Cuonzo Martin says Chris Jones no longer wants a release

First stop, Memphis.

Cuonzo Martin hit the recruiting trail on Thursday for the first time since being named Tennessee’s men’s basketball coach on March 27.

Martin took advantage of the first day of the contact period by touring talent-rich Memphis high schools, including Melrose, Southwind, Central, White Station and Briarcrest Christian.

Martin stayed true to his word, meeting first with UT signee Chris Jones, now at Melrose. Jones, the 39th-ranked player in the nation according to Rivals.com, requested a release last week and Martin said he would meet with him before moving forward.

Martin said Thursday’s meeting went well enough that Jones no longer wants a release, and Martin said he plans to go see him again.

“We just have to make sure it’s the best thing for Chris before anything else,’’ Martin said. “Chris impressed me . . . he’s been through a lot in his life, and I can relate to that.’’

Martin will head to Georgia today to meet with Kevin Ware of Rockdale County in Conyers, Ga. Ware, ranked 56th, has been released from his National Letter of Intent with UT but is still interested in the Vols.

UT has between two and six scholarships to offer in the Class of 2011, depending on the futures of Scotty Hopson and Tobias Harris, who could enter the NBA draft.

The current contact period runs through midnight Sunday. The national signing period begins next Wednesday and runs through May 18.

UT has offered a scholarship to Josh Richardson, a 6-foot-5 guard at Santa Fe in Edmond, Okla., who also has offers from Penn State, Georgia Tech and TCU. He’s expected to visit Georgia Tech this weekend and tentatively scheduled to make an official visit to UT on April 15-16.

The Vols also are interested in junior college guard Guy Landry, a 6-5, 210-pounder who led Midland, (Texas) College to a runner-up finish in the NJCAA Division I tournament this season.

Landry, tentatively scheduled to visit UT on April 22-23, is expected to visit Minnesota this weekend and Wichita State on April 15-16. He’s originally from Van Nuys, Calif.

According to jucorecruiting.com, the previous Vols staff offered a scholarship to former UT player Phillip Jurick, who came to UT in 2008 and left after two semesters. The 6-11 Jurick declined the offer after playing well his past two seasons at Chattanooga State. He received other offers from West Virginia, Georgia, Oklahoma and Mississippi State.

Martin has spoken with 6-9, 230 Lekan Ajayi, of the Quality Education Academy in Winston-Salem, N.C., but the parties have yet to meet.

Otto Porter, a 6-8 power forward at Scott County Central in Sikeston, Mo., is ranked No. 97 overall by Rivals and is another player UT has interest in. Martin showed interest in Porter while he was the coach at Missouri State, but Georgetown, Kansas and Missouri are believed to be the leaders.

The Vols are expected to visit Kentucky’s Mr. Basketball, Anthony Hickey, at Hopkinsville Christian County. Hickey, a 5-10 guard, has offers from Nebraska, Mississippi State, LSU, South Carolina and Texas Tech.

A list of Memphis players Martin is recruiting with graduating class in parenthesis: Jarnell Stokes, Memphis Central (2012); Andre Applewhite, Memphis Central (2012); Austin Nichols, Briarcrest Christian (2013); Jonathan Williams, Southwind (2013), Leron Black, White Station, (2014).

Mike Griffith covers Tennessee men’s basketball. He may be reached at griffithm@knoxnews.com or follow him on twitter at http://twitter.com/MikeGriffith32

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Comments » 96

utvols420 writes:

get'r done

sandiegovolunteer writes:

sounds good- keep it up!

sambad writes:

One down, three to go.

Razor784 writes:

Nice save, keep it coming

Slystone writes:

Stokes should be priority #1 as for as in state recruits for 2012. His brother attends UT and he is a strong lean or was under the old regime. It's a matter of these kids liking what Coach has to say and getting them to visit. But it all boils down to the style of play and the sideline coaching this fall. If Coach Zo displays he can compete in the SEC then the players will come. Side bar - please stop comparing him to Wade Houston. He is his own person.

utallvol writes:

Harris, Hopson we need u to come back. Please it's best for all party. We need you to lay the foundation.(VFL) VOL FOR LIFE!!!!!

vols_fan_n_tx writes:

Good news from the Coach. Let's see what Chris Jones says before we celebrate.

