And so far, King has more than lived up to billing. The southpaw wing has led the team with 16 points per game, shooting a torrid 57 percent from the field and adding six rebounds per outing. Surprisingly, for a player considered a long-range shooter, King has attempted only four threes in his first few showings for the Tigers.
He didn't start in the team's disastrous recent loss to Oklahoma State, but he came off the bench to lead the way with 23 points and eight boards (tops in both categories for the Tigers) on 8-12 shooting. Matched on the national stage versus Marcus Smart and others, King demonstrated far more composure than some of his more experienced teammates.
Memphis actually could face OSU again this weekend at the Old Spice Classic, but if that game comes to fruition King won't be surprising anyone. Despite not starting, he captured the AAC rookie of the week award following his strong opening performances.
Another top-40 freshman, big man Austin Nichols, has started in all three contests. He's also playing well, averaging 11 points per outing on 60 percent shooting. Nichols will, however, need to improve his rebounding (four per game) and anemic free throw shooting (3-9 so far).
Two more freshmen are filling regular reserve roles. Center Dominic Woodson did not play well as a senior and thus his stock plummeted, but at Memphis he's garnering 11 minutes of playing time and has shown flashes of effectiveness during his court time. Versatile forward Kuran Iverson, meanwhile, is playing even more at 15 minutes per game but has yet to get going offensively.