UT signee Jones vows not to lose another exhibition game

Pearl: 'We signed two great guards'

The Tennessee men’s basketball coaching staff breathed a sigh of relief when signed letters of intent from guards Chris Jones and Kevin Ware arrived via fax Wednesday.

“Holding on to these guys wasn’t easy, because everybody and their brothers came after them,’’ UT coach Bruce Pearl said. “We signed two great guards. It came down to family and loyalty, and it came down to them believing in us.

“We’re still in business.’’

The program has been under the microscope since the school announced on Sept. 10 that it had received a letter of inquiry from the NCAA.

UT announced a number of self-imposed sanctions which included an off-campus recruiting ban that started on Sept. 24 and remains in effect.

Jones and Ware maintained they would stay faithful to their verbal commitments, regardless of speculation in the national media about the ongoing investigation.

“I’ll always appreciate their loyalty,’’ Pearl said. “That’s something I’ll never forget about these two guys.’’

Jones is a 5-foot-10 point guard at Oak Hill (N.C.) Military Academy who’s ranked No. 39 overall by Rivals.com and No. 56 by Scout.com.

“One of the toughest little guys I know,’’ said Pearl, comparing Jones’ style to former South Carolina star Devan Downey. “He plays with a major chip on his shoulder.’’

So major, in fact, that Jones has already made a promise to the UT fan base.

“We’ll never lose another (exhibition) game like that again once I’m there,’’ Jones said, referring to Tennessee’s 79-64 loss to Indianapolis on Monday night at Thompson-Boling Arena. “I’ve heard Indianapolis played hard, but we’ll play harder. I feel like I’m going to come up there and be a leader.’’

Pearl laughed when hearing of Jones’ pledge.

“That’s Chris Jones,’’ Pearl said. “He’s a very confident, competent player.’’

Pearl saw that in Jones long ago, when he started following Jones his sophomore year at Melrose High School in Memphis.

“The thing with Chris Jones, he rewarded our loyalty,’’ Pearl said. “I was watching him as a sophomore, before it was fashionable, and I saw something special in his game. He has a toughness you can’t teach.’’

Jones led Melrose to the Class AAA state championship last year, scoring 35 points in the title game en route to winning tourney MVP honors. He averaged 20.5 points, 6.8 rebounds and 6.1 assists last season, earning all-state honors and boosting Melrose to a No. 15 finish in the ESPN Rise Fab 50 national rankings.

Jones, who transferred to the North Carolina military school last summer, said he’s no more concerned about his relative lack of height now than before.

“I just stay in the gym and keep working hard to prove people wrong, like I always have,’’ Jones said. “Tennessee has been my dream school, and that’s why I signed and I’ll be coming there.’’

Ware, from Rockdale County High School in Conyers, Ga., is rated as the No. 56 overall player by Rivals.com and No. 91 by Scout.com. He was ranked No. 22 by Rivals.com last summer before breaking a bone in his hand at an AAU tournament in July.

“I quit looking at those rankings because they kept dropping me, I guess because I wasn’t playing after I hurt my hand,’’ said Ware, who played with the Atlanta Celtics AAU club.

A 6-foot-4 combo guard, Ware averaged 19 points, seven rebounds, six assists and 3.5 blocks per game last season while earning second team all-state honors. As a sophomore, Ware averaged 16 points, 8.5 assists and eight rebounds and was named his district’s player of the year.

“He’s as athletic of a guard as we’ve had here,’’ Pearl said. “He’s good at going fast, quick, athletic, long and hard to keep out of the lane.

“I hate to compare him to John Wall (formerly of Kentucky), because he’s not there yet, but he has that type of quickness and athleticism.’’

The Vols are still looking to sign a wing and/or a post in this signing class. The early signing period runs through next Wednesday. The spring signing period begins on the second Wednesday of April.

Mike Griffith covers Tennessee men’s basketball. He may be reached at 865-755-5599. Follow him at http://twitter.com/mgrif32 and http://blogs.knoxnews.com/askgriff/

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Comments » 47

HHUUMMBBLLEE writes:

YEA BABY

jhayes0926#638474 writes:

are there any post players or wings avail?

wigmeister writes:

Hope he is as good as he is confident!

mocsandvolsfan writes:

Sounds good.

voloffaith writes:

in response to CrippledCoon:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

CrippledLoon that was a nice,well thought out 3rd grade jab. Is that all you can think is negative? It is not funny.....your a"troll man" play the horns for "soul man".

lomas98 writes:

in response to wigmeister:

Hope he is as good as he is confident!

Confident would be if he said he vowed never to lose to Kentucky. Saying they won't lose again to an exhibition team is not really going out on a limb. This was the first time in school HISTORY it happened. I'm just glad these 2 stuck it out and signed. I wonder if there is a clause that if Pearl leaves they can get out of their letter? Too bad all of this NCAA stuff happened or Thomas would be here too.

