Penny Hardaway has struck again—and this time, it's pushed his team to No. 1.
Five-star forward Precious Achiuwa became the latest elite recruit to pick Memphis on Friday, choosing the Tigers over Kansas, North Carolina, UConn and Georgia.
The 6’9” Achiuwa, who was born in Nigeria and attends Montverde (Fla.) Academy, is the younger brother of former St. John’s player God’sgift Achiuwa. A McDonald’s All-American, he is the second five-star in the 2019 class to commit to Memphis, joining No. 1 overall recruit James Wiseman.
What are the Tigers getting in Achiuwa? SI.com NBA draft expert Jeremy Woo breaks down his game:
An athletic, scoring forward, Achiuwa should be a useful college scorer from day one, particularly if he can find more consistency with his jump shot. He’s physically mature and has a pro-type body already, and he is at his best in transition with space to operate. His overall skill level is a work in progress, and his shot selection and decision-making are sometimes questionable. But the natural ability is clearly there, and with some polish, Achiuwa should offer an immediate boost for Memphis.
Achiuwa’s decision cements what’s been a monster spring for Hardaway as he positions his team for the 2019–20 season. After landing Wiseman and four-stars D.J. Jeffries and Malcolm Dandridge in the fall, the second-year head coach has earned a flurry of commitments beyond Achiuwa to wrap the recruiting cycle: four-stars Lester Quinones and Damion Baugh, former Duke commit Boogie Ellis and Little Rock grad transfer Rayjon Tucker, considered by many to be one of the best on the market.
Hardaway’s recruiting chops and connections to local players were believed to be a major selling point when Memphis hired him in 2018, and he’s more than delivered in his first full cycle. The Tigers’ 2019 group now ranks first nationally in the 247Sports composite—ahead of Kentucky, Arizona and Duke, and while the final rankings aren't set just yet (three five-stars remain uncommitted), it's clear this class has been a rousing success for them.