Another Lockhart?

Posted May 21, 2011
Randy Moore

Tennessee basketball fans can only hope that Tennessee's second basketball signee from Nassau, Bahamas turns out as well as the first.

Dwight Miller became the Vols' second Nassau native when he signed earlier this week after playing one season at Pitt and one at Midland (Texas) Junior College. At 6-8 and 245 pounds, he is a virtual clone of his predecessor. Ian Lockhart was a 6-8, 250-pounder who signed with Tennessee in 1986 and wound up developing into an exceptional player for the Big Orange. He even spent a season (1990-91) with the NBA's Phoenix Suns.

Considered a project when he signed, the beefy Lockhart displayed all the finesse of a bull in a china shop. More prone to fouling than anything else, he played sparingly as a freshman - averaging 8.1 minutes, 1.7 points and 2.4 rebounds per game. Although he was stuck behind 6-11 junior Doug Roth, Lockhart became more of a factor as a sophomore - shooting 56.6 percent from the field and averaging 14.3 minutes, 6.8 points and 4.2 rebounds per game.

Even with Roth back for his senior year, Lockhart got five starts as a junior and averaged 19.9 minutes per game. His numbers continued their ascent, as he scored 8.2 points per game and pulled down 5.5 rebounds per game.

With Roth out of eligibility, Lockhart really stepped up his game as a senior in 1989-90. He started 29 of 30 games, averaging 31.0 minutes, 13.1 points and 10.9 rebounds that year. No Tennessee player has averaged a double-double in the 21 years since. In fact, no Tennessee player has averaged double-digit rebounds since then.

Lockhart's career stats include 7.9 points per game, 6.0 rebounds per game and a 52.1 field-goal percentage. Those numbers would've been far more impressive, however, had he not spent three years stuck behind Roth. Lockhart posted 870 points and 662 rebounds in just 2,111 career minutes. If you view his playing time as the equivalent of seventy 30-minute starts, his averages improve to 12.4 points and 9.5 rebounds per game.

Obviously, if Dwight Miller could post comparable numbers during his two-year Big Orange career, the Vol Nation would be ecstatic. So would the Vol coach, Cuonzo Martin.

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