Tigers Recruiting: Fall recruiting period updates

On September 9th, the fall NCAA basketball recruiting period opened up and coaches fired up the private jets to traverse the country in hopes of moving one step closer to landing that potential program-changing prospect.

I’ve sorted through a bevy of tweets and online news sources to assemble a compilation of updates on some of Memphis’ most coveted targets for the classes of 2020 and 2021

Each prospect is listed with their position, class ranking, and class year.

Jonathan Kuminga – SF, #1, 2021

Right now, all 3 crystal ball projections on 247Sports analysts are pointing towards Duke for the top prospect in the class of 2021. According to Adam Zagoria, both Memphis and Kentucky were scheduled to visit him last week with both LSU and Nebraska are also prioritizing the exciting player. 

Terrence Clarke – SG, #4, 2020

Memphis’ recruitment of Terrence Clarke turned quickly — and I mean this quite literally. Coach Hardaway was scheduled to make an in-home visit with Clarke last week, but they caught wind that Clarke was a done deal to commit to Kentucky, so Penny canceled his trip per Adam Finkelstein. After this decision, the Tigers staff quickly began prioritizing some of the other recruits we will discuss. 

On Saturday, Clarke publicly announced that he was going to be a Wildcat and would also be re-classifying to the class of 2020. With this announcement he was re-ranked as the number 4 prospect in his new class. 

Jalen Green – CG, #3, 2020

Once Memphis realized that Clarke was off the table, the staff wisely pivoted and traveled with the full staff to the West Coast to visit Prolific Prep senior Jalen Green. 

Green has become the main target for the Tigers in this upcoming class. Green tore up the EYBL circuit with runner-up Team WhyNot. Currently, he is the only player in the top 10 of next year’s class that has crystal ball predictions leaning towards Memphis. 

Depending on which recruiting analyst you follow, the Clarke commitment to Kentucky has pushed the Wildcats off the table for Green. 

Tipton Edits and Stockrisers both have Oregon and Memphis as the final two contenders for Green. UCLA is also a school who is rumoured to be on the rise with Green.

Nimari Burnett – CG, #22, 2020

In an interesting turn of events, Memphis now seems to be pursuing Green’s Prolific Prep and EYBL teammate Nimari Burnett. According to Jake Weingarten of Stockrisers, the whole coaching staff was present to visit with Burnett on Sunday. 

What is interesting is that in July, Burnett released a list of his top 12 schools and Memphis was not on it. The main reason for this, according to GoTigers247, is that Memphis had yet to extend an offer at that point. 

Though not as highly ranked as Green, Burnett is certainly no slouch, as the 5-star guard averaged over 19 points per game on the grassroots circuit this summer. 

Greg Brown – F, #8, 2020

In addition to the local recruits, Memphis made a trip down to Texas to visit Greg Brown. The top ten forward is from Austin, Texas and is presumed to be a Longhorn lean still. 

Brown’s official visit with Memphis will take place the weekend of the Georgia game on January 4th. 

Jaden Springer – SG, #16, 2020

Springer was on campus for his official visit over the weekend. The main remaining visit for him is to Tennessee on October 5th, after which he is expected to announce his commitment. Most suspect he will join Rick Barnes and play for the Volunteers. 

Chris Moore – PF, #125, 2020

The West Memphis forward was one of the first visits for Memphis upon the opening of the fall recruiting period. Not much to update you on with Moore — just a reminder that he will make his official visit during Memphis Madness. He also will likely wait until the turn of the calendar year to announce a commitment. 

Kennedy Chandler – PG, #17, 2021

In addition to Moore, Penny and co. also took advantage of the proximity to local 5-star point guard Kennedy Chandler and paid him a visit last Monday. 

Right now, Chandler is one of the hottest rising stars in his class. He is drawing attention from all the major programs and it will be interesting to see how his recruitment develops. 

His impressive performance this summer on the EYBL circuit with the champion Mokan Elite served as the catalyst for his recent upgrade from a 4 to a 5-star prospect. 

Paulo Banchero – PF, #4, 2021

Banchero, who is the top ranked power forward in the junior class, listed Memphis as a school in his top 9 on Friday. For his junior year, he has official visits scheduled for UT, Kentucky, Duke, North Carolina, and Gonzaga. 

Since he is a junior, there is a long way to go before he has to make a decision. In fact, the crystal balls have him favored to attend Washington — who isn’t even getting an official visit from him this go-around. 

Isaiah Todd – PF, #12, 2020

With James Wiseman and Precious Achiuwa likely leaving college after their freshman season, coach Hardaway will need to replenish his front court roster. Todd could be one of their replacements, but right now crystal balls have him leaning to either Kentucky or North Carolina. However, he will be visiting Memphis September 20th. With the aforementioned addition of Terrence Clarke, Cal and Kentucky now own the #1 recruiting class for 2020 with commitments from four top 50 players. 

Devin Askew – CG, #12, 2021

Another Team WhyNot standout, Devin Askew is the top point guard in the class of 2021. According to Rivals he will be making an unofficial visit to Memphis during Memphis Madness this year. Despite being a junior member of the Team WhyNot roster, he averaged almost 30 minutes per game this summer. During his time on the court he put up 11 points and 5 assists.

Moussa Cisse – PF, #9, 2021

New to the Memphis hoops scene, Moussa Cisse recently transferred in to play at Lausanne in Memphis. According to Courtney Smith, Memphis has officially extended an offer to the 6’9” big man. Coach Cal is expressing interest in Cisse also, as he swung by and visited during a trip to see Kennedy Chandler. 

Chet Holmgren – C, #5, 2021

Over the summer, Penny expressed some intrigue at Chet Holmgren, the beanpole seven footer from the class of 2021. When Holmgren was interviewed recently about the schools recruiting him the hardest, he did not list Memphis. However, according to Stockrisers, the entire Memphis staff will be in to watch him on Monday. He’s another guy to keep an eye on. His most viral accomplishment is crossing over Steph Curry at one of Steph’s camps.

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Zak (@BarnBurnerBro) is a native Memphian who covers the Memphis Grizzlies, Tigers, and St. Louis Cardinals for The Barn. He spends his free time exploring breweries, restaurants, and leading the Ivan Rabb stan club.

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