Tigers build their ros­ter

Mem­phis bas­ket­ball adds Jones, Mau­rice

The Commercial Appeal - - Sports - Mark Gian­notto Mem­phis Com­mer­cial Ap­peal USA TO­DAY NET­WORK - TEN­NESSEE

Less than a month into his new job, Mem­phis men’s bas­ket­ball coach Penny Har­d­away is quickly turn­ing pre­dic­tions about his po­ten­tial power on the recruiting trail into re­al­ity.

Har­d­away pulled off a Sun­day night stun­ner, reel­ing in an­other top 100 re­cruit and a for­mer Kansas State big man to round out his ini­tial ros­ter with the Tigers.

Shoot­ing guard Ant­wann Jones, a for­mer Texas A&M signee, and South Plains (Texas) Ju­nior Col­lege for­ward/ cen­ter Isa­iah Mau­rice each com­mit­ted and signed to play at Mem­phis, Har­d­away an­nounced on Mon­day af­ter­noon.

Both prospects were on cam­pus for of­fi­cial vis­its this past week­end. News of their com­mit­ments emerged on Sun­day night.

Jones, a con­sen­sus four star re­cruit in the class of 2018, re­ceived a re­lease from his na­tional let­ter of in­tent at Texas A&M. He vis­ited Mem­phis on Sun­day and an­nounced his com­mit­ment on Mon­day morn­ing.

Jones is ranked among the top 100 2018 prospects in the coun­try by ev­ery ma­jor recruiting ser­vice. He played at Oak Ridge High School in Or­lando, Fla., this past sea­son and ap­peared on Nike’s EYBL cir­cuit last off­sea­son with E1T1.

Jones orig­i­nally com­mit­ted to Ok­la­homa State in Septem­ber be­fore de­com­mit­ting two weeks later when an Ok­la­homa State as­sis­tant coach got fired in the wake of the FBI in­ves­ti­ga­tion into cor­rup­tion in col­lege bas­ket­ball.

Jones then de­cided to sign with Texas A&M in Novem­ber. It’s un­clear at this point ex­actly why Jones got a re­lease from his na­tional let­ter of in­tent at Texas A&M.

Listed at 6-feet-6, Jones is a big­ger guard who can play mul­ti­ple po­si­tions on the floor and fin­ish at the rim thanks to his col­lege-ready frame. He’s also a

ca­pa­ble ball-han­dler and shooter, and should be able to con­trib­ute to the Tigers im­me­di­ately.

Mau­rice, listed at 6-10, also took an of­fi­cial visit to Mem­phis this past week­end. He had pre­vi­ously been com­mit­ted to play at New Mex­ico next sea­son.

Mau­rice spent two years at Kansas State, red­shirt­ing his first sea­son be­fore av­er­ag­ing 8.8 min­utes and 3.0 points per game as a red­shirt fresh­man dur­ing the 2016-17 cam­paign. He was then dis­missed from Kansas State last June due to a vi­o­la­tion of team rules.

The Durham, N.C., na­tive av­er­aged 12.9 points and 5.9 re­bounds per game and shot 48.5 per­cent from 3-point range dur­ing his only sea­son at South Plains, who won this year’s NJCAA na­tional cham­pi­onship.

Har­d­away’s first recruiting class now ranks among the top 30 in the coun­try with the ad­di­tion of Jones and Mau­rice, ac­cord­ing to 247 Sports and Ri­vals.

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