MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - Several preseason college basketball polls suggest the Memphis Tigers men’s team will be among the very best in the nation. Pulling in the number one recruiting class will do that for you.
A Class like that definitely attracts plenty of attention. That’s why a gym full of scouts from almost every NBA team, including the hometown Memphis Grizzlies, descended on the Laurie-Walton Family Basketball Center for the U of M’s first official pro day.
It’s a chance for the players, like expected number one pick James Wiseman, and expected lottery pick Precious Achiuwa, to put their measurables on display.
They go through NBA Combine-style drills like beeped shuttle runs, vertical jumps, and the like.
Tigers Head Coach Penny Hardaway planned this pro day, taking full advantage of the fact the scouts are already in town to see one of his top recruiting targets, R.J. Hampton, who will play the New Zealand Breakers against the Grizzlies on Tuesday night at FedExForum.
“I think ultimately you gotta get NBA experience for these guys, but they gotta go," Hardaway said. "We know we can develop kids, teach kids, give them a headstart on where they want to go, but they have to go for sure. I don’t think any kid would be against having 80-90 scouts to give them a better opportunity to be seen.”
And being seen by the pros is what it’s all about at this level of college Hoops. Your next chance to see the Tigers in action is October 24, when the U of M hosts CBU in exhibition play.