PHAT_VOL writes:

Coach ZO playing pro-ball at Memphis will be very helpfull in recruiting the Memphis area. Something we need to do. The basketball program is in good hands. Harris & Hopson come on back one more year will make a big difference for you in the NBA draft.
GO VOLS !!

vet4ut writes:

I'm waiting on WestKnoxRepub to somehow spin this into a negative...

tennrich1 writes:

in response to toddyboy:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

A response like this reminds me of my father-in-law. He wasn't very well liked either.

jg611 writes:

way to go coach.. keep em coming.

dvols writes:

get memphis

how in deep are we cause of the graduation rules from BP....KY none the less?

FedEx_Forum writes:

Good for UT, but where are all the people that were jumping all over this guy just a few days ago... calling him every name in the book?

BigVolFaninSC writes:

A nice save for Cuonzo!...I'll be convinced, though, when he is on the practice court with the team! Come on over to Rocky Top!

eVOLved writes:

in response to vols_fan_n_tx:

Good news from the Coach. Let's see what Chris Jones says before we celebrate.

Well, voltx, he did sign the letter of intent. His not requesting a release speaks volumes.

VOL1972 writes:

in response to FedEx_Forum:

Good for UT, but where are all the people that were jumping all over this guy just a few days ago... calling him every name in the book?

I'm one of those people. It's Martin job to evaluate kids like this so far be it from me to question his judgement. Still, this kid sounds like such a prima donna I have to wonder if the smarter thing to do would have been to get away from him as fast as you could.

Ware sounds like he has a better head on his shoulders. We'll see.

Govolsinmemphica writes:

That is some good news for a change. I hope that Scotty comes back, but I'd rather have Tobias (which I think he is gone0. I do not want to see Calamari dominate the SEC. There was a rumor going around town about him going to the NBA.

everydayisorange writes:

I think our new coach will have a decent year recruiting the early period. This is a tough draw, with the NCAA thing hanging over like a cloud. This coach, I believe, will get the job done in recruiting and coaching the players. Here's to happy supprises! GBO!!!

Govolsinmemphica writes:

in response to everydayisorange:

I think our new coach will have a decent year recruiting the early period. This is a tough draw, with the NCAA thing hanging over like a cloud. This coach, I believe, will get the job done in recruiting and coaching the players. Here's to happy supprises! GBO!!!

I worry about that boring Big Ten style of basketball. Pearl set a nice foundation just like Calapari though. I wish the man well.

cubs_fantoo#1339500 writes:

That would be sweet to land another Mr. Kentucky Basketball star from under Louisville and UK...Hopefully he puts better work on the court than that kid from Hopkinsville......and duplicates what number 5 did for the program!

KINGKONG writes:

jimmy hines said that chris jones and scotty hopson wasnt coming to ut lets hope he is wrong concerning hopson too

Katphan29 writes:

in response to Govolsinmemphica:

That is some good news for a change. I hope that Scotty comes back, but I'd rather have Tobias (which I think he is gone0. I do not want to see Calamari dominate the SEC. There was a rumor going around town about him going to the NBA.

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Katphan29 writes:

in response to cubs_fantoo#1339500:

That would be sweet to land another Mr. Kentucky Basketball star from under Louisville and UK...Hopefully he puts better work on the court than that kid from Hopkinsville......and duplicates what number 5 did for the program!

Its nice when everyone wants to be like us - I love flattery.

VOLDoll writes:

in response to toddyboy:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

But they also played for a coach that had no clue what the hel! he was doing.
Hopson has cost himself millions by signing with Pearl and UT. Pearl has basically ruined Hopsons career.

shipperman#280095 writes:

in response to Katphan29:

Its nice when everyone wants to be like us - I love flattery.