ChatBleu writes:

Wow, that's some real blue chippers Pearl is hauling in, not!

"Melrose High basketball star Adonis Thomas, following through on his recent commitment, today signed a national letter of intent to attend the University of Memphis beginning in the fall of 2011. The 6-6 senior forward was rated the No. 1 overall prospect in the class of 2011 by Sporting News. He picked Memphis over Arkansas, Florida, Tennessee and UCLA."

Also for your reading enjoyment see the link below.

http://rivals.yahoo.com/ncaa/basketba...

Orangeblood13 writes:

Chat
We could give a sheet less

JDL211 writes:

“We’re still in business.’’

Yes. As usual.

iLOVEtheVOLS writes:

in response to CrippledCoon:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Why do you wear such a short skirt?

ChatBleu writes:

in response to Agent_Orange:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Ah, AO, jealously becomes you. You wear it well. Actually I'm a bit jealous. It seems the past couple of months UT and Bruce have been on the front page of national sports publications on a daily basis. :)

Bubbanuts2010 writes:

in response to CrippledCoon:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Let it go stupid COON

nola_vol writes:

“We’ll never lose another (exhibition) game like that again once I’m there,’’ Jones said.

Looks like the only thing Bruce might teach Jones about "chutzpah" is... how to spell it.

BigBadVol writes:

in response to wakeupworld:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Wow, did you think that up all by yourself? Another troll with nothing better to do than follow the school that he fears. Life must be lonely for someone that hangs out on a rivals website. Pathetic.

ChatBleu writes:

in response to wakeupworld:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Well Wake, in case they didn't see it here's the link, ouch! This article was more harsh than all the others, and USA today none-the-less.

http://www.usatoday.com/sports/colleg...

Hey Bubba, Coon is making you look rather foolish blowing your top like that. If you can't handle a little bantering maybe you shouldn't read his posts, or seek professional help. My, my, such an angry individual Bubba is.

ChatBleu writes:

in response to getsimmsout:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

I'm just curious, did any others in your litter survive?

TDTennesseeisfree writes:

The USA Today was not kind to UT or Pearl. Go read it today.

tennrich1 writes:

in response to CatScratchFever:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

I was just plain wrong about you. From now on when I see your name on a post I will move forward. What a shame for you to be on this site.

tennrich1 writes:

in response to getsimmsout:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Now I ask you "Did any of those guys care about UT basketball 6 years ago?" There's your answer. UT BB is relevant again...enjoy the ride!

GiveHim6TDTennessee writes:

in response to wakeupworld:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

What should we do? Should we stop wearing orange and white? Should we put away all of our orange clothing just because we're going through some rough times? What should we do? Admit our administration has made mistakes? Admit Bruce Pearl screwed up? What should we do? Stop being loyal to our team? IT'S OUR TEAM! Should we listen to dumba**** like you who subscribe to a UT site just to be an immature butt munch? Seriously, what should we do?

Sauce writes:

I thought Oak Hill Military was in Virginia...

volsunited writes:

Read the usa today article and i know its probably hard for memphis and kentucky people to understand some of the bigger words but the article isnt harsh by any means just good journalistic stuff

johnlg00 writes:

in response to Sauce:

I thought Oak Hill Military was in Virginia...

Chris Jones is at Oak RIDGE Military Academy outside of Greensboro, NC. Oak HILL is a small Baptist prep school, not a military school, in Mouth of Wilson, Virginia. Mouth of Wilson is a wide place in a crooked mountain road, though it is truly a beautiful area.

boroviathaochvolsfan writes:

in response to CrippledCoon:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

I hate to attack you personally but you are an idiot with all due respect...why don't you take that nonsense somewhere else.

mocsandvolsfan writes:

in response to CatScratchFever:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Wall's great! How do you like that for class CatScratcher?

mocsandvolsfan writes:

Oh! Btw, where is John Wall this year? I haven't seen in your pre-season games.

mocsandvolsfan writes:

I know I know! He was there the other KNIGHT! I wasn't sure you could make your own decent comeback.

CUSA_NEWS writes:

Chris Jones??

Nice leftover. In the jungle, the big Tigers eat first partaking of the best morsels (see Adonis) then the bottom-feeders begin to graze, ever so volunteeringly.

So long as you know your ranking, enjoy.

volsunited writes:

Leftovers? Last i remember chris jones dominated joe jackson in the high school playoffs. I must have that memphis memory problem. Don't see why memphis fans are even on our site they are not a rival by any means,the rivalry was with calipari, memphis is just an afterthought rpi boosting game for me now.

TKO writes:

Hopefully you get a ticket so you can see them play.

