In this week's Basketball Recruiting Roundup, we continue our 10-part series breaking down the nation's Top 10 hoop recruiting classes.
In the previous weeks, we tackled No. 1 Kansas, No. 2 Duke, No. 3 North Carolina, No. 4 Oklahoma State, No. 5 Washington, No. 6 Louisville, No. 7 Georgia and No. 8 Mississippi State. Now it's time to move on to No. 9:
Stop us if you've heard this before: Memphis landed a stellar recruiting class this year, but the ultimate success of this class might hinge on whether the Tigers' top recruit comes to campus or decides to skip to the NBA.
Do the names Amare Stoudemire, Qyntel Woods and Kendrick Perkins sound familiar? All three committed to Memphis (Woods out of junior college) but never ended up on campus, instead opting for the big money of the NBA Draft.
In other words, Memphis coach John Calipari has been here before.
This year's "will he or won't he?" recruit is Laurinburg Prep (N.C.) small forward Shawne Williams, who is rated the No. 13 recruit in the Class of 2005 by SchoolSports.com.
Williams was originally a member of the Class of 2004, but he reclassified when academic problems left him ineligible and forced him to transfer from Hamilton (Tenn.) to Laurinburg last year. And though he remains committed to Memphis, he has said he'd consider the NBA if the option presents itself. And it very well could given his talent.
If he does end up at Memphis, Williams is a 6-foot-9, 230-pound swingman with size, athleticism and excellent shooting ability. He would be able to make an immediate impact on the offensive end for the Tigers, who have sorely missed Sean Banks' scoring this season.
The only other Top 100 recruit Memphis landed this year is Detroit Northwestern (Mich.) combo guard Chris Douglas-Roberts, who is rated the No. 19 recruit in the Class of 2005.
A 6-foot-6, 180-pound playmaker, Douglas-Roberts can play either backcourt position. Though he's best known as a high-scoring guard, his passing and ball-handling skills are vastly underrated.
And with much of next year's roster in flux due to the lure of the pros, Memphis fans can take heart in the fact that Douglas-Roberts expects to play immediately for the Tigers.
"I wouldn't have chosen Memphis if I didn't think I could contribute right away," Douglas-Roberts recently told SchoolSports. "Coach Cal told me they've started 13 freshmen in the last 12 years. If I go in and get stronger and work on my game, I'll contribute."
The rest of Memphis' six-man recruiting class is filled with four prep school players. Three of them — shooting guard Antonio Anderson, power forward Robert Dozier and center Kareem Cooper — are teammates of Williams at Laurinburg Prep. The fourth is IMG Academy (Fla.) forward Ricky Sanchez.
Of that group, Anderson is the best of the bunch. A 6-foot-4 wing, Anderson is a tough, athletic player who continues to improve. He's also the younger brother of UMass point guard Anthony Anderson.
Since taking over at Memphis, coach Calipari has made his mark by recruiting high-risk, high-reward players. Some, like Dajuan Wagner and Darius Washington, have allowed the Tigers to reap the benefits. Others, like Stoudemire and Perkins, have left Memphis at the altar.
Ultimately, this year's recruiting class could come down to which camp Shawne Williams falls into.
Check back next week for our breakdown of the No. 10 recruiting class from Alabama.