With Ricky Tarrant and Kedren Johnson both being in their final season of eligibility and having missed out on local product Jaylen Fisher, Memphis entered Thursday in serious need of a point guard for the future. Head coach Josh Pastner and his staff received some much-needed good news, as four-star point guard Charlie Moore announced that he’ll be a Tiger at Morgan Park HS in Chicago.
Moore, who played well on the grassroots circuit for the Mac Irvin Fire program this summer, picked Memphis over California and VCU. And given the personnel losses the Tigers will have to address at the end of the 2015-16 season, the 5-foot-11 Moore is in a position where he can compete for major minutes immediately upon his arrival.
Moore’s commitment comes one day after Memphis announced the signing of junior college wing Jimario Rivers, another player who be asked to contribute in his debut season at Memphis.
The Tigers added five freshman guards to their program for the 2015-16 season, and veterans such as redshirt junior Avery Woodson and redshirt sophomore Markel Crawford will have eligibility remaining in 2016-17 as well. Moore won’t lack for competition, but his quickness on the ball and ability to make plays off the dribble are areas where Memphis can use his contributions next season and beyond.
Originally committed to be part of Texas A&M’s highly regarded 2015 recruiting class, combo guard Raquan Mitchell did not join Billy Kennedy’s program this fall. Mitchell would eventually be cleared academically, and on Saturday he announced that he’ll be a Memphis Tiger.
What isn’t clear is when the 6-foot-4 Miami native would be able to officially join the Memphis program. According to L. Jason Smith of the Memphis Commercial-Appeal, there’s a chance that Mitchell would be able to join the Tigers this season. Whether that is the case immediately, or if he’d have to wait until the fall semester ends in December, is what’s up for debate.
Memphis can use another body on the perimeter given recent developments. Chris Hawkins is unlikely to play this season, as revealed by head coach Josh Pastner earlier this week according to the Commercial-Appeal, and senior Kedren Johnson is dealing with a shoulder injury that could sideline him for the entire season.
Mitchell gives Memphis an athletic guard capable of making plays on or off the basketball, but given the timing of the move it’s up for debate if he can be a contributor immediately.
While Memphis did miss out on hometown prospect Jaylen Fisher Wednesday, they did manage to land a recruit in their 2016 class. Small forward Jimario Rivers, who currently attends Southwest Tennessee CC and is from Clarksville, Tennessee, verbally committed to Josh Pastner’s program according to L. Jason Smith of the Memphis Commercial-Appeal.
The slender 6-foot-8 small forward is Memphis’ first commitment in the Class of 2016, and he plays a position at which Memphis needed to add some depth for the future.
While the Tigers do have one talented underclassman at the position in freshman K.J. Lawson, they also have two seniors in Trahson Burrell and Chris Hawkins. Adding Rivers gives Memphis some needed depth for the 2016-17 campaign. As a freshman Rivers averaged 10.3 points and 7.2 rebounds per game, shooting nearly 55 percent from the field.
With Rivers on board Memphis has some needed good news on the recruiting trail. Over the last month the Tigers missed out on two key targets in junior college guard Ar’Mond Davis (who de-committed and made his pledge to Alabama) and Top 100 prospect Jaylen Fisher. Now Memphis continues its search for a point guard, with Chicago native Charlie Moore among the targets.