UT basketball staff on road evaluating prospects at camps

Tennessee head coach Cuonzo Martin talks with assistant head coach Tracy Webster, left, during the second half against Florida at Thompson-Boling Arena Tuesday, Feb. 26, 2013. Tennessee won 64-58 over Florida. (ADAM BRIMER/NEWS SENTINEL)

Photo by Adam Brimer

Tennessee head coach Cuonzo Martin talks with assistant head coach Tracy Webster, left, during the second half against Florida at Thompson-Boling Arena Tuesday, Feb. 26, 2013. Tennessee won 64-58 over Florida. (ADAM BRIMER/NEWS SENTINEL)

College basketball’s July recruiting period got underway Wednesday, sending the Tennessee coaching staff sprawling to small gyms for the weekend.

The July recruiting period consists of three four-day evaluation periods. The three biggest ongoing events are the Peach Jam in South Carolina, the Reebok Classic Breakout Camp in Philadelphia and the Adidas Invitational in Indianapolis.

Each UT coach is currently on the road.

Coach Cuonzo Martin is expected to appear at all three locations before the evaluation period concludes on Sunday at 5 p.m.

Martin was in Indianapolis on Thursday, eyeing five-star power forward Kevon Looney, among a bevy of other players. Looney hails from Milwaukee and is being pursued by powers such as Duke, Michigan, Michigan State, Georgetown, Florida and UCLA.

UT assistant coaches Tracy Webster and Kent Williams have been assigned stops at the Adidas Invitational and Peach Jam, while Jon Harris will attend the Reebok Breakout Camp and Peach Jam.

Included in a lengthy roster of 2014 standouts at Peach Jam are Tennessee targets Leron Black, a consensus top-50 power forward from Memphis White Station; James Demery, a 6-foot-4 shooting guard from North Carolina; Devin Mitchell, a 6-3 guard from Georgia; and Isaiah Manderson a 6-11 center from North Carolina.

According to a Wednesday report from 247Sports, Manderson holds offers from UT, Oregon State, Kansas State, Florida State and Georgia, and will visit the Vols and others over the next two months before making a decision.

Tennessee natives Jalen Lindsey and Makinde London are among the UT targets playing in Philadelphia. Both are top-100 recruits, but Lindsey, a highly touted 6-6 small forward who recently transferred from Nashville’s Christ Presbyterian Academy to Huntington (W.Va.) Prep, carries a far higher profile as a known commodity. London, a 6-9 forward from Spring Hill, Tenn., has burst onto the scene as one of this summer’s rising stars.

London was offered a scholarship to UT following the team’s elite camp in late June.

Jordan Cornish, a 6-4 shooting guard from New Orleans who verbally committed to Tennessee in May, is at the Reebok camp in Philadelphia.

In addition to Cornish, UT also holds a verbal commitment from Philip Cofer, a 6-8, 205-pound power forward from Fayetteville, Ga.

That leaves the Vols with two open scholarships for the 2014 class, possibly three, if UT junior Jarnell Stokes declares for the NBA draft following the 2013-14 season.

The remaining evaluation periods this month run from July 17-21 and July 24-28.

Brendan F. Quinn covers Tennessee men’s basketball. Follow him at Twitter.com/BFQuinn

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Comments » 15

johnlg00 writes:

It'll be interesting how many of these guys wind up signing and playing for the Vols, but for the most part, these guys are the level of player that I always hoped Martin would get in on. If he can show this season that he can coach talent, a lot more talent will be willing to come to UT.

But be warned, Vol fans! As the talent level goes up, team cohesion can often go down. Even if the players fit well together both on the court and in the locker room, elite-level players don't tend to stay around as long, and there is a level of trust among guys who have been together for two or three or four years that can't be fully duplicated by teams full of one-and-dones. The possibility of competing agendas can destroy any combination of talent.

By gradually working his way into the consciousness of the rising elite players, Martin becomes a known and somewhat trusted quantity. A successful season will give him the confidence to make his final selections as much on character as on talent. He has the opportunity to reach some lofty goals. I surely wish him well.

