Point guard Wes Washpun signs with Tennessee

Wes Washpun

Wes Washpun

Point guard Wes Washpun made his future in the Tennessee men’s basketball program official, signing his National of Letter Intent on Wednesday morning.

“It’s official,” Washpun said in a phone interview Wednesday morning, “I’m a Vol!”

Washpun, who played at Washington High School in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, chose Tennessee over Iowa even though his high school teammate, Josh Oglesby, signed with the Hawkeyes.

The spring signing period began Wednesday and runs through May 18.

As one might expect, Washpun faced pressure to stay with the home-state school.

“It was really hard, especially with my teammate and good friend Josh Oglesby going there,” Washpun said. “But I think I made the right decision to come to Tennessee.”

Washpun is a 6-foot-1, 170-pounder with a 43-inch vertical leap who UT coach Cuonzo Martin began recruiting when he was coach at Missouri State.

Martin did not comment on Washpun’s signing on Wednesday because UT had yet to process Washpun’s paperwork.

Washpun averaged 18 points, 5.5 assists, six rebounds and 2.5 blocked shots per game and set his school’s record for steals last season.

Washpun said his relationship with Martin led to him signing with the Vols despite having never been to Knoxville.

“The big part of my decision was definitely Coach Martin and how he has been recruiting me throughout this whole process,” Washpun said. “He’s a man I trust.”

The Vols have one other signee in the Class of 2011, Chris Jones of Melrose High School in Memphis. Jones is a 5-10 guard ranked 39th nationally by Rivals.com.

UT also has offered a scholarship to Josh Richardson, a 6-5 combo guard out of Santa Fe High School in Edmond, Okla., who is Rivals’ No. 121 overall player. Richardson is expected to make an official visit to UT on Friday and Saturday.

The Vols still are recruiting one-time signee Kevin Ware, of Rockdale County High School in Conyers, Ga. Ware, a 6-5 wing ranked No. 56 nationally by Rivals, tentatively is scheduled to visit UT on Sunday.

Washpun received a three-star rating from Rivals.com, but he is not ranked in Rivals’ top 150 players.

“It doesn’t bother me,” Washpun said. “It just motivates me to work on my game and prove the people that do the ratings wrong.”

Washpun said he needs to work on his perimeter shooting.

“I definitely will be doing lots of reps on my shot, trying to get it down,” Washpun said. “I don’t think I’m a totally bad shooter. It’s just inconsistent moments I have. I think that is one of the biggest areas of concern about my game.”

The good news for Vols fans is that the left-handed Washpun has many strengths, and he’s anxious to use them in what Martin has told him will be an exciting style of play at Tennessee.

“They’ll play very fast and very energetic and get after it on the defensive end,” Washpun said. “It’s going to be very up-tempo, a lot of pressure, getting up and down, making it hard for the other teams’ guards.”

Washpun made it hard on North Carolina guard Harrison Barnes last season when the pair met in the first round of the Iowa high school state tournament.

“It was definitely a good experience,” Washpun said. “Me and Harrison played in the first round of the state tournament last year, and it was going pretty well until the third quarter when I got in foul trouble and had to sit down.

“When I sat down, he had six points . . . ”

Barnes scored 20 points after Washpun exited the contest.

“I like challenges, and going up against (SEC) guys will be challenging,” he said. “But I think I’m up for it.”

The Vols will sign between two and six players in the Class of 2011, depending on the futures of Scotty Hopson and Tobias Harris, who have said they are testing the NBA draft waters.

The players have until May 8 to decide if they will return to UT for another season.

Martin said Tuesday he doesn’t think the Vols will use all of their allotted scholarships this season.

“I don’t think we’ll use all 13 scholarships,” Martin said. “I don’t want to sign someone for one year, then have them be unhappy when we recruit over them the following year.

“We’re already evaluating the next recruiting class. We’re already looking at 2012, 2013, 2014.”

Martin said he is aware UT is facing the possibility of scholarship reductions when it goes before the NCAA Committee on Infractions on June 10-11 in Indianapolis for a hearing involving recruiting improprieties that occurred under former coach Bruce Pearl.

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Comments » 52

brewcrew writes:

Good Job! After reading recent articles about the new staff and how they are relating to the players, I think UT Basketball is in good hands!

TennVol01 writes:

He is 73" tall and jumps 43" ... so do the math and his head can reach 116" or 9.66 feet. The hoop is set at ten feet. Not bad.

We desperately need a center. I have not heard any news about going after a big guy. Perhaps Coach will play three forwards and two guards.

springtx_vol writes:

in response to slaw_way:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

I hope that we keep signing them until we find one that can play the position in college. They are a hard commodity to find.

