Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
By MIKE McCURRY
In one fell swoop, the Memphis Tigers’ 2017-18 outlook has turned significantly grim, while the ever-growing transfer market added two players who will suddenly be in very high demand.
Dedric and K.J. Lawson, both of whom were born and raised in Memphis, have decided to transfer from the school per a joint statement released on Wednesday.
Dedric, a first-team All-AAC selection this past season who averaged 19.2 points, 9.9 rebounds, and 2.1 blocks per game, will have two years of eligibility remaining.
The versatile 6-foot-9 forward vastly improved his efficiency from his freshman campaign and is one of only two players in (at least) the last 25 seasons to average at least 19 points, 9 rebounds, 3 assists and 2 blocks in a single year at the collegiate level. (You may have heard of the other guy: Tim Duncan.)
K.J., who put up 12.3 points and 8.1 boards per night, will have three years of eligibility remaining, as an Achilles injury confined him to just ten games in 2015-16, allowing him to receive a medical redshirt.
Markel Crawford, a 6-foot-5 wing who averaged 12.8 points per game this past season and would be able to play immediately as a grad transfer, is also leaning toward jumping ship, according to CBS Sports’ Gary Parrish.
That would signal the departure of the Tigers’ top-three leading scorers from a squad that went 19-13, missing out on a third consecutive NCAA Tournament in the process.
Needless to say, Tubby Smith appears to be in for quite a tumultuous second season as Memphis’ head coach.
Photo: CBS Sports