When Calipari leaves, no one will want to be like you. IF he wins a NC there, it will be forfeited in short order, ask Memphis and Mass

shipperman#280095 writes:

in response to VOLDoll:

But they also played for a coach that had no clue what the hel! he was doing.
Hopson has cost himself millions by signing with Pearl and UT. Pearl has basically ruined Hopsons career.

I have always thought you were a total idiot, but you are spot on here on this one

VOLDoll writes:

in response to shipperman#280095:

I have always thought you were a total idiot, but you are spot on here on this one

Coming from a total douche that means a lot.
Tell your dad I'll make supper when I get home.
Mom!

pappyq writes:

in response to Katphan29:

Its nice when everyone wants to be like us - I love flattery.

be like 'us'? really?...what number is on your jersey?

CoverOrange writes:

in response to 02champs#209256:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Except he can't do math.
"UT has between two and six scholarships to offer in the Class of 2011"

UT had as many as 6. With Jones already signed (and Ware released), that's 5. If Hopson and Harris stay that is then 3. So UT has between 3 and 5 scholarships to offer for the class of 2011. How does Griff get 2 and 6?

MiddleoftheRoad writes:

I feel less concerned now that Scotty and Tobias may not be back, with the potential recruits coming in (freshmen and juniors). I think Scotty could learn alot with one more year. On the UT side, I wouldn't mind seeing a slightly less talented, but hungrier team that fights harder, like Pearl's first year. I like C-zo's view of top 100 talent, hungry, playing defense, and staying 3-4 years. Nice.

volspaws writes:

Why is it that the more I read about Chris Jones, the more he reminds me of Tony Harris?

give_him_6 writes:

Don't get too exciteed everyone, Jones still has to qualify and the word is, that's a tall order!

NorthwestVol writes:

in response to vols_fan_n_tx:

Good news from the Coach. Let's see what Chris Jones says before we celebrate.

I get your point, but after the recent 'he hurt my feelings' whine I'd prefer young Mr. Jones keep his focus on the court and let the coach make the public comments.

NorthwestVol writes:

in response to FedEx_Forum:

Good for UT, but where are all the people that were jumping all over this guy just a few days ago... calling him every name in the book?

Yep. The kid's opened his mouth and showed his a**. I'll wait and see how this develops. Bottom line though is this is Coach Martin's team, and my opinion doesn't count.

mocsandvolsfan writes:

in response to shipperman#280095:

I have always thought you were a total idiot, but you are spot on here on this one

I never thought she/he/it(KNS?) was a total idiot! Psycho? Maybe...or just full of hate. I don't think she'll ever stop posting about her boyfriend Pearl.
Now back on track. In reality we gained a lot from Pearl (good and bad) but it's really up to Scotty to make pros. He just needs another college year. I hope he's patient not only for him but for UT as well. A stricter coach will be good for him. Harris could probably be 6th man for a few pro teams and start for others...but lacks in defensive skills or maybe just defensive effort . I'm not sure which. While I liked Pearl and what he brought(before the "mistakes") I believe that 90% of the problems this season was "distractions". IMHO Hopson could lose a lot if he settles for second round. At times this year he looked like he could play with anybody and then there were times he wouldn't have started for anybody. He needs another year in college. Harris unfortunately could probably go this year because he's so mature and seems to really work hard to progress. I'm not slammin' either one because to me they're just kids that need to grow. Harris just matured a little faster so far. Everybody's different.

mocsandvolsfan writes:

Welcome back Chris Jones...(CJ? is that ok?) Give a call to Ware for us? And the rest of the list !!LOL

TennVol01 writes:

I have learned to not celebrate any recruit until they are academically qualified and accepted by UT. These recruits are immature 17 and 18 year olds with big egos who will change their mind on a dime.

