A list of prospects in the Class of 2011 that Tennessee is believed to be recruiting (listed alphabetically), with Rivals.com 150 ranking:
No. 27 Kentavious Caldwell (6-6, 185), shooting guard, Greenville, Ga.
Offers: Tennessee, Xavier, Oklahoma State, Indiana, Georgia, Clemson, Cincinnati
No. 10 Mike Chandler (6-10, 220) center, Lawrence North HS, Indianapolis
Offers: Louisville, Ohio State
No. 84 Tim Dixon (6-9, 200), center, Kendrick, Columbus Ga.
Offers: Georgia, Oklahoma State, Florida State, Alabama, Auburn
NR Moussa Gueye, (7-0, 245), center, Lake Land (Ill.) Community College
Offers: Purdue, Illinois, Marquette
No. 91 Rodney Hood (6-7, 180), wing, Meridian Miss.
Offers: Tennessee, Wake Forest, Georgia, Marquette, Clemson, North Carolina State
No. 54 Desmond Hubert (6-8, 195) center, New Egypt, Cream Ridge, N.J.
Offers: Connecticut, Ohio State, Pitt, Villanova, West Virginia, Xavier
No. 94 Nick Jacobs (6-8, 215), center, South Atlanta, Atlanta
Offers: Tennessee, Oklahoma, Georgia, Miami, Fla., Virginia Tech
No. 85 Kedren Johnson (6-4, 200), shooting guard, Marshall County, Lewisburg
Offers: Vanderbilt, Louisville, Tennessee, Georgia Tech, Memphis
No. 67 Cedrick McAfee (6-3, 175), shooting guard, Memphis Melrose
Offers: Tennessee, Memphis, Arkansas, Missouri, Clemson, Illinois
NR (Four-Star) Ben McLemore (6-5, 185), wing, Eskridge, St. Louis, Mo.
Offers: Kansas, Tennessee, Illinois, Purdue, Southern Illinois, Arkansas, Missouri
No. 13 Johny O'Bryant (6-9, 235), power forward East Side, Cleveland, Miss
Offers: All SEC schools except Vanderbilt, Georgetown, Kansas, Memphis, Texas, USC
No. 44 Mike Shaw (6-8, 205), power forward, De La Salle, Chicago
Offers: Illinois, Louisville, Southern Illinois, Texas, Wisconsin
No. 11 Adonis Thomas (6-6, 205), wing, Melrose, Memphis
Offers: Arkansas, Florida, Kentucky, Memphis, Missouri, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Tennessee
NR Rico White (6-3, 175), shooting guard, Bearden, Knoxville
Offers: William & Mary, Chattanooga
No. 52 Amir Williams (6-9, 220), center, Country Day, Beverly Hills, Mich.
Offers: Tennessee, Michigan, Michigan State, Ohio State, Wisconsin, Purdue, Kentucky, Florida, Duke
NR Lester Wilson (6-4, 205), wing, Carter, Knoxville
Offers: East Tennessee State, Middle Tennessee State
Tennessee men's basketball is aiming big in the Class of 2011.
Could the search for bigger players signal an adjustment in style for coach Bruce Pearl?
But don't think for a minute Pearl will abandon his preferences for putting points on the board and shooting the 3-pointer.
"As long as they are worth one more point, we'll keep taking them,'' Pearl likes to say.
Pearl wants to keep a pressing element to some degree. The extent to which the Vols' press depends on the team's collective quickness and ability to execute.
The Vols have a pair of athletic guards committed in the Class of 2011 in Kevin Ware and Chris Jones. Theoretically, that leaves UT two more scholarships; the Vols are expected to be able to sign four.
It's a sure bet there will be at least one big man added, if not two.
The 6-foot-4 Ware, from Rockdale County High School in Conyers, Ga., is ranked No. 22 in the Rivals.com 150.
Memphis Melrose's Jones, 5-10, is No. 36 in those same rankings but likely will jump closer to No. 20 when the next set of ratings come out.
Not that ratings influence Tennessee's recruiters.
"Recruiting rankings should take place after the players leave school to be totally accurate,'' UT assistant Steve Forbes said. "The rankings are good for the fans, though.
"We look at recruiting as it relates to our needs, and we feel we have a very good (2010) class.''
How they fit
Harris, from Half Hallow Hills West High School in Glen Head, N.Y., fell from No. 4 in the Rivals 150 to No. 7 in the final rankings.
"That's ridiculous,'' said Vols' associate head coach Tony Jones, who recruited Harris. "Tobias was on his way to being the McDonald's game MVP before he hurt his foot.''
The 6-8 Harris scored 13 points in the 12 minutes he played in the McDonald's All-America Game in Columbus, Ohio, last month. Harris said he'll be cleared from his broken foot the first week of June and will enroll at UT for the second term of summer school.
McRae, a 6-6 wing, finished rated No. 47 and Golden dropped to No. 63.
My assessment after seeing all three play:
n Harris will start at power forward and give the Vols a versatile presence in the lane similar to Tyler Smith while also being able to pop out and shoot the 3-pointer like Chism.
n McRae has good shooting range and great leaping ability, but his slight frame will limit his minutes against bigger, more physical opponents.
n Golden, the Georgia player of the year, scores in spurts and sees the floor well. His defensive skills need polishing, but his strength and athleticism make him a solid backup at point guard to senior Melvin Goins.
Final 2010 rankings
UT's 2010 class dropped from No. 4 in the fall signing-period rankings to No. 9 in the nation, according to Rivals.
UT hasn't added any new players in the spring signing period. There could still be a transfer, but with each passing day that becomes less likely.
It's the third top-10 class in Pearl's six-year tenure: The Class of 2008, highlighted by Scotty Hopson (No. 5 overall), ranked seventh and the Class of 2006 with Chism and five-star recruits Duke Crews and Ramar Smith, finished No. 6 in the Rivals.com team rankings.
The Vols' Class of 2007, which included freshman signees Cameron Tatum and Brian Williams, wasn't ranked in the top 25.
But that's a little misleading: Tyler Smith transferred in from Iowa and was immediately eligible and J.P. Prince completed his transfer from Arizona.
Jones said he's not going to get too caught up in Kentucky zipping to No. 2 in the final recruiting rankings after landing three spring signees ranked in the top 25 in the nation.
"I look at our team and class, and we have two kids from the state of California in Renaldo Woolridge and Melvin,'' Jones said. "Then we've got the best player from the state of New York (Harris) signed and the Georgia player of the year (Golden).
"When we go out to recruit, people have a perception of our winning ways, our style of play, our television appearances and our five straight NCAA tournament appearances.''
The Vols will encourage prospects to take unofficial visits to Knoxville and attend their camps while carving their list of players to see in the various AAU national tournaments in July.
"We'll be at the adidas Nation, the LeBron James Camp, the Peach Jam, Las Vegas and Orlando,'' Forbes said. "Between now and July we'll talk to the kids and figure out their summer schedule so we can be in front of them as often as we can.''
Mike Griffith covers Tennessee men's basketball. He can be reached at email@example.com.