KNOXVILLE — The last bit of ink on Cuonzo Martin’s first signing class is now dry.
Tennessee’s new basketball coach officially got a letter of intent from 6-foot-9, 245-pound Yemi Makanjuola, the fifth and likely final member of the Volunteers 2011 class. The Raleigh (N.C.) Word of God Christian Academy center committed to UT on May 10, but the Vols had to wait until the paperwork was completed by his parents in Nigeria.
“I liked all the coaches, and they made me feel like that was the place I wanted to be,” Makanjuola said in a UT release. “It seemed like a great place to get a good education, and I really want to get my degree. It’s important to me. Knoxville felt like a real family atmosphere. When I was there I felt really welcomed everywhere I went. I like playing with people who are competitors and love winning, and that’s a big part of why I chose Tennessee.”
Makanjuola, who joins point guard Wes Washpun, wings Josh Richardson and Quinton Cheivous and junior college post Dwight Miller in UT’s 2011 class, averaged 12 points, 10 rebounds and three blocks per game this season.
“He has a really good frame, and he’s only going to get bigger and stronger,” Martin said. “I really like how hard he competes. He’s plays a physical brand of basketball, he runs the floor well and he’s a good shot blocker. He continues to improve offensively. I think he’s capable of big things, and I’m excited about having him join our program.”
Patrick Brown has been the University of Tennessee beat writer since January 2011. A native of Memphis, Brown graduated from UT in May of 2010 with a bachelor’s degree in Journalism/Electronic Media and worked at the Knoxville News Sentinel for two years on the sports editorial staff and as a freelance contributor. If it’s the NBA, the NFL or SEC football and basketball, he’s probably reading about it or watching it on TV. Contact him ...