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Tennessee basketball recruit Kevin Ware confirmed with the AJC on Monday afternoon that he is still requesting a scholarship release from the Volunteers, despite the hiring of a new coach at the SEC school.
The 6-foot-4 guard from Rockdale County High School says it’s nothing personal against Tennessee’s new coach, Cuonzo Martin. In fact, Ware has left open the possibility of playing under Martin at Tennessee.
Ware, as he has maintained all along, simply wants a release to re-open the recruiting process. He wants to make sure he’s a good fit with his college coach and vice versa. Ware has been committed to Tennessee since his sophomore year, citing his close friendship with ex-coach Bruce Pearl as a primary factor.
“Yes I am,” Ware said in a text message when asked if he was still requesting his release after Martin’s hiring.
Ware said Tennessee’s new coach tried to reach out to him on Monday morning but his phone was off. Ware called the coach back and left a message. Ware said he expected a conversation between the two on Monday night or Tuesday.
“He’s a good guy from what I’m hearing … good reputation, good background,” Ware said.
With regards to Ware’s request to be released — which was made before Pearl was fired, Ware said it is his understanding that Tennessee officials want him to meet with the new coach before further addressing the situation.
Ware, who is ranked as the nation’s No. 56 basketball prospect by Rivals, said he hasn’t had any contact with other colleges. “I’m basically interested in anybody that’s interested in me,” Ware said.
He has heard rumors of interest from Louisville, Kansas, UCLA, Florida State, Kansas State, Georgetown, Georgia Tech and UGA, among others. Ware averaged 19 points and 9 assists while leading Rockdale County to its first appearance in the state championship game since 1987.
What’s your prediction? Will Ware stick with the Vols after meeting Martin or go elsewhere? Please post your comments below.