Home US SportsNCAAB Memphis basketball mailbag: Transfer candidates, coaching staff specifics and more

Memphis basketball mailbag: Transfer candidates, coaching staff specifics and more


Less than 100 days stand between the Memphis basketball team and the official start of preseason practice.

As much work as coach Penny Hardaway has gotten done since the Tigers’ offseason began, there is still plenty of business to attend to. The roster − even though most of it is already on campus for summer workouts − is incomplete. Same goes for the coaching staff. The non-conference schedule still has a hole or two.

With these things (and others) in mind, let’s try to sort out what we can in these week’s mailbag.

Who is the Tigers’ next most likely transfer portal target? — Archie Williams, via Tiger Basketball Insider text group

Many believed Memphis was a virtual lock to land Kansas State transfer wing Arthur Kaluma. While Kaluma is apparently still available, it was always (and still is) unlikely he joins the Tigers.

Hardaway and his staff have shown interest in Cal State Northridge transfer wing De’Sean Allen-Eikens (6-foot-6, 215 pounds), but he needs a medical hardship waiver. They’ve looked into UNLV transfer wing Keylan Boone (6-6, 175), but there seems to be some confusion over whether or not a recent NCAA rule change (that would grant him an extra year of eligibility) applies to him.

CBS Sports’ Jon Rothstein reported St. John’s transfer wing Glenn Taylor Jr. is scheduled to visit Memphis this week. But, according to a source familiar with the situation, Taylor’s visit is not exactly set in stone and the Tigers could host someone else instead.

Stay tuned.

Here’s what we know: Rick Stansbury is returning as an assistant coach.

Mike Davis (who has been a head coach for more than 20 years, most notably at Indiana) has been hired as an assistant coach, according to multiple sources. The sources requested anonymity since an official announcement has not been made.

Faragi Phillips, an assistant the past two seasons, will remain on staff, but will take on a new role.

Jeremy Kipness (director of recruiting) and Jamie Rosser (director of player development) are both expected to remain in their respective positions. Jordan VerHulst (previously director of scouting) is expected to take on director of basketball operations duties, a title held by Garrett Kelly the past two seasons.

Jermaine Johnson, who has held numerous titles at Memphis since 2020, will be part of the staff, but he is not expected to be an assistant. Demetrius Dyson (special advisor to the head coach last season) has been retained, but is expected to have a new title.

Memphis legend and former Lane College coach Andre Turner is expected to take on a support staff role, but his hire has not yet been made official.

That leaves two vacancies: a third assistant coach and the strength and conditioning position.

Will Baraka Okojie be ready to play when the season starts?  — Carlo Avant, via Tiger Basketball Insider text group

Baraka Okojie had surgery on his injured left shoulder on June 11. The injury is expected to sideline the George Mason transfer guard at least four months.

If Okojie is out the full four months, that means a potential return in mid-October. The regular-season opener against Missouri at FedExForum is scheduled for Nov. 4.

Any injury is tricky, especially those with relatively long recovery timelines. The team is optimistic Okojie will be cleared ahead of the opener, but there are no guarantees.

MEMPHIS BASKETBALL: Walk-on Joe Cooper is no longer with the program

What are your thoughts on who will be the starting lineup beginning the 2024-2025 season? — George Snyder, via Tiger Basketball Insider text group

To me, three of the five spots are pretty much set: point guard (Tyrese Hunter), shooting guard (PJ Haggerty) and center (Dain Dainja).

If the season started tomorrow, I think Colby Rogers and Nicholas Jourdain would be in the starting five.

But Memphis is still working to fill the open roster spots. If it scoops up a starting-caliber wing, Rogers would probably come off the bench.

What ever happened with the Malcolm Dandridge investigation? — Rich Willard, via Tiger Basketball Insider text group

The short answer: It remains an ongoing process.

Having checked on the status of the investigation − which, if you’ll recall, stems from potential academic misconduct and cost Dandridge the last few games of his collegiate career − with multiple sources, there is no timetable. It could wrap up this week, or it could drag out more months.

Reach sports writer Jason Munz at jason.munz@commercialappeal.com or follow him @munzly on X, the social media app formerly known as Twitter.

This article originally appeared on Memphis Commercial Appeal: Memphis basketball mailbag: Transfer candidates, coaching staff moves

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