Memphis head coach Josh Pastner is putting together quite the recruiting class for next season.
On Monday, the group of newcomers that are expected to join the Tigers’ program next fall increased by one with the addition of 2013 forward, Austin Nichols.
A native of Eads, Tennessee, Nichols currently attends Briarcrest H.S. (TN) and is considered not only one of the top prospects in the state, but also in the country.
ESPN lists Nichols at No. 12 overall within the senior class, whileRivals pins him at No. 19. During his time on the AAU circuit, Nichols ran with the M33M program.
The Tigers are once again considered to be the cream of the crop within Conference USA this season and that’s thanks in large to a talented crop of returnees ready to make a run. Pastner has had talented groups at Memphis since taking over for John Calipari, but postseason success is something that has yet to be apart of the Tigers’ program since their run to the national championship game in 2008.
The addition of a top-20 recruit like Nichols is huge for the Tigers, but the 6-foot-8 forward is not the only elite threat coming to campus next season. In addition, Pastner has earned the verbal decisions of Kuran Iverson, Markel Crawford, Nick King, and RaShawn Powell, all of whom are considered four-star prospects by Rivals.
The future is looking increasingly bright for a Memphis program that is consistently ranked amongst the nation’s premier non-power six threats. That streak will end when the Tigers make their move to the Big East Conference, effective for the 2013-14 season.
Paul Seaver is the College Basketball Network Manager at Rant Sports. You can follow him on Twitter: @TheArenaPulse