Memphis Tigers add Calvin Godfrey to form terrifying front line

Next Story
Memphis has a powerful front line, headed by forward Shaq Goodwin (©GettyImages)
Memphis has a powerful front line, headed by forward Shaq Goodwin (©GettyImages).

In the midst of a banner week in terms of college sports news, which included the Power 5 governance decision and O'Bannon case ruling, was the fact that one college basketball team added a significant heavyweight to their squad.

Memphis won the services of Calvin Godfrey last week, who transferred to the Tigers after being ruled ineligible for the Southern University Jaguars due to marijuana possession.

The 6-foot-9, 210-pound forward adds scoring and rebounding, after averaging 13.1 points and 8.8 rebounds per game last season.

Most importantly though, he touches off what looks to be a dominant front line rotation for Memphis in the upcoming year.

Recent Articles

- NCAA announces it will appeal O'Bannon loss
- Memphis Tigers make crucial hire that could have major recruiting implications
How transfers have changed college basketball forever

A talented player

Godfrey played in the little leagues in the past, squaring off in the non-competitive SWAC. If you don't recognize that abbreviation, don't worry: you're not the only one. 

It stands for the Southwestern Athletic Conference and its heavyweights are the aforementioned Southern University (19-13, 15-3 SWAC), Alabama State (19-13, 12-6 SWAC) and Texas Southern (19-15, 12-6 SWAC).

Not exactly world-beaters there. However, that doesn't mean Godfrey won't be a competitive addition.

The transfer was being courted by none other than UConn, the defending champions, and the Southeastern Conference's LSU. While those teams passed on him, citing "red flags," one coach gave ESPN a favorable review.

"He is a high-major talent," the coach said.

A fearsome front line

When Memphis scooped up Godfrey, it fit into a larger strategy of acquiring bigs.

The Tigers already boast a quality forward in Shaq Goodwin, one of the stars of the 2013 recruiting class and a bruiser of his own accord. The 6-foot-9, 242-pounder averaged 11.5 points and 6.5 rebounds in his sophomore season and is expected to only add more value going forward.

The key to success for the 2012 McDonald's All-American will be to continue his efficiency: Goodwin scored at a 58 percent clip last year, mostly operating in the post.

Austin Nichols, a freshman last year at 6-foot-8, 212 pounds, will hopefully add some weight to become more powerful down low.

But with an average of 9.3 points and 4.3 rebounds last year - at a cool 59 percent shooting percentage - he shouldn't have a problem contributing.

That means Godfrey will step into a situation where he can be one of multiple top dogs, rather than being required to shoulder the load all alone.

Look out for the future too.

The addition of high school coach Keelon Lawson to the Memphis staff resulted in commitments from his two very large sons: K.J. Lawson, a 6-foot-7 wing and 2015 prospect, and Dedric Lawson, a 6-foot-8 power forward in the Class of 2016.

Expect Memphis to bang with the best of them in the years to come.

March Madness
Next Story

Read more