RememberWhen writes:

And they'll come back with their typical haul of 2 star guys that nobody else wanted, claim they've found sleepers and continue to lead the world in first round NIT losses....

mocsandvolsfan writes:

We have good talent now if a few stay. But a couple of bigs and a 4 or 5 star would be nice. That said I'm not afraid of getting any physically talanted young man that is teachable.

CoverOrange writes:

Remember When Stokes and Hubbs were two stars coming out of high school? Yeah, neither do I.

johnlg00 writes:

in response to CoverOrange:

Remember When Stokes and Hubbs were two stars coming out of high school? Yeah, neither do I.

Just as is the case with the football team, optimists can find plenty of reasons for cheer, but it means nothing until we see how it all unfolds on the field or the court. The bar is, or ought to be, somewhat lower for the football team than it is for the basketball team. Real, solid, foundation-building progress by the football team might not always show up on the scoreboard, but this the best chance in years for the basketball team to really climb that ladder. Until they come through, the trolls and negaVols can carp all they want. If they come through, we can look back on this off-season as the time the new Vol surge was unleashed. If not, well, heck, it's just ball(;-P)!

voloffaith writes:

in response to RememberWhen:

And they'll come back with their typical haul of 2 star guys that nobody else wanted, claim they've found sleepers and continue to lead the world in first round NIT losses....

Question......do you RememberWhen ewe were quiet?

Man everyday for you is a'sky is falling' day evidently.......

on topic, at least the coach knows where to go and what they are looking for........

RememberWhen writes:

in response to voloffaith:

Question......do you RememberWhen ewe were quiet?

Man everyday for you is a'sky is falling' day evidently.......

on topic, at least the coach knows where to go and what they are looking for........

LMAO!!! Hell a bank robber knows where to go and what he's looking for...and of course most never get it!

brod writes:

in response to johnlg00:

It'll be interesting how many of these guys wind up signing and playing for the Vols, but for the most part, these guys are the level of player that I always hoped Martin would get in on. If he can show this season that he can coach talent, a lot more talent will be willing to come to UT.

But be warned, Vol fans! As the talent level goes up, team cohesion can often go down. Even if the players fit well together both on the court and in the locker room, elite-level players don't tend to stay around as long, and there is a level of trust among guys who have been together for two or three or four years that can't be fully duplicated by teams full of one-and-dones. The possibility of competing agendas can destroy any combination of talent.

By gradually working his way into the consciousness of the rising elite players, Martin becomes a known and somewhat trusted quantity. A successful season will give him the confidence to make his final selections as much on character as on talent. He has the opportunity to reach some lofty goals. I surely wish him well.

the expectations are high now for martin. he has had his two year transition period to allow mediocre play. in some areas he has exceeded expectations, like conference play. in some areas he has not met expectations, like pre-conference play and post-season tournament play. he has also paid the price for not having a true point guard.

johnlg00 writes:

in response to brod:

the expectations are high now for martin. he has had his two year transition period to allow mediocre play. in some areas he has exceeded expectations, like conference play. in some areas he has not met expectations, like pre-conference play and post-season tournament play. he has also paid the price for not having a true point guard.

You're right; if it is ever to really come together for CCM--and I am pulling for him--it has to be this year. Even if it does, he will have to replace a LOT of production after next year, so he had better be recruiting some immediate difference-maker types. But if it does come together for him, it will seem as if UT has exploded out of nowhere and good prospects might be picking up their phones. It will help if Stokes and Hubbs decide to stay another year, but they will still need more from guys who are currently deep down the bench or have yet to be signed.

John_10065 writes:

in response to johnlg00:

You're right; if it is ever to really come together for CCM--and I am pulling for him--it has to be this year. Even if it does, he will have to replace a LOT of production after next year, so he had better be recruiting some immediate difference-maker types. But if it does come together for him, it will seem as if UT has exploded out of nowhere and good prospects might be picking up their phones. It will help if Stokes and Hubbs decide to stay another year, but they will still need more from guys who are currently deep down the bench or have yet to be signed.

