It’s been an eventful offseason for the Memphis basketball program.
After finishing the season with a disappointing 19-13 record and falling to reach the NCAA Tournament yet again, a shocking number of players have begun to announce their pending transfers.
A total of six players — including the team’s top returning scorers — will all be finishing their college careers elsewhere.
That has led to school athletic director Tom Bowen addressing the situation with a lengthy statement. Mark Giannotto of The Commercial Appeal shared the statement which preaches optimism about the future.
The letter reads:
The past several days have been challenging ones for our University of Memphis men’s basketball program. I met with Tubby Smith at length, and while student-athletes deciding to leave our university has been difficult to watch, it has not surprised us.
Across the country, more than 700 Division I men’s basketball student-athletes transferred last year. That record number of transfers is expected to be eclipsed again this year as this trend continues to grow.
However Coach Smith and I are extremely optimistic about the future of our program. Coach and his staff have been actively recruiting experienced student-athletes to play at the University of Memphis in the 2017-18 season and beyond. Beginning tomorrow, on national signing day, we will be announcing the newest members of the Tiger basketball program, along with an in-depth look at the returning players and those that have already signed a national letter of intent.
I ask you to be supportive of the process and this program as well. Coach Smith and his staff are creating the building blocks that will allow our men’s basketball program to flourish in the classroom, the community and on the court. Thank you for your passion of Tiger athletics and Go Tigers Go!
The Lawson brothers — Dedric and K.J. — have announced they will be making the move to Kansas. Other players who are set to move on are Markel Crawford, Keon Clereot, Craig Randall and Chad Rykhoek.