While the profile of the Memphis Tigers basketball program expands beyond their geographic area of the country, the reality is that they don’t have to travel far to capitalize on that stature. The talent-rich Memphis high school basketball scene has plenty of talent, more than enough to buoy the Tigers as they attempt to determine their slot in the pecking order of the newly formed Big East. On Monday, Memphis gained a verbal commitment from 6′-6″ wing forward Nick King of East (TN), the second prospect from the city to commit in the 2013 class for the Tigers.
King, who is considered by Hoopniks.com the No. 32 prospect in the 2013 class, joins shooting guard Markel Crawford of Melrose (TN) as the current members of the recruiting class for the Tigers. King was hotly pursued and narrowed his list to the Texas Longhorns, as well as in-state programs in the Tennessee Volunteers and Vanderbilt Commodores before declaring.
With several departures expected from the current Memphis roster, King should have the opportunity to garner minutes at the “3” from the jump. He’s a scorer that will need to upgrade his handle at the next level. King won a state championship and averaged a double-double during that run. His frame is nearly college ready, and his offensive skills continue to improve. King is easily a top 50 prospect, though where he falls in that crop is somewhat up to question. Some consider King a top 15 prospect, while others have him farther down.
There’s still plenty of time for Memphis to land it’s other targets, but having King and Crawford in the fray certainly takes some pressure off at this stage. Both players are gritty winners, and neither does much that takes away from their respective squads. King will have the chance to become an all-league player in the Big East, before it’s all said and done.
As coach Josh Pastner and his coaching staff build their program, it’s clear that defending their home turf will be highly important. The pledges of King and Crawford show that the Tigers know where its borders are.