Tubby Smith’s roster continued to unravel on Monday.
The longtime University of Kentucky basketball coach, who just completed his first season as head man at Memphis, saw his sixth player transfer since the season ended last month when redshirt junior Markel Crawford announced his departure.
The Tigers finished 19-13 in Smith’s first year and went 9-9 in the American Athletic Conference but lost seven of their final nine games and did not advance to the postseason.
According to the Commercial Appeal of Memphis, only two of the team’s top nine scorers will be back next season.
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Smith, who had a 263-83 record and won the 1998 national championship during his 10 seasons in Lexington from 1997-2007, has tried to plug the Tigers’ leaks with junior-college transfers.
Memphis has received commitments over the past week from junior-college prospects Kareem Brewton and Kyvon Davenport, who were ranked No. 22 and No. 19 in this year’s jucorecruiting.com top 100, according to the Memphis newspaper. They will join a 2017 recruiting class that also includes three-star recruits Jamal Johnson, David Nickelberry and Victor Enoh.
Crawford, a 6-foot-5 guard from Memphis, was the team’s second-leading scorer this past season at 12.8 points per game. He plans to pursue a graduate transfer opportunity.
Two other players from Memphis, brothers Dedric and K.J. Lawson, announced their plans to transfer last week. Dedric, a sophomore guard/forward, was the team’s leading scorer at 19.2 points, and K.J., a redshirt freshman wing, was right behind Crawford at 12.3.
The brothers announced plans Monday to transfer to Kansas, according to Gary Parrish of CBS Sports.
The other three players to announce their departures were sophomore guard Craig Randall II, freshman point guard Keon Clergeot and graduate transfer forward Chad Rykhoek.
Smith, 65, is a three-time national coach of the year. He has a career record of 576-289 coaching Tulsa, Georgia, Kentucky, Minnesota, Texas Tech and Memphis.