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Memphis basketball fans may be a bit preoccupied with Zach Randolph and Marc Gasol right now, but there has been plenty of good news rolling in on the college front as well this offseason.
The Tigers brought in the best recruiting class this side of Kentucky per Scout.com. Austin Nichols, Kuran Iverson, RaShawn Powell, Markel Crawford and Nick King gives Memphis a fivesome that could make noise in the American Athletic Conference for years, including its first one together.
Throw in the fact that a number of critical pieces from last season’s 31-5 squad return, and the Tigers are set to challenge Louisville in the Cardinals’ brief hiatus in the new-look league. Joe Jackson, Geron Johnson, Chris Crawford and Shaq Goodwin should all be more productive with another year of experience under their collective belts.
Even the fact that the Tigers will be in a new conference is good news. For years they dominated the Conference USA but earned little national respect, thanks to a lack of competition, unless there was a deep run in March. That will change in 2013-14.