Don't forget that the BP apologists will be out in full force after this season if UT doesn't make a respectable post season run.

mocsandvolsfan writes:

in response to John_10065:

Don't forget that the BP apologists will be out in full force after this season if UT doesn't make a respectable post season run.

BP won't be back. I could be wrong but it doesn't make sense to hire someone that is so unpredictable in his morals. I'm not at all perfect and I would welcome him with certain stipulations. But I don't see Hart as the man to hire him. Besides I think we'll have some great runs to come under Martin. At least that's my hope.

I like the way UTC is going now as well. New coaches in men's and women's and both with great track records. Probably a little bit of unwanted info.

mocsandvolsfan writes:

in response to brod:

the expectations are high now for martin. he has had his two year transition period to allow mediocre play. in some areas he has exceeded expectations, like conference play. in some areas he has not met expectations, like pre-conference play and post-season tournament play. he has also paid the price for not having a true point guard.

Well let's just wait and see I guess. I hate the word mediocre for his first year hear. He actually did much better than everyone expected. Last year I think he had mediocre or worse from a couple of players that really hurt us. We didn't know who was gonna show up for games basically. I realize this was due primarily to injuries and I have no ill feelings towards any players. Plus hindsight tells us it seems Martin needed to try some different defenses with the perimeter. Zone maybe? Some mixture of zone. He didn't stop the wide open lanes for any team that had quick aggressive guards that could shoot. Yes the point position IMHO was the main problem on defense(sorry 'bout that Golden). It wasn't the only problem on defense though. But when the point underachieved the whole team seemed to lag.

That was then and this is now. Bo Vols and go UT.

mocsandvolsfan writes:

Bo Vols.hehe BO KNOWS!

johnlg00 writes:

in response to mocsandvolsfan:

BP won't be back. I could be wrong but it doesn't make sense to hire someone that is so unpredictable in his morals. I'm not at all perfect and I would welcome him with certain stipulations. But I don't see Hart as the man to hire him. Besides I think we'll have some great runs to come under Martin. At least that's my hope.

I like the way UTC is going now as well. New coaches in men's and women's and both with great track records. Probably a little bit of unwanted info.

I don't think Pearl will be back, either. That won't stop some of his, um, more devoted fans from using him as a stick to beat Martin up with if Martin doesn't have the kind of season lots of us think he will have. If he does have a really good season and signs some good players in next spring's signing period, then he will probably be here for awhile, and rightly so. He won't be off some people's "hit list" even if he DOES have a good season this year, BUT doesn't sign any high-impact recruits.

mocsandvolsfan writes:

in response to johnlg00:

I don't think Pearl will be back, either. That won't stop some of his, um, more devoted fans from using him as a stick to beat Martin up with if Martin doesn't have the kind of season lots of us think he will have. If he does have a really good season and signs some good players in next spring's signing period, then he will probably be here for awhile, and rightly so. He won't be off some people's "hit list" even if he DOES have a good season this year, BUT doesn't sign any high-impact recruits.

Honestly JOhnOO a part of me would love to see Pearl back. I suspect that Pearl is not the demon some have made him. I also believe that Martin is not the moron that some try to paint him.

I'm basing my belief in a good to great season on the talent I believe we have. But many others in the SEC have similar talent. I'm hoping our experience will win out. I still think McRae, Maymon, AND Stokes are gonna be "impact players" this next year. Maymon's had some bad luck that may turn to our good in that he's still around. McRae is a natural scorer in many ways even though he needs to tighten his ball control and passing. Plus if he follows his shots to the basket he'll get a few "extra" points. However! Defense is where we're gonna be the better team.imho. If we can get good pressure we'll score a lot off steals and quick passing off rebounds.

Next year's signings will depend on this years success. Right? It's this I'm hoping will land some "impact players". I'll take a couple of 4*s personally. Especially bigs 6'9" + would be awesome. 4* players tend to hang around a couple years at least. NOT that 5* players wouldn't be welcomed.

Maybe you'll see this response. Older article and all.

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