Prep School Forward Jabari McGhee Becomes First Men's Basketball Player to Sign under New UT Coach Donnie Tyndall ; Hargrave Forward Has 'Great' Visit, Is Eligible for 14-15

News Sentinel, May 2, 2014 | Go to article overview

Prep School Forward Jabari McGhee Becomes First Men's Basketball Player to Sign under New UT Coach Donnie Tyndall ; Hargrave Forward Has 'Great' Visit, Is Eligible for 14-15


Fewer than two weeks into his new job, one that came with an immediate demand to bolster a thinning roster, Tennessee men's basketball coach Donnie Tyndall landed his first Vol.

Jabari McGhee, a forward from Hargrave Military Academy in Chatham, Va., signed a National Letter of Intent with UT on Friday, the final day of his official visit to Knoxville.

"It (the visit) went great," McGhee told the News Sentinel by phone Friday afternoon. "I felt like this is a place I can prove myself, be around guys that want to win, as well as the coach."

McGhee plans to celebrate his decision with a Saturday afternoon announcement at his school. Then he will return no later than May 27, when his four seasons of eligibility will start with the 2014- 15 season.

"He's a guy that gives us some length and size on the front line," Tyndall told the News Sentinel by phone. "Obviously, this late in the recruiting process, to be able to get a player of his talent level who can compete at this level, we are excited about that."

The specifics of McGhee's size are tough to pin down. He says he is 6-foot-8, 200 pounds. UT listed him as 6-8 1/2 and 225. Regardless, he will add much-needed depth to a Vols frontcourt that lost starting forwards Jarnell Stokes and Jeronne Maymon.

A three-star prospect according to 247Sports, McGhee averaged about 24 points and 15 rebounds for a Hargrave postgraduate team that finished with a 32-8 record last season, according to Hargrave assistant Steve Lepore.

"He ended up being our most consistent player throughout the year, because of that energy and the way he rebounds," Lepore told the News Sentinel this week. "And he can score around the basket."

McGhee went the prep school route due to low test scores out of Monroe High School in Albany, Ga, according to Lepore. He was a three-year starter at Monroe, where he scored more than 1,200 points. As a senior he averaged a double-double and earned first- team Class 4-A all-state honors from the Atlanta Journal Constitution. …

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