Griffith: Being popular means extra work on recruiting trail

Mike Griffith

There was a time when the only high school prospects listing Tennessee as a possible choice for basketball were players the Vols had contacted.

Not anymore.

Following men's basketball recruiting has gotten more complicated, as players' interest in Tennessee is not an assurance the Vols will reciprocate with a scholarship offer.

Not that UT minds the extra attention.

"It's important to be on all of the 2012 kids' radar,'' UT associate head coach Tony Jones said. "History shows a lot of kids like to make their commitments during their junior year.''

While the Vols are still looking for at least two more signees in the Class of 2011, they also are looking to position themselves for 2012.

"We'll try to locate the best kids and see where they will be playing in the summer,'' Jones said. "We'll start contacting them in June.''

In many instances, it won't be the first time UT has seen the players on their 2012 list in action.

"We've been to a lot of high schools to evaluate academic status and to learn more about them and their background,'' Jones said. "We're hoping we see a lot of them at our elite camp in June.''

Former UT player J.P. Prince said he wouldn't be surprised to see the tide turn for the Vols in Memphis.

"You've got to remember it's only been five seasons for Coach (Bruce) Pearl, and that may seem like a lot, but it's not,'' Prince said. "The kids coming into high school now see Tennessee as an established program.''

Transfer possibility?: Arnett Moultrie, a 6-foot-11, 220-pound center who is transferring out of Texas El-Paso, has been the subject of Internet message board conversation of late.

The Vols' coaching staff is aware of Moultrie but is not allowed to comment on him as per NCAA rules.

Moultrie, who averaged 10 points and 6.7 rebounds last season, will have to sit out a year at whatever Division I school he chooses, and it's believed he will only play a year at the school he selects before trying to turn professional.

Moultrie was projected as the 25th pick in the 2011 NBA draft by draftexpress.com in a November 2009 evaluation.

Arkansas and Mississippi State are considered the frontrunners for his services, but Kentucky, Tennessee and Texas also have shown interest, according to various reports.

Summer School: All of UT's current players are expected to enroll in summer school classes, but not for the purpose of maintaining eligibility for the upcoming fall semester.

Jones said UT had no academic casualties in the spring term, and the players are taking summer school classes to stay on course to graduate in four years.

Mike Griffith covers Tennessee men's basketball. He may be reached at griffithm@knoxnews.com.

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Comments » 13

AtLeastMyTeamHasPerfectSeasons writes:

Good point by JP. All these young kids now only have memories of BP since their middle-school days. And they can see the program is on the rise and now nationally relevant.

nola_vol writes:

"Transfer possibility?: Arnett Moultrie, a 6-foot-11, 220-pound center..."

Typo possibility? 220 pounds?

Can someone confirm?

knoxswim890 writes:

http://utepathletics.cstv.com/sports/...
UTEP lists him as 225 so I'd say that's correct.

TLepage writes:

The job Pearl has done here over the last 5 years is nothing short of amazing.... I'm sure his success in recruiting will continue.... It would be nice to see some big bodies rounding-out the 2011 class... We have the PG's, just need some big men to compliment them... I have all the confidence in the world that pearl will get it done....

VolFanNC writes:

The one line I really like inthis story is:

Summer School: All of UT's current players are expected to enroll in summer school classes, but not for the purpose of maintaining eligibility for the upcoming fall semester.

Jones said UT had no academic casualties in the spring term, and the players are taking summer school classes to stay on course to graduate in four years.

It means, they might have their heads in the right place....

budd#207344 writes:

in response to VolFanNC:

The one line I really like inthis story is:

Summer School: All of UT's current players are expected to enroll in summer school classes, but not for the purpose of maintaining eligibility for the upcoming fall semester.

Jones said UT had no academic casualties in the spring term, and the players are taking summer school classes to stay on course to graduate in four years.

It means, they might have their heads in the right place....

You are so right. Win and graduate. What a combination. Once again Thanks CBP

volboy81 writes:

in response to rabidvolfan:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

This article was pretty good....especially for him!
he'd find fault if football went 14-0 and basketball 39-0!

Volunatic writes:

When Fulmer was coach, Griffith was a big homer for UT football.
Of course, I think that was just to keep KNS "in the loop" with the program, since Adams was always causing the UT coaches to want to alienate KNS. I sometimes think Griffith and Adams were playing "good cop/bad cop" with Fulmer all along.
Fulmer would open up a bit when Griffith was interviewing him, and then Adams would invariably try to use Fulmer's words against him.

Volunatic writes:

in response to RichRollin:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

That would just break my heart.
I wonder if Calipari forced the UK AD to promise automatic releases from scholarships to all players if Calipari leaves. He did that at Memphis, and it really helped him this past season at UK.

murrayvol writes:

in response to RichRollin:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

But Cal has "assured" the Big Blue Nation he's staying.....which when translated means "I haven't got the right offer yet."

I'm betting it's Chicago where Derrick Rose can play Pippen to King James.

Good read on espn.com re James' future in Bill Simmons column.

rclarkfork#639958 writes:

One thing for sure is Cal feels no loyalty towards anyone but Cal. If he gets the right offer where he would be just about guaranteed to be a winner, such as with the Bulls with Lebron and Rose, he would be gone in a heartbeat.

osbymartin#581730 writes:

in response to knoxswim890:

http://utepathletics.cstv.com/sports/...
UTEP lists him as 225 so I'd say that's correct.

Hes put on 20 lbs. The recruiting sites had him at 205. He apparently jumped on his first offer. They only show UTEP. Not saying thats a bad thing. His body type seems like a Perry Stevenson. AM is 2 in. taller and about 15-20 lbs. heavier.

txvolsfan writes:

in response to knoxswim890:

http://utepathletics.cstv.com/sports/...
UTEP lists him as 225 so I'd say that's correct.

Yea schools never lie about their own players!!!
LOL

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