Pearl pads post position

Pearl pads post position

Bruce Pearl's Tennessee frontcourt is getting a little deeper ... and a lot more competitive.

The addition of 6-9, 230-pound UNC Wilmington transfer John Fields, coupled with the arrival of 6-9, 210-pound High School All-American Tobias Harris, gives the Vols two new "bigs" to help offset the departure of three-year starting post Wayne Chism.

According to multiple sources Fields announced Thursday night that he will play his final collegiate season for the Big Orange. He will be eligible for Tennessee's 2010-11 season because he already graduated from Wilmington and is pursuing a graduate degree that school does not offer.

Fields should provide a shot-blocking dimension the Vols have lacked in recent years. In addition to blocking a single-season school record 59 shots at UNCW last winter, he averaged 10.2 points and 8.7 rebounds per game. He played his first two college seasons at East Carolina.

Fields projects to split time with 6-10, 270-pound senior Brian Williams in the post for the 2010-11 Vols. Williams averaged 5.6 points, 6.4 rebounds and 19.1 minutes per game as Chism's chief backup last season, shooting 50.4 percent from the field.

Assuming Williams and Fields share the post responsibilities, 6-9, 225-pound sophomore Kenny Hall will join a power forward competition that already included 6-10, 220-pound Renaldo Woolridge, 6-5, 235-pound Steven Pearl and the afore-mentioned Tobias Harris.

Hall averaged 3.6 points, 3.0 rebounds and 12.4 minutes last season, shooting 57.8 percent from the field. He played primarily post in 2009-10 but has some face-up skills.

Woolridge averaged 3.4 points, 2.9 rebounds and 13.0 minutes per game in 2009-10. He shot a mere 38.4 percent from the floor but that's largely because he attempted 47 of his 86 field-goal tries from behind the 3-point arc.

Pearl averaged 1.5 points, 1.3 rebounds and 10.9 minutes per game last season, shooting 47.6 percent from the field.

Harris was ranked the No. 1 power forward prospect in America as a high school senior in Dix Hills, N.Y., last season by Scout.com.

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