Colliervol writes:

in response to tennrich1:

I was just plain wrong about you. From now on when I see your name on a post I will move forward. What a shame for you to be on this site.

Yep, I thought ole Cat was a fairly reasonable troll but he's turned no different than the rest of the Cat fans. Brainwashed by the Smarmy One and therefore relegated to the Land of the Irrelevant.

Kentucky is absolutely clean, doesn't everybody know that? (Worldwide Wes, Turkish Pros, wink, wink)

usnavyvolfaninva_still_getting_paid writes:

in response to CrippledCoon:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

MentallyCrippledCoon,

Your jokes are getting old.

usnavyvolfaninva_still_getting_paid writes:

in response to getsimmsout:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

...and someday they'll find out who their daddy is

Colliervol writes:

in response to volsunited:

Read the usa today article and i know its probably hard for memphis and kentucky people to understand some of the bigger words but the article isnt harsh by any means just good journalistic stuff

I agree. The headline was a little harsh but the article was pretty fair actually. Yes, Pearl has blown a bunch of built-up good will both at UT and nationally and he is now on a short leash. And I think he realizes it and is just hoping to survive the flood. Unless the NCAA brings out more than what's been announced, I think he survives, we take a year's probation and move on. And Pearl will be better for it. Frankly, I was concerned about him leaving for a bigger job and that won't happen now. So sometimes bad news can actually be good. (How's that for making lemonade from lemons?)

Personally I think if there was more to it, UT would have canned him when they cancelled his contract. The good he has done outweighs the bad and I think the university realizes that. They don't want it headed back to the Buzz Peterson-Wade Houston days.

The trolls don't want him sticking around because he has been a thorn in their respective team's side for 5 years now and shows no sign of slacking off. Could be wrong but I just think he'd already be gone if there was more to it. The lying was the dumbest part. If he hadn't done that, I think the other stuff is minor.

usnavyvolfaninva_still_getting_paid writes:

in response to wakeupworld:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Look, just b/c your mom deleted your WOW account doesn't mean you come on here and show us what a little child you are. Why don't you post on your own team's site, or does no one care to set one up over there?

usnavyvolfaninva_still_getting_paid writes:

in response to ChatBleu:

Well Wake, in case they didn't see it here's the link, ouch! This article was more harsh than all the others, and USA today none-the-less.

http://www.usatoday.com/sports/colleg...

Hey Bubba, Coon is making you look rather foolish blowing your top like that. If you can't handle a little bantering maybe you shouldn't read his posts, or seek professional help. My, my, such an angry individual Bubba is.

LOL... you guys want to trust a rag like the USA today, go ahead. Just goes to show what weak-minded fools you really are.

usnavyvolfaninva_still_getting_paid writes:

in response to Colliervol:

I agree. The headline was a little harsh but the article was pretty fair actually. Yes, Pearl has blown a bunch of built-up good will both at UT and nationally and he is now on a short leash. And I think he realizes it and is just hoping to survive the flood. Unless the NCAA brings out more than what's been announced, I think he survives, we take a year's probation and move on. And Pearl will be better for it. Frankly, I was concerned about him leaving for a bigger job and that won't happen now. So sometimes bad news can actually be good. (How's that for making lemonade from lemons?)

Personally I think if there was more to it, UT would have canned him when they cancelled his contract. The good he has done outweighs the bad and I think the university realizes that. They don't want it headed back to the Buzz Peterson-Wade Houston days.

The trolls don't want him sticking around because he has been a thorn in their respective team's side for 5 years now and shows no sign of slacking off. Could be wrong but I just think he'd already be gone if there was more to it. The lying was the dumbest part. If he hadn't done that, I think the other stuff is minor.

Part of me is pizzed, just b/c Pearl gave the trolls ammo to blast him with. Of course, they'd probably do it anyway; funny how they have the ballz to come on here, just b/c their guys haven't gotten caught yet.

ProwlinAndGrowlinSmokeyDog writes:

in response to tennrich1:

I was just plain wrong about you. From now on when I see your name on a post I will move forward. What a shame for you to be on this site.

Join the crowd, tennrich..I was wrong to ever think he was a classy fan..His true colors have been revealed the last few months.

jryevols#222657 writes:

in response to tennrich1:

I was just plain wrong about you. From now on when I see your name on a post I will move forward. What a shame for you to be on this site.

What a farse. John Wall is a fluke and there wasn't anything about him that was exceptional. The media and Kentucky blew his abilities out of the water. He never had any pride , especially for KY. One and done. If I was a KY fan , I don't believe that I would hang my hat on " John Boy " he cares nothing about anthing but himself...... wait , is he blowing ou the numbers in pro???????????? hmmmmmmmmm

jryevols#222657 writes:

in response to usnavyvolfaninva_still_getting_paid:

LOL... you guys want to trust a rag like the USA today, go ahead. Just goes to show what weak-minded fools you really are.