RemembertheAlamo writes:

in response to CoverOrange:

Except he can't do math.
"UT has between two and six scholarships to offer in the Class of 2011"

UT had as many as 6. With Jones already signed (and Ware released), that's 5. If Hopson and Harris stay that is then 3. So UT has between 3 and 5 scholarships to offer for the class of 2011. How does Griff get 2 and 6?

If Tobias, Scotty, Ware, and Jones all stay we have 2 (TWO). If these four do not stay then we have 6(Six). This article was probably written before Coach went to Memphis to talk to Jones. But with Jones in the stable we still have 2 or 5, which is still between 2 and 6.
Where did you say you went to school?

GBOEngineer writes:

in response to Katphan29:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Kwanza, really? Racism should be expected from a program that ran off a black coach, even though he had as many national championships as Pitino (and one more than Calapari)

dcap8424 writes:

in response to WildcatsOne:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

wow, so katphan is darius miller (that is who's #1, right)?

Hey Darius (katphan) why are you and your buddies on our local newspaper website? Shouldn't you be in class? Oh I see, you don't have to go to class. Straight A's this semester too!? Way to go.

Hey Wildcatsone, are you Knight or Liggins? I'm scotty hopson.

mtnbikrtn writes:

I hope Coach 'Zo can make inroads into Memphis. I think his background of growing up on the banks of the Mississippi upstream from Memphis is a plus for recruiting there.

Rich_Is_Re-born writes:

Jones will not qualify. Time to start looking at the PG from Hopkinsville, Ky., Ware, Ayjay, Otto Porter, and the G from Okla. Hope like hell we get Tobias back.

VolBy3 writes:

in response to FedEx_Forum:

Good for UT, but where are all the people that were jumping all over this guy just a few days ago... calling him every name in the book?

I still have serious reservations concerning the maturity and attitude of the young man fitting in with a disciplined team concept. CCM must be willing to take on those challenges and I back the coach.

As far as name calling, I refrain from it, but anyone reading these boards needs to have thick skin. Sometimes its embarrassing.

GO VOLS!!

GBOEngineer writes:

in response to BicardiRum:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

BR_ You seem to have made it your personal vendetta to slur Mike Hamilton's good name. If you are so confident that you are correct, please publish your full name, phone number and email address. Stop being a gutless, nameless troll.

lomas98 writes:

I will wait until Chris Jones actually says something before getting too excited. Apparently he is not shy on saying things to the media so it shouldn't be too long. The way these kids are these days, I'm sure Kevin Ware is probably upset martin didn't come see him first.

volmania97 writes:

in response to WildcatsOne:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Not this year...that would be UCONN...lol!!

willaustin writes:

in response to KINGKONG:

jimmy hines said that chris jones and scotty hopson wasnt coming to ut lets hope he is wrong concerning hopson too

The ketchup guy? Wow, he's a little out of his league talking about basketball. Stick to condiments Hines..

I wonder what Jimmy Hyams thinks about all this.. :)

VOLSGURLINCHARLOTTE writes:

in response to WildcatsOne:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Actually, you are not Number 1. Must have already forgot that you guys choked in the big game again and did not get a chance to compete for the NC....hahahaha. So much talent...oh well there is always next year, or the next...

punkin writes:

in response to FedEx_Forum:

Good for UT, but where are all the people that were jumping all over this guy just a few days ago... calling him every name in the book?

They're all Memphis State fans in the Commercial Appeal

CoverOrange writes:

in response to RemembertheAlamo:

If Tobias, Scotty, Ware, and Jones all stay we have 2 (TWO). If these four do not stay then we have 6(Six). This article was probably written before Coach went to Memphis to talk to Jones. But with Jones in the stable we still have 2 or 5, which is still between 2 and 6.
Where did you say you went to school?

Jones was never released from his LOI thus Griff should not ever have counted it as available to offer. This article is about Jones staying, so it is wrong to excuse it for being written earlier.
There are 9 on scholarship and one LOI for a total of 10 leaving 3 to the limit of 13. If Scotty and Tobias leave that is 3 + 2 = 5.
Which remedial school did you go to?

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