When five-star Evansville, Ind., guard JaQuan Lyle pledged his commitment to Louisville on June 26, a shift atop the ladder of Tennessee recruiting occurred.
When it came to the Class of 2014, Lyle was off the top and five-star Milwaukee, Wis., forward Kevon Looney slid upward.
In that regard, the Vols received some good news just after midnight on Thursday. Looney told ESPN.com national recruiting director Paul Biancardi that Duke, Florida, Michigan State, Tennessee, UCLA and Wisconsin comprise his final six schools to choose from.
It’s widely believed (by recruiting analyst-types) that the race is down to Duke and Florida, but at least, for Vol fans, Tennessee is still in the game.
Looney is ranked as 2014’s No. 9 overall recruit in the 247Composite, which equally weighs prospect rankings and ratings from major recruiting media outlets. He is ranked as the No. 1 small forward in the nation.
On July 11, UT coach Cuonzo Martin was in Indianapolis for the Adidas Invitational. At one point he cryptically tweeted:
Just saw a player who would remind Vol fans of this guy. Can go off the bounce and make plays all around the rim. pic.twitter.com/OliEqVgHL7
— Cuonzo Martin (@CuonzoMartin) July 11, 2013
That’s former Vol Marcus Haislip in the picture. Haislip was a 6-foot-10 versatile forward who averaged 16.7 points per game as a junior at UT in 2002 before becoming the No. 13 overall pick in the NBA draft.
It’s known that Kevon Looney was playing at the Adidas Invitational on July 11 and Martin was constantly spotting courtside at his games.
Thus, it’s doesn’t take Sherlock-ian skills of deduction to figure out that Martin’s tweet was aimed at Looney.
Now in Looney’s final six, Martin and the Vols will have to figure out a way to shoulder alongside Duke and the others and into his final three.
Another recruiting nugget from late Wednesday evening to start the day with: the coach of four-star Spring Hill, Tenn., forward Makinde London told freelancer Jeremy Woo that London is down to Georgia Tech, Miami, Mississippi State, Northwestern, Tennessee, Vanderbilt, VCU and Xavier. That’s an interesting and eclectic mix of schools.
London is ranked as the Class of 2014’s No. 85 recruit overall in the 247Composite. He’s ranked as the No. 24 small forward and No. 4 recruit in Tennessee.