Memphis Announces Three Basketball Signees
Nov. 8, 2000
University of Memphis basketball coach John Calipari announced Wednesday the signing of three high school seniors on the first day of the NCAA's early signing period Wednesday.
The U of M has received national letters-of-intent from Huntsville, Ala., Lee High School 6-9 forward Duane Erwin, Atlanta North Clayton High School 6-4 combination guard Anthony Rice and Camden, N.J., High School 6-3 guard Dajuan Wagner.
Wagner has been ranked as one of the top high school seniors in the nation by several national publications after averaging 31.9 points, seven assists, six rebounds and three steals per game as a junior while helping lead Camden High to the New Jersey Tournament of Champions title.
He was named the MVP of both the state Group 3 championship game and the Tournament of Champions final as well as the state of New Jersey's most valuable player.
Wagner Has scored 2,229 career points which is good for 15th on South Jersey's all-time list with still a year to play.
"He has all the tools," said Camden High School coach Glen Jackson following Wagner's junior season. "Any time we needed a big basket DaJuan got it for us. He could take over a game and he was able to utilize his teammates in doing so."
Rice averaged 17 points, five rebounds and three assists last year as a junior Atlanta's North Clayton High School. He was an honorable mention all-state selection as well as named first-team all-Clayton County and and all-Metro Atlanta.
As a freshman, Rice was in North Clayton's starting lineup when the squad advanced to Georgia's Elite Eight. The squad advanced to the Final Four two years ago and the Sweet 16 last season.
"As a coach, Anthony is the type of player and kid you would want to have as a son," said North Clayton basketball coach Lewis Wilkerson. "He is a very well-rounded young man. He doesn't get excited about a lot of the things teenagers seem to get excited about. There seems to be a focus and calm around him."
In addition to averaging 13 points and 12 rebounds, Erwin has been an menacing shot blocker at Lee High School. As a junior he averaged seven blocks per game.
Erwin was named to the all-tournament teams at last year's Asheville, N.C., Shootout as well as the Huntsville Times Tournament. In addition he was named first-team all-city in Huntsville, first-team all-metro and honorable mention all-state.
"I believe Duane's best basketball is in front of him," said Lee High School Coach Jay Burney. "For a 6-9 post player, he is very skilled and his upside is tremendous. He is a great kid who works hard."
Wagner is ranked the No. 1 high school recruit by Hoop Scoop while Rice is 52nd and Erwin is 58th.