MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - The University of Memphis gets its welcome to the “new normal” of college basketball as three Tigers enter the NCAA Transfer Portal. And these are players, DJ Jeffries, Boogie Ellis and Damion Baugh, who were big contributors down the stretch to the UofM’s run to the NIT Championship.
All three were part of the Tigers much-ballyhooed number one recruiting class in the nation in 2019.
Jeffries came to Memphis as a 4-star recruit from Olive Branch. He originally committed to Kentucky before flipping to Memphis. After injuries curtailed his freshman season, and a rocky start to this year, Jeffries began living up to his recruiting ranking as a talented 6′7″ wing who could slash, as well as hit 3′s. He showed his versatility in the NIT Final playing point center against Mississippi State, ironically, a school he could wind up going to.
Ellis also came to Memphis after initially committing to another school, Duke. The San Diego native was at first, a streaky shooter with limited point guard skills, but blossomed in the season’s last nine games, becoming the American Athletic Conference 6th Man of the Year, to scoring 27 points against NCAA Final Four bound Houston in the AAC Tournament, and putting up consistent double-figure performances in the NIT run. Ellis could wind up at a West Coast School. San Diego State was on his original list out of high school. Oregon is also of interest.
Baugh spent most of his two years at Memphis coming off the bench as a defensive specialist. The 6′3 guard from Nashville averaged 20 minutes a game, scoring 3.8 points, 3.2 rebounds, and 2.4 assists. Already more than 1,000 players Nationwide have entered the Transfer Portal, making roster management the new priority for Tigers Head Coach Penny Hardaway.