Damion Baugh, the standout guard at Tennessee Prep, committed to the University of Memphis Thursday in a ceremony at the Thaddeus Young Complex.
Baugh is a four-star recruit, according to 247 Recruiting, and that stock has been rising in the last few months. Texas Tech and TCU were among the final schools that were pursuing Baugh.
Texas Tech was considered the favorite to land Baugh over the past several weeks. Texas Tech assistant coach Glynn Cyprien led the recruitment of Baugh. Cyprien is in his first year on the Texas Tech staff and was the head coach of the Memphis Grizzlies G-League team the Memphis Hustle 2017-18.
A native of Nashville, Baugh has been playing the last two years at Tennessee Prep. This time last season, Baugh had no Division I offers. Not only was Penny Hardaway recruiting Baugh, but fellow signee James Wiseman had been trying to convince Baugh to join him at Memphis next season. Wiseman is also a native of Nashville.
Baugh played with the AAU program of Team Thad under Coach Norton Hurd IV. This is how Baugh was able to have a connection to play basketball in Memphis. At 6′ 4″, Baugh will add some height and bulk to the point guard position.
“It has been a long process,” Baugh said. “Coach Hurd and my family were behind me on my decision. They told me to just follow my heart and that is what I did. Coach Penny played my position in the NBA and maybe he can help me get there. It is a relief and I am glad (the process) has come to an end.”
Baugh’s role with the Tigers will be to get other players involved on offense and score as the situation presents itself.
“We think it went great,” Hurd said. “I don’t care if he went to JUCO, D2 or whatever. I am a hometown guy. I love Memphis, but everybody gets mad. I am going to do whatever is best for the kid.”
Baugh was also surprised by his coach before he made his decision. Head coach Harold Rayford Jr. retired the jersey of Baugh. “It is a great accomplishment and it was a dream of mine,” he said. “My coaches played a great role in my accomplishment.”
The Tigers have signed or have commitments from James Wiseman and Malcolm Dandridge of Memphis East, D J Jeffries from Olive Branch and are still pursuing undecided McDonalds All-Americans Precious Achiuwa (Bronx, NY) and Trendon Watford (Birmingham, AL) and others. If the Tigers are able to get another five star athlete to sign a national letter of intent, some services would rank that recruiting class number 2 in the nation.