Cuonzo Martin is happy with his haul.
“We’ve signed four great kids who bring a combination of athleticism, skill and toughness to our program,” the Tennessee men’s basketball coach said in a UT release Thursday. “I know all of them are eager to get here and get to work.”
Martin announced his 2014 recruiting class after its four members had signed and faxed a National Letter of Intent to play for the Vols.
Point guard Larry Austin, Jr. from Lanphier High School in Springfield, Ill., and shooting guard Jordan Cornish from Brother Martin High School in New Orleans signed Thursday. 247Sports’ composite ranking, an average of several major basketball recruiting services, assigned a four-star ranking to the 6-foot-1 160-pound Austin and a three-star ranking to the 6-4, 180-pound Cornish.
“Larry is a fast, strong floor leader who is really tough-minded and aggressive on the defensive side of the ball,” Martin said. “He’s a natural play maker who has really good court awareness, loves to lead the break and set up his teammates. He’ll be a great addition to our program.”
“( Jordan has) a strong frame for a guard,” Martin said of Cornish. “He’s big and physical. He can put the ball on the floor and get to the rim, and he can also knock down the 3-point shot. He plays with a scorer’s mentality.”
Power forwards Phil Cofer from Whitewater High School in Fayetteville, Ga., and CJ Turman from Morgan County High School in Madison, Ga., signed Wednesday. They should help bolster a frontcourt that will lose current starter Jeronne Maymon. 247Sports assigned a four-star composite ranking to the 6-8, 205-pound Cofer and a three-star ranking for the 6-8, 250-pound Turman. Cofer’s father, Mike Cofer, played defensive end at UT before a lengthy career in the NFL.
“He’s a very athletic player who has an unbelievable work ethic,” Martin said of Phil Cofer. “He comes from a family of great competitors. He’s a big-time inside presence who has a great knack for making plays around the rim on both ends of the floor.”
“CJ gives us another big inside presence who can overpower opponents,” Martin said of Turman. “He’s a guy that really understands the game. He scores around the rim. He’s a big, physical athlete. I love his explosiveness.”
UT, which loses seniors Maymon, Jordan McRae, Antonio Barton and D’Montre Edwards after this season, reached its scholarship limit with Thursday’s additions. But Martin and his staff could continue recruiting since a scholarship will be vacated if junior forward Jarnell Stokes forgoes his senior season to enter the NBA draft. The Vols pursued five-star forward Kevon Looney of Milwaukee before he committed to UCLA on Oct. 31 UT’s current class ranks 41st in the country and seventh in the SEC, according to 247Sports.
Basketball’s early signing period ends Nov. 20. Regular signing period begins April 16, 2014.