Tigers land Missouri prep
February 9, 2006
High school: Bell City, Mo. Class: Junior Height, weight: 6-10, 290 Key stats: Averaging 22 points, 16 rebounds per game
Will Bogan hadn't seen much of the University of Memphis. But what he had seen, he liked, and it was apparently more than enough. "We were at the Texas game, and it had just started and Will told me he would really like to play Memphis' style," recalled Joe Bowling, Bogan's legal guardian. "And I was telling him, 'Boy, this is real early. But my gosh, they are the No. 3 team in the nation. So if they're interested in you, by all means keep your ears open and listen.'"
Which is exactly what Bogan did.
Then on Wednesday, he stopped listening and started talking, telling John Calipari he would accept his offer to be Tiger.
Consequently, this 6-10, 290-pound forward from Missouri is the school's first commitment for the Class of 2007, and is thus expected to be a freshman at the UofM during the 2007-2008 season.
"I'm looking forward to it," Bogan said. "I'm ready to play."
Right here is the place typically reserved to write about where a prospect is ranked by Rivals.com and Scout.com, and how PrepStars.com has him ahead of this person and just below that person.
With Bogan, though, there is no such context.
He's ranked nowhere.
But there's a good reason.
"This is his first year of organized basketball," Bowling said. "Nobody really knows about him."
As crazy as that seems, it's true.
"I thought Will would stay under the radar this year, I really did. But from about the second game on, he's just really been turning a lot of heads. He's been great." Joe Bowling
Will Bogan's legal guardian
Bogan grew up in Charleston, Mo., but, according to Bowling, spent more time on the street courts than anywhere else, and was headed down a path with no good ending.
Aware of the issues, Bowling said he wanted to make a difference. So he and his wife filed the proper paperwork about 16 months ago to become Bogan's legal guardians, which placed the prospect in a stable environment for the first time in a long time.
Now, according to Bowling, Bogan is an "honor roll" student at Bell City (Mo.) High, and averaging 22 points and 16 rebounds per game. Memphis assistant Derek Kellogg spotted the talent early, which helped the Tigers gain the commitment over other schools who got involved more recently, like Oklahoma and Virginia.
"I thought Will would stay under the radar this year, I really did," Bowling said. "But from about the second game on, he's just really been turning a lot of heads. He's been great."
-- Gary Parrish: (901) 529-2365