Mystery man picks Tennessee
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Posted May 11, 2011

Some basketball prospects create a lot of fanfare when they announce their college choice. Tennessee's newest basketball commitment is just the opposite.

Almost no information is available on under-the-radar prospect Yemi Makanjuola except that:

- He is approximately 6-feet-9 and 230 pounds.

- He originally is from Nigeria.

- He spent one year at Oak Hill Academy in Mouth of Wilson, Va., before transferring to Word of God Christian Academy in Raleigh, N.C., for the 2010-11 season.

- Word of God Christian Academy, a non-denominational private school, is the alma mater of former Kentucky All-American John Wall, the No. 1 overall pick in the 2010 NBA Draft.

- The team nickname is "Holy Rams."

- Makanjuola spent the 2010-11 season as the backup center behind 6-10, 240-pound North Carolina State signee Joseph Uchebo.

- According to RadarHoops' Facebook page, Makanjuola put together three consecutive double/doubles in late January while Uchebo was sidelined. Makanjuola reportedly had 16 points and 11 rebounds in a 103-33 defeat of Waccamaw Academy on Jan. 20, 10 points and 13 rebounds in a 74-61 defeat of Trinity on Jan. 21 and 13 points and 17 rebounds in a 68-48 defeat of Victory Christian on Jan. 22.

- The Holy Rams posted a 104-44 defeat of Waccamaw on Feb. 18, a 111-43 defeat of Oakwood on Feb. 22, a 97-39 defeat of Community Christian on Feb. 24 and a 97-88 loss to Trinity on Feb. 25 that apparently closed their season with a 23-3 record and a No. 5 ranking among North Carolina's private schools.

Makanjuola made an official visit to Indiana University the last weekend of April.

Repeated messages left at Word of God Christian Academy were not returned but InsideTennessee has confirmed the commitment through a source close to the situation.

Makanjuola could fill a glaring need for the Vols, who must replace three key inside players from their 2010-11 team. Seniors Brian Williams (6-10, 270) and John Fields (6-9, 240) have exhausted their eligibility, and freshman Tobias Harris (6-8, 226) has opted for the NBA Draft. The only "bigs" returning for 2011-12 are Kenny Hall (6-8, 215), Jeronne Maymon (6-7, 258) and Renaldo Woolridge (6-9, 212).


Quinton Chievous, who committed to Tennessee last week, has signed a National Letter of Intent. The 6-5 swing man from Niles, Ill., is expected to enroll this summer.

“Quinton has a lot of the characteristics coaches love,” Vol head man Cuonzo Martin said in a UT release. “He’s a hard worker who’s dedicated to putting time in to continue to enhance his skills. He’s very athletic and is a great competitor. He has the tools to be a really good player because he can do a lot of different things .”

Playing just his third year of organized basketball, Chievous averaged 21 points and 10 rebounds per game while leading his team to a 23-7 record. He was voted second-team all-state honors by the Illinois Basketball Coaches Association.

“I really love the atmosphere and the family environment at Tennessee,” Chievous said. “I just feel comfortable there. But the main thing that really drew me to Tennessee was coach Martin. I felt like he could help me improve and succeed at the next level, both on and off the court.

“Coach Martin is all about turning young men into men, and I like that a lot. I think at Tennessee I can really, really grow on the court and as a person.”

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