February  25  2008

Vols 1st in both polls.  

Both the Associated Press sports writers' poll and the ESPN/USA Today
coaches poll listed Tennessee on top Monday.

The No. 1 ranking the first in the program's history comes after
UT defeated then No. 1 Memphis 66-62 on Saturday night in Memphis.

April  11 - 2006

Pearl of a class gets even better.   

Smith's commitment may get UT to No. 3

What was already a highly rated signing class just got even more
impressive for the Tennessee men's basketball team.

Ramar Smith, one of the most coveted guard prospects in the country,
said yesterday that he plans to sign with the Vols tomorrow, the
first day of the April signing period.

"I could tell soon after I got down there that Tennessee was the
place for me," said Smith, who officially visited the UT campus last

"I fit in with all the guys, and I know I fit into Coach (Bruce)
Pearl's system. He plays the way I want to play, using the whole
court and running until the other team is too tired to run. The best
thing is that we're going to have the players there that it takes to
play that kind of game."

The 6-foot-2 Smith attends Martin Luther King High in Detroit and was
rated by as the country's 30th-best prospect overall.

He's the latest piece to a 2006 signing class for Tennessee that
could be rated as high as third nationally behind North Carolina and
Ohio State, according to national basketball analyst Jerry

"Without a doubt, they're going to be in the top five nationally,"
Meyer said. "It's pretty amazing what Coach Pearl has done.

"What makes Ramar Smith so good is his competitiveness and ability to
play 94 feet. He can defend 94 feet and get it and go. I think Ramar
has a chance to blossom with Coach Pearl."

Smith is the second five-star player in this class, joining forward
Duke Crews of Hampton, Va.

Meyer said Bolivar Central forward Wayne Chism may also wind up being
a five-star player when's final player rankings are
released later this month.

Guards Marques Johnson of Fort Wayne, Ind., and Josh Tabb of
Carbondale, Ill., were the other two players to sign with the Vols
last November.

Johnson has been rated among the top 50 prospects nationally by
multiple recruiting services. Tabb, who's attending Harmony Christian
Prep in Cincinnati, was rated one of the top 50 prep school prospects
by HoopScoop.

"Sometimes, you see these power conference schools bring in highly
ranked players, but the pieces don't necessarily fit," Meyer
said. "The thing with this class is that it fits what Coach Pearl
wants to do, especially with the addition of an explosive athlete
like Ramar Smith."

Smith, who played point guard last season on his high school team,
said that's the position Pearl wants him to play at Tennessee.

"I'm at my best with the ball in my hands," said Smith, who averaged
23.4 points, 5.6 assists and 2 steals last season. "I can play both
guard spots and do other things. But breaking down people with the
ball and getting into the lane and creating is what I do best."

Meyer saw Smith play several times at the Nike Camp in Indianapolis
last summer and said one of the things that impressed him most was
how hard Smith competed.

Vols 1st in both polls after beating then No. 1 Memphis 66-62 on Saturday night in Memphis
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