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Monday, March 27, 2006

Tigers Rumored to be in the Hunt to Land Prep Star Tyler Smith


Profile: Tyler Smith
Height: 6 Foot 7
Weight: 210 lbs

Prep School: Hargrave Military Academy (Virginia) Class of 2006
High School: Pulaski, Tennessee (Giles County) Class of 2005

Rivals Hoops 2006 Rank: Top 150 (#56) Position Ranking 2005: Small Forward (#17) Four Star (out of five)

Rivals Hoops 2005 Rank: Top 150 (#34) Position Ranking 2005: Small Forward (#10) Four Star (out of five)

Smith, a 6-foot-7, 230-pound forward from Pulaski, Tenn., was selected as one of the top 10 high school players in the nation when Street & Smith's named him a second team selection on the 2004 Boys High School All-America Team. As a junior at Giles County High School the first team all-state selection averaged 24 points, nine rebounds and five assists while leading the Bobcats to the state tournament. As a sophomore he earned tournament MVP honors after leading Giles County to a state championship. Rated a four-star prospect by Rivals.com, he was named the MVP of the all-star game at the adidas Superstar camp last summer in Atlanta.

College Choice:
Rivals.com reports that Tyler is currently interested in Iowa, Kentucky, Memphis and Pittsburgh. All four schools was reported offered scholarships.

Tyler was originally was a solid verbal recruit of the University of Tennessee. Other schools said to have been in the hunt prior to Tyler choosing prep school were Alabama, Kansas, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Texas and UCLA. Apparently Tyler decided against attending UT after Buzz Peterson was fired in the Spring of 2005.

Quotes:
"Tyler will probably play small forward and maybe a little shooting guard in college, but he has played every position for us. We even used him at point one night when they were playing a box and one against him. We rubbed him off some screens, and he looked real good handling the ball." - Giles County High School coach Billy Holt

Newspaper Articles:

Wednesday, April 20, 2005Smith chooses prep school over UT
By CHRIS LOWStaff Writerhttp://www.tennessean.com/
KNOXVILLE — New Tennessee men's basketball Coach Bruce Pearl has denied Tyler Smith's request to be released from his scholarship, and the Giles County High star now plans to attend a prep school next year.
''At this point, we're not releasing him,'' Pearl said. ''Tyler and his father have some decisions to make and have to represent what they feel is in the best interests of Tyler, and I've got to represent what's in the best interests of all my student-athletes who are hoping to have him as a teammate next year.
''I'm going to stand with my team and my university on this issue. If Tyler wants to be a part of that, we'd love to have him. I plan to honor the scholarships that were given to all three of the young men (Matthew Dotson, Damion Harris and Smith) before I got here.''
Pearl met with Smith, Smith's father, Billy, and Giles County High Coach Billy Holt at the high school yesterday. It was the second meeting between Pearl and Smith.
Billy Smith confirmed that his son would not be at Tennessee next year. He said Tyler wouldn't comment about the situation until today.
''We're going to wait and not say much to the media until tomorrow, and then Tyler will explain why he's chosen not to attend to the University of Tennessee,'' Billy Smith said. ''This was not Billy Smith's decision. It was all Tyler's decision, and he's the one making the choice. I was just being there as a father.''
It's been a tumultuous first three weeks on the job for Pearl, who replaced the fired Buzz Peterson as Tennessee's coach on March 28.
Two weeks ago, former Glencliff High star Jamont Gordon canceled his trip to Tennessee and instead visited Mississippi State that weekend. Gordon, now at Oak Hill (Va.) Academy, signed with the Bulldogs last Wednesday.
Smith and Gordon were the state's top two prospects in the 2005 class and recruited extensively by Peterson and his former staff, specifically Chuck Benson.
Pearl elected not to retain Benson on his staff last week and instead hired former Alabama-Birmingham assistant Scott Edgar.

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