Tennessee coach Cuonzo Martin’s men’s basketball staff is recruiting this week with one eye on the future, offering a scholarship to Jabari Parker, a 6-foot-7, 210-pound Class of 2013 forward from Chicago.
Parker, a sophomore at the Simeon Career Academy, is “hands down the best player in the state of Illinois regardless of class” according to the Illinois Prep Bulls-eye website.
Parker is ranked No. 2 in the Class of 2013, according to ESPN.com, and he also is considering Kansas, Georgetown, Illinois, Washington and Michigan State. He will go to Washington on an unofficial visit this weekend.
The ESPN.com scouting report on Parker states: “Parker plays with energy and urgency and seems to take the game very serious . . . he has the tools to be a special player. He is versatile on the offensive end, with the ability to make plays from the wing, low block and high post.’’
In Class of 2011 news, UT no longer is recruiting 6-9 forward Lekan Ajayi of the Quality Education Academy in Winston-Salem, N.C. Ajayi visited Auburn this past weekend and told the News Sentinel on Monday that his final two choices are Wyoming and Loyola Marymount.
The Auburn Undercover 24/website reports that Auburn, Missouri and Loyola Marymount are his final three.
The Vols have two signees in the Class of 2011: point guard Wes Washpun of Washington High School in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, and combo guard Chris Jones of Melrose High School in Memphis.
Josh Richardson, a 6-5 combo guard from Santa Fe High School in Edmond, Okla., made a verbal commitment to UT on Saturday to sign in the Class of 2011, and told the News Sentinel he will fax in his signed National Letter of Intent by the end of this week.
Bishop Daniels, a Class of 2011 signee at Miami, Fla., has asked to be released from his National Letter of Intent with the Hurricanes and wants to sign with Tennessee or Rutgers, according to Sports Illustrated’s website.
The Vols will not actively pursue Daniels until he has been released from his scholarship. Daniels, a 6-2 shooting guard out of Word of God Christian Academy in Raleigh, N.C., is ranked No. 112 in the Class of 2011 by Rivals.com. Daniels is the only player former Miami coach Frank Haith signed before leaving the program to take over as head coach at Missouri.
One-time Tennessee signee Kevin Ware has committed to Central Florida, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Ware, of Rockdale County High School in Conyers, Ga., was released from his National Letter of Intent after former Vols coach Bruce Pearl was fired.
Ware, ranked 56th nationally, will play in the adidas Derby Classic all-star game in Louisville on Friday.
Former UT player Phillip Jurick, a 6-11, 245-pound post who left the Vols after two semesters during the 2008-09 season and transferred to Chattanooga State, has signed with Oklahoma State.
Jurick averaged 10.5 points, 12.6 rebounds and 9.5 blocks last season.