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Evans to visit Memphis

Top unsigned recruit will be at Tigers clash with Vols

Posted: Friday February 22, 2008 12:55PM; Updated: Friday February 22, 2008 12:55PM
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American Christian guard Tyreke Evans will take an official visit to Memphis, the frontrunner to land his commitment.
American Christian guard Tyreke Evans will take an official visit to Memphis, the frontrunner to land his commitment.
Diana Eliazov/SI

Tyreke Evans, the nation's top unsigned recruit, is expected to touch down at Graceland Airport in Memphis shortly before 10 p.m. Friday and will watch Saturday night's sold-out battle between top-ranked Memphis and No. 2 Tennessee at the FedEx Forum.

The American Christian (Aston, Pa.) shooting guard is scheduled to travel with his brothers Julius, James and Eric, as well as personal trainer Lamont Peterson. Having already visited Texas, Villanova, Louisville and UConn, this is the last stop for the 6-foot-6, 205-pound McDonald's All-American before he makes a long-anticipated decision.

"I'm excited to be in the building and watch a marquee game," Evans said on Thursday night after American Christian fell to top-ranked St. Anthony (Jersey City, N.J.), 64-53, in front of a national television audience. Villanova coach Jay Wright and his assistant Brett Gunning were in the front row for the game.

Though harried by St. Anthony's six Division I signees and a cold shooting night, Evans (17 points) wouldn't name a favorite in his recruiting race. "I'm just looking for the right fit, right coach, right stadium to play in," said Evans, who has struggled recently with a recovering ankle and blisters on his feet.

Long thought to be the favorite, Louisville has apparently fallen behind Memphis. Some recruiters believe Evans' brothers, who are vocal supporters during games, will have a strong role in his commitment and that he is simply going through the motions of a visit before announcing a Memphis commitment. Still, the family insists that no decision will be made by the time Evans leaves the FedEx Forum and heads home Sunday morning. "We will have input, but the decision is Tyreke's," said Julius Evans, who expects his brother to make a decision shortly after the McDonald's All-American game on March 26. "The coaches will be chewing their nails up until that point."

With snow forecasted in the Northeast throughout the day Friday, the Evans clan intends on landing in Memphis late Friday and meeting up with family confidante and avid Tigers supporter William "Worldwide Wes" Wesley at some point. On Saturday, they will watch the Tigers' shootaround and spend time with the coaching staff before the 9 p.m. tipoff. "I think it will be a good time for Tyreke to see everything the school has to offer," Julius said. "The finish line is getting close."