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Saturday, November 04, 2006

Derrick Rose Chooses Memphis

Blue-chipper Rose chooses Memphis

Nov. 4, 2006
By Gary Parrish CBS Senior Writer

Derrick Rose, the top available high school prospect in the nation, ended an intense recruiting battle Saturday night by publicly committing to Memphis. The 6-foot-2 point guard chose the Tigers over Indiana and Illinois, and he plans to sign a national letter of intent Wednesday.

Rose's announcement is a huge coup for John Calipari, who, unconventionally, was the point man on this recruitment, arguably more so than he's been at any other time in his career.

Consequently, Memphis has long been considered the favorite to land Rose, and most believed the commitment would come long ago. But the prospect NBA projects as the No. 1 pick in the 2008 NBA Draft did not commit on his visit to the Memphis campus last month, leaving many to believe Rose might follow AAU teammate Eric Gordon to Indiana.

In the end, though, Rose opted for Memphis, where he's expected to join Willie Kemp in the backcourt next season for a team that's currently ranked in the top 15 of most preseason polls and projects to lose only Jeremy Hunt after this season. Under that scenario, the Tigers would return all five starters in 2007-08 and likely insert a one-year player in Rose, who the staff genuinely believes could be the prospect that pushes Memphis toward its first Final Four since 1985.

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