Nov. 10, 2005
Tennessee basketball coach Bruce Pearl announced today that three student-athletes have signed national letters of intent to play basketball at the University of Tennessee beginning with the 2006-07 season. Joining the Vols are Wayne Chism, Marques Johnson and Josh Tabb.
"All we have done is what is required of us," Pearl said of his first recruiting class at Tennessee. If we are going to be competitive in the SEC we will have to recruit like that. I think (associate head coach) Tony Jones and (assistant coach) Scott Edgar did an outstanding job. There is a common denominator with all of these players. They have all been champions, all are tough and all of them are hungry. They had a lot of options to choose from. Tennessee will reward them for their commitment to this program."
Collectively, this class ranks as one of the top in the nation. Rated as the No. 8 recruiting class in the nation. It is one of the best in the Southeastern Conference.
Chism, a 6-foot-9 forward from Bolivar, Tenn., is a four-star prospect who is rated the No. 42 overall player in the country. As a junior he led Bolivar Central High School to the Class AA state title while averaging 13.6 points, 10 rebounds, seven blocks and 2.2 assists per game. At the Reebok ABCD Camp last summer he was rated the No. 2 center.
Ranked among the top-50 players by several scouting services, Johnson is a 6-5 guard from Fort Wayne, Ind. A starter since his freshman season, the two-time all-conference selection has led Snider High School to a 50-15 record in his three years. As a junior he averaged 21 points, 6.2 rebounds and four assists.
A four-star prospect, Tabb is a 6-4 guard from Harmony Christian Prep in Cincinnati. A two-time Class A All-State selection who is originally from Carbondale, Ill., Tabb averaged 21 points, five assists and six rebounds as a senior while leading Carbondale High School to the 2005 state championship game.
Complete biographies on the three student-athletes follow:
F * 6-9 * 230
Bolivar, Tenn. (Bolivar Central HS)
RANKINGS: Rivals.com four-star prospect and No. 42 overall player in the nation among the Class of 2006... No. 10 power forward in his class by Rivals.com ... Ranked No. 47 player in the nation by PrepStars.com ... Rated by Bob Gibbons as the No. 2 center at the Reebok ABCD Camp behind only 7-footer Greg Oden ... Rated No. 18 nationally among power forwards by ScoutHoops.com.
STATS: Averaged 13.6 points, 10 rebounds, seven blocks and 2.2 assists per game as a junior ... Led Bolivar to a 29-5 record and a Class AA state title in 2005 ... Played freshman and sophomore seasons for Jackson South Side HS where he led the Hawks to a runner-up finish at the Class AA state tournament in 2004 ... Part of the Memphis Pump-n-Run AAU team that won the Real Deal on the Hill tournament in 2005 ... Named the top surprise at the Reebok ABCD Camp in New Jersey by basketball analyst Bob Gibbons ... Guarded Greg Oden in the championship game of the Real Deal on the Hill tournament ... Coached by Rick Rudesill at Bolivar Central HS.
G * 6-5 * 200
Fort Wayne, Ind. (Snider HS)
RANKINGS: Ranked No. 41 player overall by HoopMasters.com ... HoopScoopOnline.com's 42nd-best prospect in the country ... Ranked No. 54 player in the nation by PrepStars.com ... Rivals.com three-star prospect, No. 23 point guard in this class and No. 114 overall player in the nation ... Rated No. 12 shooting guard by ScoutHoops.com ... Rated as the 42nd-best prospect in the Class of 2006 by Scout.com ... Rated the 20th best player at the NBA Camp in Virginia.
STATS: Averaged 21 points, 6.2 rebounds and four assists as a junior at Snider High School ... Two-time all-conference selection ... AAU squad Blessed IJN was ranked among the Top 25 in the nation ... A starter since his freshman year ... Led the Panthers to a 50-15 record in his three seasons ... Led Snider to a 2004 SAC regular-season championship and to the 2005 sectional finals ... Coached by Ray Sims at Snider HS.
G * 6-4 * 190
Carbondale, Ill. (Carbondale HS/Harmony Christian Prep)
RANKINGS: Four-star prospect by HoopScoopOnline.com ... Three-star prospect by Scout.com ... Rated as No. 5 player in the state of Illinois as a senior in 2005 at Carbondale HS.
STATS: Played first three seasons at Ullin Century HS before transferring to Carbondale HS for his senior season ... Two-time second team Class A All-State selection ... Averaged 21 points, five assists and six rebounds as a senior at Carbondale High School ... Led Carbondale HS to the 2005 state championship game ... After missing his team's first seven games with a fractured wrist, averaged 20 points, eight rebounds, four assists and shot 62 percent from the field as a junior ... Led Ullin Century HS to a 22-5 record and an appearance in the regional championship game as a junior ... Led Century HS in scoring with 21 points as a sophomore while also leading the team in rebounding ... Surpassed the 1,000 career scoring mark as a sophomore ... Finished among the top 10 vote-getters for Illinois' Mr. Basketball ... Coached by Travis McAvene at Harmony Christian Prep in Cincinnati, Ohio.