5-Star SF Precious Achiuwa Commits to Penny Hardaway, Memphis over Kansas

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistMay 17, 2019

MIDDLE VILLAGE, NEW YORK - APRIL 05:  Precious Achiuwa #5 of Montverde Academy attempts a shot against IMG Academy in the semifinal of the GEICO High School National Tournament at Christ the King High School on April 05, 2019 in Middle Village, New York. (Photo by Steven Ryan/Getty Images)
Steven Ryan/Getty Images

Precious Achiuwa is headed to Memphis after the 2019 prospect announced his commitment on Friday:

According to 247Sports, Achiuwa is a 5-star prospect ranked No. 14 overall in the country. He is considered the fourth-best small forward in the 2019 class.

The biggest reason for this lofty rating is his athleticism, with the ability to attack the basket and finish well above the rim. He has good enough handle to slash through the lane offensively, and there won't be many players at the college level who can contain him once he gets momentum.

"Some people say Rudy Gay," former coach Oz Cross said as a comparison, per Adam Zagoria of Zags Blog. "He's so long he's got such great upside.

"His ball-handling, shooting, passing and defense have improved tremendously since I first saw him play. He's a self-motivated kid so I expect him to make another jump. If he makes that jump and then he will be playing basketball for a long time."

His dunking might remind people of Zion Williamson, although he is not quite as strong at 6'9", 215 pounds. Still, he has enough strength to be a true 3 at the highest level of the sport.

With a developing outside shot, Achiuwa can be an almost unstoppable force on the offensive end.

He gave a brief preview of his skill at the McDonald's All-American Game when he scored a game-high 22 points to go with nine rebounds.

Although his brother, Gods'gift Achiuwa, was a quality player for St. John's from 2011-14, the younger sibling is clearly the superior talent and can make an early impact once he gets to college.

Memphis is coming off a solid first season under head coach Penny Hardaway with a 22-14 record, although the team fell short of the NCAA tournament. With most of the rotation graduating, there would ordinarily be some concern about next season.

However, the future is bright after already landing a commitment from No. 1 overall recruit James Wiseman. The team then added Boogie Ellis, DJ Jeffries and Lester Quinones among others to create one of the top recruiting classes in the country.

With Achiuwa now on board, next year's freshman class can legitimately carry the team to national title contention, similar to Duke and Kentucky over the past decade.

The Tigers have gone five years without reaching the Big Dance, but that should change in 2019-20.

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