In this reoccurring series – inspired by Moneybagg’s fire single — the CHIEF breaks down each of the 2018 signees in Memphis HC Penny Hardaway’s inaugural recruiting class.  Get to know the new Tigers as we hit on five facts about each player in the order they committed.  Always feel free to chirp us at The BarnBurner if y’all have any suggestions or questions.  #GTG  #TimingIsEverything

Ryan Boyce | SG/SF | 6-6 | 185 lbs | Memphis East | Memphis, TN

The Barn’s last but certainly not least Five [Big] Facts of this season features high-flyer Ryan Boyce.  According to 247Sports, Boyce is ranked as the No. 226 overall player in the Class of 2018 and the No. 6 player from the state of Tennessee.  Significantly, he’s another Memphis dude staying home.

Screenshot 2018-11-04 10.59.06

(1).  Another Flip:

During his recruitment, Boyce fielded offers from UAB, Florida, Georgia, and Bruce Pearl’s boys down there at Auburn.  In November 2017, Boyce ultimately chose to play under young up-and-coming head coach Robert Ehsan and the UAB Dragons.  However, this signing took place before the announcement that Penny Hardaway would be the head coach at Memphis.  And, as we’ve seen, that announcement sent a shockwave through the foundation of talented hoopers in the 901.  The following June:

Are you sensing a trend here?  Penny’s influence is absolutely magnetic on the local kids — particularly the ones that have already played for him.  Boyce played for both Memphis East and Team Penny on the AAU circuit.




(2).  The Boys of East:

Boyce played on the 2017-18 East High basketball team that won the Class AAA state championship. Current Tigers’ teammate Alex Lomax was the point guard on that East High squad.  Before joining East High to obtain Penny’s tutelage for his senior season, he played for Houston High and averaged 14.5 points and 10 rebounds as a junior.  Simply put, Boyce is an athletic wing player and an outside shooting threat.

Ryan Boyce 9-4-18 Practice
Photo: GoTigersGo

Boyce is yet another multi-positional threat in the Tigers’ growing arsenal of athletic players.  Best known for his prolific highlight-reel dunking ability and smooth outside jumper, Boyce could quickly become an impact player at the college level if he further develops his ball-handling on the perimeter.

“I see him doing really well. I think he’s going to be a fantastic college player,” Hardaway told The Commercial Appeal. “He already has the athleticism and the speed. He just has to get the skill set and the ball-handling down. He can shoot it really well, but we’re going to develop him and get him better. He’s going to be a really good college player.”

Though it’s likely Boyce will redshirt in this upcoming season, all in all, Boyce should fit in well with Penny’s up-tempo philosophy moving forward.  Defensively, Boyce often apparates from nowhere like a ghostly premonition to erase a layup.  And offensively, well…

(3).  Flying High:

This man has bunnies.  But don’t just take it from me.

And it’s not just the height of his jump either.  Boyce springs from the floor as quickly and as effortlessly as a pogo stick, quite reminiscent of a former Tiger dunking great and current Memphis Grizzly: DJ Stephens.  While airborne, he nearly has time to check his Instagram, send a few texts, and fire off a selfie.

A surplus of athleticism and length at the wing positions is [in part] what made the Calipari-coached 2000s teams so deadly.  Shawne Williams, Darius Washington, Robert Dozier and Chris Douglas-Roberts surely nod with me in agreement. As a result of his bounce, during every action towards the rim, Boyce can sneak in from the weak side for easy dump-offs or offensive put-backs.

Peep his 360 two-handed jam from Memphis Madness:



(4).  Peer Recruiting:

As it turns out, Penny didn’t even have to do the heavy lifting with respect to Boyce’s recruitment.

“The kids kind of recruited him and wanted him to stay home,” Hardaway said in July when he spoke to the media for the first time since Boyce’s commitment. “It’s always great to have the kids that are from here, that can play on the level to be here at the school, to stay at home, and we’re happy to have Ryan.”

We’ve seen these Tiger freshmen go to work on their high school and AAU teammates.  Having been friends for years, it’s no surprise these guys want to continue their friendship both on and off the court into the next level.

(5).  Memphis Family:

“He gave up a scholarship to UAB to stay home,” Hardaway said, “so that says a lot about him and says a lot about what he believes we can do for him and his game.”  No, he gave up a scholarship to play for you, Coach.

This is Memphis Basketball.  We have fun here.  And it’s all family.

Follow me @TheBarnChief and for other MEMPHIS content, check out the rest of The BarnBurner HERE.

[banner image: Tiger Athletics]

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