KNOXVILLE – Restocking the frontcourt is a priority in Tennessee’s 2014 basketball recruiting class.
The Vols took another big step in that direction on Sunday, adding 6-foot-9, 240-pound center/forward CJ Turman out of Madison, Ga., who chose the Vols over an offer list that included Alabama, Wake Forest, Georgia, Ole Miss, Mississippi State, South Carolina and others.
Turman joins 6-8, 205-pound forward Philip Cofer as the two big men committed in UT’s 2014 class. Point guard Larry Austin and wing Jordan Cornish round out the four-man class to this point. Tennessee is expected to take four or five total signees in the upcoming class.
“This strong, tough, physical and athletic post is a beast,” ESPN.com wrote in a scouting report. “Turman is a great area rebounder especially on the offensive end of the floor where he consistently gets his share off put backs. Turman does a great job of using his explosiveness to rebound with two hands in a crowd.
“Turman is a very athletic and explosive post that is a terrific rebounder on both ends and scores in the lane out to 15 feet in a variety of ways. He is tough, competitive and has tremendous upside.”
Tennessee will need to replace senior forward Jeronne Maymon after the 2013-14 campaign. Fellow post Jarnell Stokes, a junior, is also an NBA early-entry candidate. That could leave UT with junior college transfer Pops Ndiaye and freshman A.J. Davis as the only two returning true post players by 2014-15.
How the major recruiting sites rank Turman:
ESPN.com: 4-star; 15th best C in the nation
Scout.com: 4-star; 21st best PF in the nation
247Sports: 3-star; 36th best PF in the nation
247Sports Composite: 3-star; 36th best PF in the nation
Daniel Lewis covers Tennessee athletics for Nooga.com. Follow him on Twitter @DanielNooga