GreerVol22 writes:

nice job coach, now find us a couple of those Dirk Nowitzki types to shore up the inside.

TommyJack writes:

Good get.

Rookie2 writes:

I hope that picture of Washpun is indicative of the direction our basketball program is going. I want to pull for guys that have some fire in their belly, for a change.

jasvol writes:

in response to Rookie2:

I hope that picture of Washpun is indicative of the direction our basketball program is going. I want to pull for guys that have some fire in their belly, for a change.

Amen! Amen brother. That is what we are missing from our teams of late. CM will bring it back!

VOLliven2it writes:

in response to slaw_way:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Probably the number that indicates we have one who can get the job done. I'm ok with that but we do need other players, a big man inside would be great!

EastTennGirl writes:

Welcome to Big Orange Country Wes!!!

MusicCityVol writes:

Love this kids huge dunk. Super athlete.

Basketball Spring Signing Period 2011
http://checkerboardchatter.blogspot.c...

Munsterlander writes:

Welcome Wes!

rx7outkast writes:

in response to TennVol01:

He is 73" tall and jumps 43" ... so do the math and his head can reach 116" or 9.66 feet. The hoop is set at ten feet. Not bad.

We desperately need a center. I have not heard any news about going after a big guy. Perhaps Coach will play three forwards and two guards.

I think you failed to account for the length of his arms there sport. Unless he's attempting to dunk with his teeth, I think he'll be fine.

GerryOP writes:

Welcome to Big Oange Country Wes! Now go out and prove Coach 'Zo right!

Rookie2 writes:

in response to rx7outkast:

I think you failed to account for the length of his arms there sport. Unless he's attempting to dunk with his teeth, I think he'll be fine.

That was his point... his head almost touches the rim when he jumps. Obviously his arms would extend quite a bit further above the rim... :rolleyes:

PHAT_VOL writes:

in response to TennVol01:

He is 73" tall and jumps 43" ... so do the math and his head can reach 116" or 9.66 feet. The hoop is set at ten feet. Not bad.

We desperately need a center. I have not heard any news about going after a big guy. Perhaps Coach will play three forwards and two guards.

Correct, Watch him dunk on you tube. His head is in the middle of the net. Some will say not important for point guard. But it is when he's playing D or getting his J off.
GO VOLS !!!

Vol43 writes:

Weird. After 21 posts no one has said fire Hamilton. Hey, maybe it's getting better. Looks like things are looking up for our basketball team. Go VOLS!

volsnationalchamps writes:

Welcome to Big Orange Country WES... Way to go Coach Martin. Bring in couple more good recruits. Can't wait to see him play next yr.
GO VOLS!!!

196SVol writes:

Great photo. A solid #2...which is better than a loose #2 I guess.

Simply_Orange51 writes:

If the picture is any indication of the energy he brings to the game, this young man should be fun to watch. This year, I missed some the non-stop 40-minute players that never gave up ....... motivated without having to be conjoled with a mentally tough attitude like we have had in the past. We all missed that and better team chemistry in several games this year. There's a name for what was missing........ LEADERSHIP ....... it's an earned title and it generally comes with age. Who will it be, time will tell.

NO_DIGGITY writes:

in response to BodeaneVol:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Gomer,

It's Wes Washpun. Try reading the Article Headline. You should have learned that before your guzentas and real writing classes at Paris Island.

Semper Fi

ProwlinAndGrowlinSmokeyDog writes:

When I first heard about the hiring of Coach Martin, I was like "Who?"..I was like the majority of Vol fans because of the uncertainty factor of hiring an "unknown", but I have a feeling that we will like the end result because he will produce wins and make a name for himself..This is the perfect chance for him to move up in the coaching ranks and ruffle some feathers..From what I have read about him and heard thus far, it seems that this is the kind of coach that this team needs..One that demands hard work and that will get the most out of each and every player.

I have looked at some photos from their practice drills and I must say that I am impressed..The drills look very "organized" and the players look focused like they want to impress Coach Martin...This team looks to be an very hard-working team and disciplined team that will always play hard and never give up.

On topic, looks like a great get..By the looks of the picture with the article, he looks to play with a lot of intensity and we certainly need more players like that.

And Smokey continues to prowl....
.....

mocsandvolsfan writes:

3 potentially great points? Can't complain.

born2ride writes:

What is he ranked?

