Signed players (5): 6-5 SG Markel Crawford, Memphis, TN; 6-7 SF Nick King, Memphis, TN; 6-9 SF Kuran Iverson, Windsor, CT; 6-8 PF Austin Nichols, Collierville, TN; 6-1 PG RaShawn “Pookie” Powell, Orlando, FL.
The skinny: Calipari’s successor at Memphis, coach Josh Pastner, has added a little bit of everything in this recruiting class as his team heads into the Big East for the 2013-14 season. He has a point guard of the future in Powell, a shooting guard/defender in Crawford, an athletic, homegrown wing in King and two skilled big men up front in Iverson – the cousin of former NBA star Allen Iverson – and Nichols, the highest-rated prospect in the class.
“(Memphis’ 2013 class) is a group of good, unselfish kids,” Mark Nichols, Austin’s father, told the Memphis Commercial Appeal. “Austin’s played with them over the past few years (in AAU). I feel like they’re gonna be an unselfish group. It takes unselfishness to win.”
Signed players (6): 6-6 SF Devin Davis, Indianapolis; 6-10 C Luke Fischer, Germantown, WI; 6-6 SF Collin Hartman, Indianapolis; 6-4 SF Stanford Robinson, Henderson, NV; 6-9 PF Noah Vonleh, Haverhill, MA; 6-6 SF Troy Williams, Hampton, VA.
The skinny: The No. 1 team in the land has replenished its reserves with this deep and versatile class. With sophomore center Cody Zeller projected as the potential No. 1 pick in the 2013 NBA draft, coach Tom Crean and assistant Kenny Johnson scored big-time with the addition of Vonleh of New Hampton (N.H.), who reclassified to 2013 from 2014 and chose the Hoosiers over schools such as North Carolina, Kansas, Connecticut, Ohio State and Florida.
“As people have said about Noah in the past, he’s young, he doesn’t really have a weakness,” said Vin Pastore, his AAU coach. “He’s skilled as can be. He’s long at 6-9 and plays as hard as can be. If that’s not a great combination, I don’t know what is. I think everybody who’s watched Noah play over the last couple years expects big things from him. Indiana is a great fit.”
5. NORTH CAROLINA
Signed players (3): 6-1 PG Nate Britt, Washington; 6-8 PF Isaiah Hicks, Oxford, NC; 6-8 C Kennedy Meeks, West Charlotte, NC
The skinny: Last week’ addition of Meeks – who chose the Tar Heels over Georgetown – moved this class up to No. 5. Britt plays for coach Steve Smith at Oak Hill (Va.) Academy, the same powerhouse that produced current NBA point guards Rajon Rondo, Ty Lawson and Brandon Jennings.
“Nate is a tremendous student-athlete in every sense of the word,” North Carolina coach Roy Williams said. “His family emphasized both aspects and he is a true example for everyone. He is a leader on the court, someone who enjoys getting the ball to his teammates. However, he also can score himself. Nate’s a wonderful kid and he’s going to do a lot of wonderful things in our program.”
HONORABLE MENTION: Florida, Syracuse, Louisville, N.C.State, Michigan.