Tennessee’s basketball coaching staff has begun to narrow their focus for the 2019 recruiting cycle. The Vols’ coaches are beginning to move on from some targets and turn their efforts more towards others. But that doesn’t mean they’re not still looking at new prospects in the class.
The Vols sent out an offer to a four-star small forward to start this week, and they also offered a local standout from an area high school.
Drew Pember is a 6-foot-8 forward who plays for Bearden High School, and he’s the most recent 2019 prospect to get an offer from Tennessee.
— BMaze 16u and 17U (@BMaze16UA) May 1, 2018
Pember has drawn a lot of attention from teams across the country lately because of his play during Nike’s Elite Youth Basketball League. He plays for former Vol Bobby Maze’s team, the BMaze Elite, and has held his own against four and five-stars in the summer league.
But what makes Pember different from other talented players in the east Tennessee area in this cycle? He’s a stretch four with a multitude of offensive skills.
Pember can nail threes and has a pretty jumper, especially for a player who is 6-foot-8. But he’s not just some finesse forward; Pember can score in the post too. He’s also a more than capable post defender and won’t back down from anyone. He’s very athletic and can move well down the court too.
Though he’s 6-foot-8, he’s a skinny post player right now and will definitely need a developmental year before he’s ready to play in college. He’s built more like a tall wing player right now, but he has undeniable skill.
Right now, Tennessee is Pember’s first major offer in basketball. Mercer, Austin Peay, and Samford have given him offers so far, but Vanderbilt, Maryland, and Georgia have expressed interest in him. Pember isn’t rated by any recruiting services yet, but that could soon change after his performance at the EYBL.
There’s also talk of Pember possibly reclassifying to the 2020 class, but nothing on that front has been decided.
The Vols only have one commitment in their 2019 class right now, and that’s from three-star small forward Davonte Gaines from New York.