BobKesling_is_overpaid writes:

in response to CantStandSaban:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Will probably still sweep Candybilt though.

johnlg00 writes:

in response to Shiggiddyhappens:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Yeah, my eyes popped on that one, too! Living here in Greensboro, NC, I saw Barnes on TV about 20 times last season, and the cat can play. Interesting that at 6'8" Barnes still couldn't regularly post Washpun up. If he had been able to, he surely would have scored more than six points on him.

therightstuff writes:

OK...here's the deal.....point guards win championships. Having two or three that play the point is a great thing. Also, Coach Martin is going after a defensive beast from Winston-Salem, NC to shore up the inside. OUR Tennessee Volunteer basketball coach is the real deal....he is a winner and will make these young Volunteers winners, on and off the court.
Do I have an amen!

therightstuff writes:

in response to slaw_way:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

More than Bruce.....

Witch_Doctors writes:

in response to born2ride:

What is he ranked?

Witch Doctor ask why? does he set off your whine-dar?
Bones never lie.

therightstuff writes:

in response to BodeaneVol:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Two guys may leave for the draft and would have regardless of the coach. The others were in their last year of eligibility. Who's running away? Oh, my bad, Urban Myer has already run........

Vol43 writes:

in response to CantStandSaban:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

hey sweetcheeks

John_10065 writes:

in response to slaw_way:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

There's been some great 3 guard teams over the years.

If you can handle the pill and shoot from the perimeter, it makes the inside game a lot easier.

You need some big guys on the inside sure but there isn't anything wrong with being loaded in the guard position. Heck a 6'1" physical guard who can leap 40+" could fill in the 3 slot if he needed to do so.

It's still early in the recruiting season. So far Martin isn't doing a bad job at all this time of year and that is signing good recruits with a pending NCAA spanking on the horizon. One year handcuffed might not be a bad thing. It might keep the diaper dandies from considering UT. Personally I would rather have a 3 or 4 year recruit that can be developed than a player who is looking to go a year and then get drafted.

wildcatbasketball writes:

Kid is not in the top 150 players in America? I would be excited too, to play for UT....UT fans..I hate to say it but will be a long road back....No offense, but you hire a coach with no big time school experience and this is what you get...

carbonzip writes:

Read the article in SI this week about point guards in the NBA. Maybe Coach Martin knows a thing or two about basketball.

mattlock writes:

in response to TennVol01:

He is 73" tall and jumps 43" ... so do the math and his head can reach 116" or 9.66 feet. The hoop is set at ten feet. Not bad.

We desperately need a center. I have not heard any news about going after a big guy. Perhaps Coach will play three forwards and two guards.

Where you been? We are talking to at least 3 post players and will sign at least one.

mattlock writes:

in response to wildcatbasketball:

Kid is not in the top 150 players in America? I would be excited too, to play for UT....UT fans..I hate to say it but will be a long road back....No offense, but you hire a coach with no big time school experience and this is what you get...

You're right, we should have hired Gillispie. . .or paid over 3 mil for the chance to have seasons vacated in the future.

wildcatbasketball writes:

in response to mattlock:

You're right, we should have hired Gillispie. . .or paid over 3 mil for the chance to have seasons vacated in the future.

mattlock----Funny...admit it...Ut will always be average in BB....you are happy with an average (at best) hire in a coach and start applauding his 1st recruit. Look it up, this kid had offers from South Dakota and South Dakota State???? Had some interest from Bradley, Creighton, Iowa to name a few more. Either the best colleges in the nation have terrible coaches and recruiters who do not know talent(which I doubt)or UT grabs at straws to get a player that wants to come to UT which has just happened. No offense to the kid but facts are facts. Again, I welcome you to look this kid up on the internet and see what big time colleges were recruiting him. Nothing against the kid, like I said, I would have came to UT as well if I was him based on what colleges were recruiting him...

wildcatbasketball writes:

in response to CantStandSaban:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

CantStandSaban---I like your comment...they can't see it for the orange colored glasses they are wearing.....UT is in shambles and has been for 2-3 years but they can't see it for whatever reason, oh I said it earlier, it is the glasses....

Witch_Doctors writes:

in response to wildcatbasketball:

CantStandSaban---I like your comment...they can't see it for the orange colored glasses they are wearing.....UT is in shambles and has been for 2-3 years but they can't see it for whatever reason, oh I said it earlier, it is the glasses....

Witch Doctor say this coming for a fanbase that named a highway "Mumme Blvd" and bought air-raid sirens BEFORE Hal Mumme ever coached a game. Witch Doctor ask how that work out? lol. Witch Doctor say lets just all admit we are FANS of our own team...now why are you here defending everything Kentucky? lol.
Bones never lie.

Colliervol writes:

in response to wildcatbasketball:

Kid is not in the top 150 players in America? I would be excited too, to play for UT....UT fans..I hate to say it but will be a long road back....No offense, but you hire a coach with no big time school experience and this is what you get...

Of course, he'll be in Knoxville more than one year. How in the world are you guys keeping track of who's representing the Big Blue Nation these days? A veritable revolving door of college "students" (and I use the term very loosely) in Lexington these days.

