UT's Tyler Smith Opts Out Of NBA Draft

KNOXVILLE - University of Tennessee rising senior Tyler Smith announced today he's returning for his final year of eligibility with the Vols.

Smith, a projected second-round NBA draft pick, had contemplated playing professionally in Europe.

UT coach Bruce Pearl used the 6-foot-6 Smith as a power forward and small forward last season, but with the development of other players Smith could see more time at small forward.

Rising sophomore power forwards Emmanuel Negedu and Renaldo Woolridge have both taken a step in the offseason, and Brian Williams' improvement at the post could free up Wayne Chism for more minutes at power forward.

J.P. Prince, who's coming off shoulder surgery, split time at small forward with Smith last season and will likely continue to do so when he's fully recovered.

Smith looks to improve his NBA Draft stock with his return and has been working a great deal on his outside shot and ball handling skills.

"I wanted Tyler to do what was best for him and his family,'' former UT star Chris Lofton said. "Of course I'm happy he's coming back to the University of Tennessee.''

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