KNOXVILLE — Thursday turned into a pretty good day for new Tennessee basketball coach Donnie Tyndall.
Sixteen days after the Volunteers introduced him as their new coach, Tyndall learned he'd signed a top-50 recruit and convinced a former five-star recruit he inherited to remain with the program.
The Volunteers announced the signing of guard Detrick Mostella, a 6-foot-3, 170-pound combo guard out of Notre Dame Preparatory School in Massachusetts, on Thursday morning as a third member of Tennessee's revamped signing class.
On Thursday night, Robert Hubbs III, the former five-star player who missed most of his freshman season with a shoulder injury that required season-ending surgery in January, posted on Twitter he was staying at Tennessee -- roughly 24 hours after Tyndall and his staff traveled to West Tennessee to meet with Hubbs and his family.
After classmates and friends Darius Thompson and A.J. Davis requested and were granted releases from their scholarships on Tuesday, Hubbs was wavering before making his decision 48 hours later.
"I started out at Tennessee and staying at the University of Tennessee," Hubbs III tweeted.
"He's staying at tenn. VFL," his father said moments later in a text message to the Times Free Press.
Mostella was ranked the nation's No. 53 player in the 2013 class when he signed with Oklahoma State last year, but he was released from his national letter of intent with the Cowboys and committed to Pittsburgh before ending up at the Fitchburg prep school.
The Alabama native is ranked 44th in the country for 2014 by 247Sports.com.
"Detrick is an explosive athlete who can make plays off the dribble and create opportunities for his teammates," Tyndall said in the Tennessee's release announcing the signing. "He is another versatile, long, athletic perimeter player who fits perfectly in our system and style of play. We're very excited to add this high-character young man to our Tennessee basketball family."
After starring at Austin High School in Decatur, Ala., Mostella transferred to the La Lumiere School in Florida before heading north to prep school. He still has to make it through the NCAA clearinghouse's process, but the Vols are confident he will do so and enroll this summer as planned.
After the four players who signed with Tennessee last fall were granted releases to look elsewhere when coach Cuonzo Martin left for California, Tyndall quickly has gotten off to a good start in replenishing the class.
The Vols inked scoring guard Kevin Punter, a junior college All-American, earlier this week after adding athletic forward Jabari McGhee late last week.
Tennessee is expecting to host IUPUI transfer guard Ian Chiles, who averaged nearly 16 points per game last season for the Jaguars, and 6-10 forward Tariq Owens, a former Ohio signee from Maryland, on visits sometime next week.
The Vols remain in the mix for one of their orginal signees in forward Phil Cofer. The son of a former Tennessee linebacker is taking an official visit to Florida State this weekend. He still may visit Tennessee after Tyndall and his staff visited with him and his family last week.
If Thompson and Davis do land elsewhere and counting the signings of Mostella, Punter and McGhee, Tennessee would have five available scholarship slots for the upcoming season.
Contact Patrick Brown at firstname.lastname@example.org
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 ...