Having managed to hang onto two verbal commitments and re-recruit a third who had originally made a pledge to Alabama, new head coach Avery Johnson’s had a solid start to his tenure in Tuscaloosa. Saturday it was reported by ESPN.com that he’s managed to reel in a transfer as well, with former Memphis forward Nick King deciding to join the SEC program.
King, a Memphis native, played two seasons for Josh Pastner and averaged 5.9 points and 4.0 rebounds per game. As a sophomore the 6-foot-7 King saw more playing time, and he accounted for 7.2 points and 4.6 rebounds in just under 19 minutes of action per game.
But he decided to transfer at the end of the season, with 247Sports reporting that King did not feel that he could reach his full potential as a player at Memphis. He’ll have to sit out a season at Alabama before having two years left to play, but the opportunity to learn from a coach who both played and coached in the NBA should help him skill-wise.
King made his pledge to Alabama while on a visit to the school, and he joins incoming freshmen Dazon Ingram, Brandon Austin and Dontá Hall as players who will join the program this summer.
Memphis announced on Wednesday that two players will be transferring out of the program: Nick King and Pookie Powell.
“Nick and Pookie both are fine young men and in good academic standing at the University,” said head coach Josh Pastner. “We support both players and wish them all the best.”
King, a 6-foot-7 wing, is a former top 50 recruit that averaged 7.2 points and 4.8 boards this past season for the Tigers, starting seven games. It was his second season with the program. Powell, a freshman, started 11 games and averaged 4.3 points and 2.7 assists this year. He was a top 100 recruit but was not academically eligible last season.
King is a Memphis native that played on the same AAU team as Murray State star Cameron Payne. Powell is from Orlando and nearly transferred out of the Memphis program last April.
After suffering a disappointing loss to Stephen F. Austin earlier this week, the Memphis Tigers are looking to rebound with a win over Bradley. And plays like the one made in the first half by sophomore forward Nick King will help in that regard.
Teammate Kuran Iverson was in trouble on the baseline, trapped by two Bradley defenders and on the verge of winding up out of bounds. While some players will call a timeout in that spot others will attempt to throw the ball off of the defender, which is what Iverson attempted to do here.
Unfortunately for Bradley’s Mike Shaw, the ball wound up in King’s hands. The result: an impressive posterization.