Basketball Recruiting - Memphis, Hardaway lock down commitment of four-star Jordan Nesbitt
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Memphis, Hardaway lock down commitment of four-star Jordan Nesbitt

When Jordan Nesbitt committed to Memphis on Thursday afternoon, the act of doing so was simple. The four-star wing simply picked up the phone, dialed a few numbers and told head coach Anfernee Hardway he was coming to campus. The decision, however, wasn’t nearly as easy as the act.

Nesbitt will tell you point-blank that he was headed to Illinois as recently as a few weeks back. His story is the product of a late change of heart. It’s also the product of an incredible recruiting effort by Hardaway.

"At first, I was really, really, really going to Illinois," Nesbitt said. "I really was. My mind was pretty much made up. Then, one day, Coach Penny was at, like, a golf tournament, and heard that I was going to Illinois. He literally called me from the golf cart. He stopped playing to call me. We had a great talk. After that, I just kind of fell in love. If a guy is doing that for me, I can't give that up.”

It was more than just one phone call that sold Nesbitt on the Tigers, however. Nesbit has a longstanding relationship with the Memphis staff. A relationship the touted prospect says was built on honesty.

“The bond I built with Coach Penny was very different from the relationships I’ve built with most coaches,” Nesbitt said. He was real with me from the start. He didn’t tell me stuff like ‘come here and start right away.’ Instead, he just gave it to me real and told me, ‘I love you game and I feel like if you put in the work, you’re one and done. He just gave me the real.”

WHAT MEMPHIS IS GETTING: Nesbitt is one of the more versatile prospects in the country. He’s listed as a wing on Rivals but will be used as a combo guard at Memphis. The four-star prospect certainly has the court vision to play in the backcourt and has done so in the past, so it’s not as though the change will be jarring. The 6-foot-6 Nesbitt has a great basketball body and has improved his ball-handling exponentially over the last year. The Tigers are getting a well-rounded prospect that can impact a game in a number of ways.

He joins a class that already includes a pair of four stars in forwards John Camden and Josh Minott