we need recruits that can hit a 3 at a reasonable %-----we have been brutal from 3 land too long/just horrible long range shooters we have --without an effective outside shooter defenses pack it in to neutralize these bigs

Flabbergasted writes:

in response to allvollego:

First off, The big men the vols have will be fine in my opinion. None of them are polished on the offensive end of the court which means we lose nothing there. The defensive part can be improved and seeing that Maymon and Harris are only freshman, Hall will be a junior, and Woolridge will have the ability to guard the post positions, it wont be pure agony. Anybody that thinks UT will be bringing in an impact big man next year is sadly mistaken. Those guys have mostly signed with their respective college choices. All UT needs to do is land one guy with a size, and things will be perfectly fine. Sorry not many programs compete for a final four every year. Stokes and Parker really like UT and they fit our system for 2012. One developing big will bring use a very strong year in 2012. 2011 our team will be perimeter reliant as I dont see anyone leaving for the NBA one because we do not have one overpowering player (Harris is very consistent though and if someone does leave it will be him), and two I believe the NBA will lock out and force many players back to school. The vols will be fine this season and the next and the next after that providing solid coaching is at the university.

Harris won't be here next year and Woolridge will never be a factor for more than a game or two during his career.

AHoffman writes:

in response to TommyJack:

from SoHo down to Brighton.

Ain't got no distractions
Can't hear no buzzers and bells,
Don't see no lights a flashin'
Plays by sense of smell.

That's our TJ

jhayes0926#638474 writes:

Pretty sure that Maymon is not a freshman since he is a transfer from Marquette. Think he is a junior this year.

tennrich1 writes:

in response to jhayes0926#638474:

Pretty sure that Maymon is not a freshman since he is a transfer from Marquette. Think he is a junior this year.

He is a sophomore....

YoungUtAlum writes:

in response to Greyfeathers:

Not to worry, Lyin' Bruce will bring them in. Anyone else notice how much longer his nose is compared to a year ago??

you may not of meant it this way but your post could be taken as racist and is offensive. I hope KNS will remove this post.

Juzkruzin writes:

in response to Greyfeathers:

Not to worry, Lyin' Bruce will bring them in. Anyone else notice how much longer his nose is compared to a year ago??

Isn't it time to quit beating a dead horse? I bet even Bin Laden knows the CBP lied to the NCAA then had the "stones" to come back and said he lied. So why not just leave that one alone. He confessed to the world that he lied so drop it. Funny how some people picks a handle for their name on here? I would take a guess that "Lazybones" fits you to a T. It should have been "Lazybones with a 20 inch Nose". You sure noses what is going on during all this time , when if the truth was known, you don't know your azz from a hole in the ground. Come up with some new or keep your "Lazybones" quite, but you are most likely too lazy to hunt somehing new. So zipped it until you got some new things you dug up with you Lazybones and 20 inch nose!!

cdtnladyvols931#663910 writes:

LAZYBONES!!!!!. YOUR NOSE IS LONG TOO OR YOU WOULD NOT BE STICKING IT INTO BRUCE PEARLS BUSINESS AND SAYING SOMETHING ABOUT SOMEONES NOSE. YOU HAVE TO STOOP VERY LOW TO SAY SUCH THINS ABOUT ANYONE. BRUCE PEARL HAS DONE NOTHING MORE THAN SOME OF THESE OTHER CROOKED COUCHES HAVE DONE...AND IT'S BEEN SWEPT UNDER THE RUG. YOU (STUPID PIG). WHY DON'T YOU MIND YOUR OWN BUSINESS? THAT WOULD BEE ONE OF THE MOST IMPORTANT THINGS YOU EVER DONE. TALKING ABOUT SOMEONES NOSE. HOW STUPID CAN YOU GET? GO VOLS.

crappieking writes:

We dropped out of both polls today, as it should be. Please, where is that team that beat Villanova and Pitt? GBO!!!

senatorgip#470888 writes:

I believe that most people like myself have totally lost faith with the NCAA. After the Ohio State debacle, even some of the talking heads on ESPN have basically stated the NCAA has become "corrupt, biased, and concerned only about money". You guys see and read the stories going around. The NCAA needs a new President ! And until they clean up their act and stop being biased to certain conferences and schools, then whatever they do in regards to "sanctions and suspensions" is a joke. I trust Bruce Pearl much more than i do the NCAA. It is obvious that the NCAA is only concerned about "the money". It's all about the money ! Lets wake up and be honest. Happy New Year !

murrayvol writes:

in response to TommyJack:

Come on, haters. Hate.

It's what they do best.

murrayvol writes:

in response to senatorgip#470888:

I believe that most people like myself have totally lost faith with the NCAA. After the Ohio State debacle, even some of the talking heads on ESPN have basically stated the NCAA has become "corrupt, biased, and concerned only about money". You guys see and read the stories going around. The NCAA needs a new President ! And until they clean up their act and stop being biased to certain conferences and schools, then whatever they do in regards to "sanctions and suspensions" is a joke. I trust Bruce Pearl much more than i do the NCAA. It is obvious that the NCAA is only concerned about "the money". It's all about the money ! Lets wake up and be honest. Happy New Year !

We do live in a capitalistic system.

budd#207344 writes:

in response to senatorgip#470888:

I believe that most people like myself have totally lost faith with the NCAA. After the Ohio State debacle, even some of the talking heads on ESPN have basically stated the NCAA has become "corrupt, biased, and concerned only about money". You guys see and read the stories going around. The NCAA needs a new President ! And until they clean up their act and stop being biased to certain conferences and schools, then whatever they do in regards to "sanctions and suspensions" is a joke. I trust Bruce Pearl much more than i do the NCAA. It is obvious that the NCAA is only concerned about "the money". It's all about the money ! Lets wake up and be honest. Happy New Year !

What money are you talking about? Do you think that the ncaa gets bonuses for putting teams on probation? The ncaa is UT and all the other colleges and universties in the country. There is no money motivation. If it were about money they would not enforce any bylaws. Enforcement takes away money. The ncaa just needs to be fair and have penalties to fit the crime and not make them up each time. As far as what espn says they talk out of both sides of their mouthes and they are wrong both times.

thebigorangescrew writes:

We need Chris Ferguson Back

cdtnladyvols931#663910 writes:

in response to toldyouthatspsuckedfor3years:

Heck if I was one of these post players then I would defintely come to Tenn. Steven Pearl graduates and someone is going to have to fill in for the guy that one the game for us other night and all those minutes that he gets.

I LOVE YOUR COMMENT. SOMEONE HAS TO STOOP VERY LOW TO SAY THINGS LIKE THEY DO ABOUT BRUCE PEARL'S NOSE, OR ANYONE ELSE. I WONDER WHAT THEY LOOK LIKE A BEAR MAN?

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