The exodus of talent from the Memphis basketball team has left the Tigers scrambling to sign up players for the 2017-18 season. That search at one point led Tubby Smith’s staff to Matt Stanley, a big man for Cabot High who received a scholarship offer from the Tigers on April 5. Stanley didn’t have too many Division I scholarship options, so Memphis seemed like a legitimate frontrunner to land his services.
What did Stanley decide? Here’s a hint: He’s not headed to Memphis.
Instead, on Wednesday Stanley signed with Division II Ouachita Baptist, a school in Arkansas.
There are a number of reasons why Stanley may have chosen to attend Ouachita Baptist. Maybe he wanted to stay close to his family at home. Perhaps he was focused on ensuring he’d get to play right away.
Regardless of motivating factors, the fact that a player Memphis was interested in chose a Division II program instead speaks volumes about the current plight of Tigers basketball, and certainly raises concern about its competitive viability in the immediate future.