Armani Moore said Tuesday his whirlwind recruitment will culminate with him signing to play basketball with Tennessee at 11:30 a.m. Wednesday at Mount Paran Christian School in Kennesaw, Ga.
Moore, a 6-foot-5 combo guard who averaged 22 points, 9.3 rebounds, 3.9 blocks and 2.3 steals per game last season at his Class A school, made a verbal commitment to sign with the Vols on March 20.
"I was just praying and waiting on a sign,'' said Moore, who many first believed was headed to the College of Charleston despite his lack of a verbal commitment to the Cougars. "I wasn't set on Charleston. Tennessee had been recruiting me, and as time went on, the process got easier.''
Mount Paran coach Scott Varner wasn't sure what direction Moore was headed; in addition to the College of Charleston, Florida State, Georgia Tech and Ole Miss had shown interest at different times during Moore's high school career.
But Varner also knew Tennessee had never dropped off the radar, and he had a feeling about Moore's budding relationship with UT coach Cuonzo Martin.
"I watched how much he took in from Coach Martin, and I didn't see that type of interaction from anyone else recruiting him,'' Varner said. "They just related so well.
"The other thing was that Tennessee had continued to recruit him; they didn't care that Charleston was out there.''
Moore, who started his high school career in Swainsboro, Ga., before transferring to Mount Paran prior to last season, said he can relate with Martin's tough upbringing in East St. Louis, Ill.
"Just how Coach grew up, having just his mother, not living in a big house,'' said Moore, who's rated a three-star prospect. "Coach had to get everything on his own, and he had to use basketball to get out of the 'hood. I know that's hard.
"I feel like any time I need it, he can give me the right words of encouragement. He's been in the same spot.''
Moore also talked with former Alabama second-team All-SEC player Tony Mitchell about his recruitment.
Mitchell lived across the street from Moore in Swainsboro, Ga., when the players were young, and they refer to each other as "godbrothers."
"I stayed with him, he stayed over with me,'' Moore said. "Tony told me if I had an opportunity to go SEC, I should really look at it.''
Moore got his first look at Martin when UT played at the College of Charleston on Dec. 14. It was a game some thought Martin would ask new athletic director Dave Hart to buy out and not play this season.
But Martin stuck with all of the scheduling of the previous staff, not knowing at the time it could pay a direct dividend with a recruit.
Moore was intrigued enough with Martin to come to UT for two unofficial visits; on Jan. 14 at the Kentucky game, and again on March 3 for the Vols' win over Vanderbilt.
"The crowd was great at both of those games,'' Varner said. "I could see it really opened up Armani's eyes.''
Varner said Moore can play point guard in addition to shooting guard or on the wing.
Tennessee is looking to shore up its point guard position with the transfer of freshman Wes Washpun to Northern Iowa.
Moore said he plans to enroll at UT for the second term of summer school, in July.
Mike Griffith covers Tennessee men's basketball. Follow him at http://twitter.com/MikeGriffith32