Don't let it bother you Vol Fans. Nobody reads this article except KY jelly fans that enjoy taking one up the rumpplesilskin for " bigggggg blue ". I told a big lie once when I said " some kentucky fans have class " . Now that I admit to having lied about it , it should be posted in USA Today.........

ChatBleu writes:

in response to usnavyvolfaninva_still_getting_paid:

LOL... you guys want to trust a rag like the USA today, go ahead. Just goes to show what weak-minded fools you really are.

Pick your poison, Faninva, what a cute lady-like name.

http://rivals.yahoo.com/ncaa/basketba...

http://www.usatoday.com/sports/colleg...

Excerpt:

What goes around:

While an assistant at Iowa two decades ago Pearl secretly taped a phone conversation with a high school prospect Iowa and Illinois were pursuing. He turned over the tape to the NCAA as evidence that Illinois offered inducements.
Years later, he said he would do it again on principle, calling himself a bit of an idealist. It's all coming back to haunt him.

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2010...

http://thehoopdoctors.com/online2/201...

http://www.sportingnews.com/ncaa-bask...

http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/commen...

I could on and on, posting links about Brucie's lying and cheating ways but those will do, for now. Make no mistake, Pearl will be suspended for at least 1 full season by the NCAA and UT will eventually fire him. There is one other option:

"Another remedy could be a "show-cause" order, in which the NCAA outlines how duties must be limited at a current or future institution for a period of time. Such rulings typically make it impossible to keep a job while the order is in effect."

If anyone reads the national publications and the comments regarding this issue they would see the whole country hates him because he's a whistle-blowing, cheating, lying, crybaby of a sweat-hog. It's hilarious that some of you actually think there are other schools that would want to hire this bozo. He may get a job as an assistant at a Division 11 school. Seems you're on the batting end of a no-hitter. :)

ChatBleu writes:

in response to unleashedslimsmokey:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Smokey, remember Jesus loves you, but everyone else thinks you’re an obtuse oaf. =)

easleychuck writes:

in response to CrippledCoon:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

rootin4volz writes:

in response to ChatBleu:

Wow, that's some real blue chippers Pearl is hauling in, not!

"Melrose High basketball star Adonis Thomas, following through on his recent commitment, today signed a national letter of intent to attend the University of Memphis beginning in the fall of 2011. The 6-6 senior forward was rated the No. 1 overall prospect in the class of 2011 by Sporting News. He picked Memphis over Arkansas, Florida, Tennessee and UCLA."

Also for your reading enjoyment see the link below.

http://rivals.yahoo.com/ncaa/basketba...

Sour grapes...cause Bruce and the Big Orange OWN Memphis. Chump.

ChatBleu writes:

in response to rootin4volz:

Sour grapes...cause Bruce and the Big Orange OWN Memphis. Chump.

Sour grape for posting links and facts? Actually no Bozo, it has nothing to do with Pearl's record against Memphis. It's the obnoxious UT fans that raid other teams' boards hooting and hollering like a bunch of drunken monkeys at any and every opportunity. Karma is a lovely lady, and she's paying UT back with a vengeance. You UT bumpkins are a hoot the way you distort things and pick your times and all. I believe Pearl is 3-2 versus Memphis, including last year after Cal decimated the team and it's recruiting class. Memphis had 7 scholarship players. Look at the big picture, Memphis is 12-7 all time versus UT. Now talk about being owned, Josh Pastner has served Pearl as far as recruiting. I believe Adnois Thomas makes 6 players that Pearl recruit heavily and Pastner secured, all 4-5 star players. Pearl will be lucky to own the clothes on he's wearing and a toothbrush when the NCAA finishes with him. Couldn't happen to a nice, whistle-blowing, cheating, lying crybaby.

Have a great day. =)

ACWLY writes:

Since we haven't had such an EMBARASSING lose in the last 25 - 30 years, I'd say the kid is right! (Love his attitude though)

mocsandvolsfan writes:

ChatBleau! Now calm down...I'm sure you're right about UT having some "obnoxious fans"! There are obnoxious people all over the state. Most of them pull in front of me on whatever road I decide to take...while giving me some kind of finger sign...apparently I'm not supposed to be on their road.
However I don't return their hostility, even tho' I could...I'm not at all afraid of them.
Why does coming on here and attempting to ruin our VOLS site make you feel better? I seriously don't get it. Honestly I consider it really childish if you think it does any good...I can't tell sometimes if you people are just trying to be funny or you're just a 12 year old with an expensive computer that mommy let's you play with. I have never been to a Kentucky or Memphis site!! Ever. IT DOESN'T MAKE ANY SENSE to an adult to attack people this way..
Just talk about basketball!! btw way we're going to whip you in Knoxville this year...not sure about in Memphis....

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