MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- Class of 2013 standout Nick King verbally committed to Memphis early Monday during a press conference inside the library at East High.
Per tradition, he threw on a Memphis hat to make the announcement.
CBSSports.com ranks King as the 14th-best prospect in the Class of 2013. The 6-foot-7 forward averaged 19 points and seven rebounds last season for East High here in Memphis. He's the second local product to accept a basketball scholarship from the Tigers since the end of the July evaluation period. The other is Markel Crawford, a 6-4 guard from Melrose High. Meantime, Sam Craft has already announced he'll walk-on with the Tigers. The point guard from Olive Branch High in north Mississippi played with King on the summer circuit and helped a Memphis-based team finish second in the 2011 Nike Peach Jam. He's a two-sport star who will technically be on a football scholarship.
Memphis coach Josh Pastner and his staff of Damon Stoudamire, Aki Collins and Jimmy Williams will now continue to recruit nationally but also target additional area products -- among them Briarcrest Christian's Austin Nichols, Southwind High teammates Jonathan Williams III and Jajuan Johnson, Dyer County High's Robert Hubbs and former Melrose High star Chris Jones, now a junior college All-American at Northwest Florida State. The Tigers are expected to sign a total of at least five prospects based on the idea that they're guaranteed to have four scholarships available and will almost certainly lose another player early to the NBA Draft, most likely sophomore Adonis Thomas.
The Tigers are ranked 14th in the preseason Top 25 (and one).
They open the season Nov. 12 against North Florida.