Cuonzo Martin to use Neyland Stadium in recruiting visits

Martin talks with Sarah Kim, left, and Ashley Nichols, on Thursday at the Presidental Court Cafe.

Photo by Chad Greene, 2012

Martin talks with Sarah Kim, left, and Ashley Nichols, on Thursday at the Presidental Court Cafe.

Coach Martin ready for football time in Tennessee

PHOTOS BY Chad Greene/Special to the News Sentinel
Alex Taylor takes a photo of Tennessee men's basketball coach Cuonzo Martin, left, and Kyle Daughtrey on Thursday at the Presidential Court Cafe on UT's campus. Martin stopped by the cafe to eat lunch with students and members of his staff.

Photo by Chad Greene, 2012

PHOTOS BY Chad Greene/Special to the News Sentinel Alex Taylor takes a photo of Tennessee men's basketball coach Cuonzo Martin, left, and Kyle Daughtrey on Thursday at the Presidential Court Cafe on UT's campus. Martin stopped by the cafe to eat lunch with students and members of his staff.

Football time in Tennessee means it's recruiting time for Vols basketball.

Neyland Stadium — with its throngs of orange-clad, Rocky Top-singing diehards — is the heat behind coach Cuonzo Martin's sales pitch. The News Sentinel has confirmed some scheduled recruiting visits this fall.

Buford (Ga.) High School senior A.J. Davis, the son of 13-year NBA veteran Antonio Davis, will be on hand for the Vols' home opener against Georgia State next weekend. The 6-foot-8 combo forward holds offers from Auburn, Clemson and Charleston, among others, and is rated as the No. 86 overall recruit in the Class of 2013 by 247Sports.com.

The following weekend will bring the Florida Gators and two of UT's most coveted Memphis-area recruits to Neyland Stadium. Southwind High School forward Johnathan Williams III and Robert Hubbs, a 6-5 guard from Dyer County, each will be in Knoxville.

Of all the recruits UT is eying from Memphis, Williams has the greatest chance of landing with the Vols. The Memphis Commercial Appeal reported Thursday that the crafty 6-foot-6 forward was on his way to Georgetown for an on-campus visit. In addition to UT and Georgetown, Williams, a consensus top-50 player in 2013, also holds offers from Alabama, Arkansas, Auburn and Florida, among others.

Hubbs, whose profile exploded this summer, is a 6-foot-5 shooting guard ranked as the Class of 2013's No. 12 recruit by 247. He's being hotly pursued by Duke and a slew of others.

Other 2013 recruits, Austin Nichols, Quinton Stephens and Alex Foster, plan to visit Knoxville for games, but dates have yet to be finalized.

Nichols, another Memphis native, is a 6-foot-9 power forward from Briarcrest Christian School ranked No. 25 by 247. He reportedly recently trimmed his list to Tennessee, Memphis, Vanderbilt, Auburn, Duke, and Virginia.

Stephens, who made an unofficial visit to Tennessee in June, is a 6-foot-8 wing from Marist High School in Atlanta. He's ranked as the 39th-best small forward in his class. Georgia Tech is reportedly the favorite for Stephens' services.

Foster, a 6-foot-8 forward from Chicago, has offers from Harvard, Minnesota, Nebraska and Wisconsin, in addition to UT.

Alabama-native Travon Landry, who is playing his senior season at Huntington (W.V.) Prep, committed to Tennessee in December, leaving the Vols with three open scholarships after the 2012-13 season.

Regarding the 2014 class, Tennessee has scholarship offers out to

JaQuan Lyle, a 6-foot-4 point guard from Benjamin Bosse (Ind.) High School ranked No. 22 by 247; Ahmed Hill, a 6-foot-4 shooting guard from Aquinas (Ga.) High School ranked No. 20; Leron Black, a 6-foot-7 power forward from White Station (Tenn.) High School ranked No. 33; and Kevon Looney, a 6-foot-6 small forward from Hamilton (Wis.) High School ranked No. 5.

The Vols also have interest in C.J. Turman, an unranked 6-foot-9 power forward from Morgan County (Ga.) High School, and Elijah Staley, a 6-foot-7 forward from Wheeler (Ga.) High School, who is also a highly regarded football player.

Staley's teammate at Wheeler, 6-foot-10 center Daniel Giddens, is one of UT's top target in the Class of 2015.

Brendan F. Quinn covers Tennessee men's basketball. Follow him at http://twitter.com/BFQuinn

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Comments » 8

budd#207344 writes:

Nice to see our name in with the likes of Duke and some Big Ten schools. CCM is doing it right. Go Vols

lstbodeanvol writes:

cool go vols

tennrich1 writes:

Spending time with the Nichols sister....smart...

jawbreaker writes:

Not trying to nit-pick here, but is Dyer County now considered "Memphis-area"?

RockVegas writes:

I think Coach is doing the right thing,and will have this basketball team back in the hunt of things before long,I would use Football season for recruiting too.I would also use Basketball season to recruit Football.There aren't to many schools that have a big time Football stadium and Basketball arena think about it,these kids love a wild home crowd...LOL.Just like last night in Atlanta,it was just like being on Good Ol Rocky Top....GBO.

johnlg00 writes:

in response to RockVegas:

I think Coach is doing the right thing,and will have this basketball team back in the hunt of things before long,I would use Football season for recruiting too.I would also use Basketball season to recruit Football.There aren't to many schools that have a big time Football stadium and Basketball arena think about it,these kids love a wild home crowd...LOL.Just like last night in Atlanta,it was just like being on Good Ol Rocky Top....GBO.

The Vols will be right in the thick of the hunt THIS year. I will be amazed if they finish the season out of the top 25. These recruits are vital to ensure that the Vols will be in the hunt for years to come.

Ironcity writes:

Thanks for the info for a basketball junkie like me its nice to know whats going on with UT basketball.

Ayres_Hall writes:

Great coverage of bball. Thanks Brendan.

Presidential cafe looks different than it did in 1980s... :-)

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