Best of the decade: PF

Best of the decade: PF

Tennessee had four exceptional power forwards during the decade 2000-2009, so ranking them 1-2-3-4 was no easy task. What follows is one man's best guess:

1. Ron Slay: Listed 6-8 and 240 pounds, the colorful showman was closer to 6-6. He played big, however, earning All-America and SEC Player of the Year honors as a senior. He was voted onto Tennessee's 20-man "All-Century Team" in 2008. The Nashville native averaged 9.7 points per game as a backup in 2000, 12.9 as a part-time starter in '01, 14.8 as a starter in '02 (14.8) and an SEC-leading 21.2 points per game as a senior in '03. Despite missing half of his junior year due to injury, Slay played in 109 Vol games with 48 starts. His career numbers include 14.4 points, 5.9 rebounds and 24.3 minutes per game. He shot 49.6 percent from the field, an impressive 37.0 percent on 219 attempts from 3 and 75.6 percent from the foul line. The negatives: He committed 108 turnovers as a senior and blocked just 20 career shots.

2. Marcus Haislip: Incredibly gifted, this 6-10, 230-pounder from Lewisburg averaged just 4.4 points in 2000 and 5.8 in 2001 as a little-used backup. He won a starting job as a junior in 2002, however, averaging 16.7 points and 6.7 rebounds. Unfortunately for Tennessee, Haislip skipped his senior year and jumped to the NBA just as he was beginning to scratch his potential. He started only 25 of his 89 career games at UT, averaging 8.5 points, 3.4 rebounds and 17.1 minutes per game. He shot 53.0 percent from the field, 37.3 percent on 102 attempts from 3 and 70.5 percent from the free-throw line. He also blocked 116 blocks. Tabbed by the Milwaukee Bucks with pick No. 13 in the 2002 NBA Draft, he was waived after two seasons.

3. Tyler Smith: A transfer from Iowa, this 6-7, 215-pound Pulaski product started for 2 1/2 seasons before being dismissed from the Vol program. He averaged 13.6 points per game in 2008, 17.4 in '09 and 11.7 in his abbreviated senior season. He started 81 of 82 games on The Hill, averaging 14.9 points, 6.0 rebounds and 28.9 minutes per game. He shot 49.0 percent from the field, 28.3 percent on 99 tries from 3 and 73.4 percent from the free-throw line. He led the Vols in assists as both a sophomore and junior. A hard-working defender, he registered 92 steals and 30 career blocks in his stint with Tennessee.

4. Isiah Victor: After making seven starts in 1998 and nine in '99, "Zeke" became a full-time starter his last two seasons on The Hill. The 6-9, 220-pounder averaged 7.7 points per game as a freshman, 11.3 as a sophomore, 9.7 as a junior and 12.8 as a senior. A starter in 81 of his 125 games at UT, he posted career marks of 10.4 points, 6.4 rebounds and 22.9 minutes per game. He shot 53.7 percent from the field, 30.0 percent on 50 tries from 3 and 61.4 percent from the foul line. A dynamic jumper, he recorded 140 blocks and an assortment of dazzling dunks during his days as a Vol.

5. Andre Patterson: A transfer from UCLA, this 6-7, 217-pounder started 22 of 31 games in 2005 and 16 of 30 in 2006. He averaged 7.4 points per game in the former and 9.4 in the latter. Patterson's career numbers show him starting 38 of 61 games, with averages of 8.4 points, 6.4 rebounds and 24.9 minutes per contest. He shot 51.6 from the field, 22.2 percent on just nine attempts from 3 and 63.4 from the foul line. He blocked 66 shots in his two-year stint with the Big Orange.

6. Jemere Hendrix: This 6-8, 220-pound Clemson transfer started 14 games in 2004 and three games in '05 before being dismissed from the program. He averaged 6.8 points as a sophomore and 2.6 as a junior. His career numbers show him starting 17 of 57 games, with averages of 4.8 points, 4.5 rebounds and 18.4 minutes. He shot 51.8 percent from the field, 20.0 percent on five attempts from 3 and 68.4 percent from the free-throw line. He also blocked 18 shots.

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