VolNationPride writes:

in response to wildcatbasketball:

CantStandSaban---I like your comment...they can't see it for the orange colored glasses they are wearing.....UT is in shambles and has been for 2-3 years but they can't see it for whatever reason, oh I said it earlier, it is the glasses....

Glad you can beat us in one sport, shall we check on the others for the University?

Enjoy your wins, Coach Cal won't be there for too many years. Remember those Gillespie(sp) years? I liked Kentucky back in the Patino and Tubby years, to bad I can't say the same now.

milhaudmeto writes:

in response to wildcatbasketball:

Kid is not in the top 150 players in America? I would be excited too, to play for UT....UT fans..I hate to say it but will be a long road back....No offense, but you hire a coach with no big time school experience and this is what you get...

wow...and I was under the conclusion that KY fans had impressive BB I.Q? So I guess CM playing @ Purdue as a player, playing pro ball in the NBA, then coaching as an assistant @ Purdue, becoming a head coach @ MS before arriving here doesn't equate to being around or having experience in big time settings......but what do i know, I'm just an educated UT and Yale grad. GBO!

mocsandvolsfan writes:

4:00am I'm sleepless and all I can see are TROLLS. It's OK though I read canstand and a coupla others and I'm sleepy again.

chattbud writes:

The 6-11" center was/is Lekan Ajayi. He verbally committed to Pearl & Tn. after the Ky. game. The same game Hamilton's athletic dept gave two additional tickets to SH's Mom. The athletic dept. moved two tickets from the Lady Vols allotment (they were @ away game) to SH's Mom then blamed the coach for another recruiting violation. Then fired the coach he claimed to support. The TOP 50 point guard was/is Ware. Washpun is (a typical before Pearl's 6-NCAA banners) a not ranked Rivals top 150.

Rich_Is_Re-born writes:

in response to chattbud:

The 6-11" center was/is Lekan Ajayi. He verbally committed to Pearl & Tn. after the Ky. game. The same game Hamilton's athletic dept gave two additional tickets to SH's Mom. The athletic dept. moved two tickets from the Lady Vols allotment (they were @ away game) to SH's Mom then blamed the coach for another recruiting violation. Then fired the coach he claimed to support. The TOP 50 point guard was/is Ware. Washpun is (a typical before Pearl's 6-NCAA banners) a not ranked Rivals top 150.

The top 50 point guard is Chris Jones. Kevin Ware isn't top 50 nor is he a PG. As for your last comment: "Washpun is (a typical before Pearl's 6-NCAA banners) a not ranked Rivals top 150." WTH does that mean? Don't sit there and act like Pearl didn't bring in similar guys. I remember Daniel West, Josh Tabb, and Skylar McBee. ALL brought in by Pearl, NONE being top 150. Lets not forget Brian Williams, John Fields, and Steven Pearl. I'm pretty sure they were not top 150 players and they gobbeled up most of UT's minutes this season. Not to mention players who were dismissed for thugging under Pearl.

Did it ever occur to you and the other simpletons that perhaps CCM KNOWS Chris Jones won't make it in school but wants to wait for him to go to prep-school. So we have Golden at PG and this guy from Iowa for depth. Then come next yr, Jones comes in. Trey Golden will be a top notch SEC PG, you mark my words. The level of player development under Pearl was questionable at best IMO. This reminds me of Dooley's first commit, a lowly little no-name LB from Ga Christian Harris. Everyone was up in arms, then Dooley put a fabulous class around Harris and the rest is history. We will be OK if the nobody's like you will give CCM a damn chance.

easleychuck writes:

You can teach an athletic kid to shoot a basketball. You can't teach pure quickness or a vertical of 43".

To the trolls, why are you here if there is so little to be concerned about? Right, just trolling.

C74Law77 writes:

Go Vols...I'll just hangup and listen.

Lets see, we just stole this guy right out from under the noses of North Dakota, North Dakota State, South Dakota, South Dakota State, and Missouri State. Way to go Coach Houston!! Oops, Martin

brod writes:

in response to wildcatbasketball:

Kid is not in the top 150 players in America? I would be excited too, to play for UT....UT fans..I hate to say it but will be a long road back....No offense, but you hire a coach with no big time school experience and this is what you get...

yeah, well i hope you enjoyed the rivalry while it lasted.

VolunteerLifer writes:

in response to CantStandSaban:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Maybe so for now, Saban, but we have upside. And Vandy doesn't.

jandjhome#228397 writes:

This is a good one. He will help us.

jandjhome#228397 writes:

I wish the Commode Dores had a web site, maybe we would not get their garbage.

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