Coach Martin ready for football time in Tennessee
Photo by Chad Greene, 2012 // Buy this photo
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