By: Justice Bolden
A huge recruiting weekend is here for the Memphis Tigers, and Memphis assistant coach Joe Esposito is beginning to take notice of the not-so-quiet work we are doing at Talk Balk Live to cover the Memphis Tigers 2017 recruiting class.
This much is evident by Coach Joe Esposito’s retweet of my thoughts via twitter on the recent commitment of top 20 nationally ranked junior college prospect Kareem Brewton, a 6’3 high scoring guard out of East Florida State. Brewton is a two-time Southern Conference Player of the Year after averaging 20 points and 5 rebounds as a sophomore. The Tigers beat out the likes of Ohio State, Illinois, and Gonzaga for his services.
While other stations and publications may be taking a position of skepticism when it comes to to Tubby Smith’s current recruiting approach, we express optimism that the Tigers current 2017 incoming recruiting class could be surprisingly deep with versatility, athleticism, shooting, and scoring. Currently the class stands at four and technically five considering 6-foot-10 Karim Azab who sat out last season is reportedly down to 240-pounds after arriving on campus closer to 280-pounds or more.
Our message for Tigers fans is to stay the course, as help is on the way for Memphis basketball in the form of 6-foot-4 shooting guard Jamal Johnson, 6-foot-7 small forward David Nickelberry, 6-foot-8, 230-pound power forward Victor Enoch, and the aforementioned center Karim Azab, who joined recent Tiger commit Kareem Brewton. In fact, if all of the stars align, it is very possible that when all is said and done, the final numbers for the 2017 Memphis recruiting class that could grow to as large or 8 or 9 incoming signees.
As we speak, the Memphis Tigers are hosting 6’2 Vincennes leading scorer Chris Darrington on an official visit. Darrington is a high scoring, sharp-shooting point guard, who is a nationally ranked among the top 15 junior college players in America. He shot 50% from three point range this season, while averaging 21 points and 5 assist per game. He currently holds offers from the University of Memphis, Tennessee, Seton Hall, Western Kentucky, Nebraska, among others several other suitors.
Chris Darrington drops 45 points, and game winner!
Darrington is not alone in Memphis this weekend as the Tiger are also hosting 6’8 junior college recruit Kyvon Davenport, who is ranked among the top 20 junior college prospects in American. The Tigers offered the 6-foot-8 freakishly athletic Davenport sometime over the past few weeks, and his relentless motor, rebdounding, and shot-blocking ability would be a welcome addition for the Tigers. Davenport recorded a 27 point 13 rebound performance during his sophomore season and has really intrigued the Tiger staff, not to mention he was the Georgia Collegiate Athletic Association Player of the Year at Georgia Highlands.
Next weekend the Tigers are expected to host 6-foot-7 235-pound forward Gordon State forward Raynere Thornton out of Georgia for anofficial visit. He is rated among the top 50 junior college prospects in the country and is built and carries himself like a “grown man” on the court.
Thornton is thought to be very high on Coach Tubby Smith and the Tigers are thought to be a strong contender to land him, though he holds offers from Kansas State, Iowa State, and South Florida among others.
We will be talking Memphis Tigers and Memphis Grizzlies on Talk Back Live radio this Tuesday 7:30am central, 5:30am pacific. Tune in to AM 730 Memphis radio or download the Tune In app and click on Memphis “Yahoo Radio” KQPN.
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