Bell City's Bogan gives oral commitment to Memphis

Friday, February 10, 2006

The 6-foot-9 junior is playing his first year of organized basketball.

Will Bogan has made a splash in his first season of high school basketball in Southeast Missouri.

His decision Wednesday to attend the University of Memphis made a ripple nationally.

"Scouting services have been calling me all morning," Bell City coach Brian Brandtner said Thursday.

The Memphis Commercial Appeal reported in that day's edition that Bogan, a 6-foot-9 junior playing high school basketball for the first time, made a nonbinding commitment to Memphis, which is ranked No. 3 in the country in The Associated Press rankings this week.

While Memphis coach John Calipari and a host of other schools are recruiting Bogan, he is an unknown on the ranking of top high school basketball players in the country.

"He played AAU basketball for the first time last summer, and he only played in a couple of tournaments," Brandtner said. "He didn't play anything organized until this year."

Bogan is averaging 18.5 points per game for the Cubs, who are 18-3 and ranked No. 2 in the state's Class 1 poll. The Commercial Appeal was provided information that Bogan averages 16 rebounds per game.

The Tigers like his potential, Brandtner said.

"Coach Calipari watched him play a couple times," Brandtner said. "He had interest from schools all over, but Memphis came after him hard. Coach Calipari loved the way Will played. He saw a post player who just plays the game. He liked his hands, his mobility and his attitude.

"Will has some edges to smoothe out, but he'll work on that. He's just going to get so much better next year."

Bogan's legal guardian, Joe Bowling, told the Commercial Appeal that Memphis' loss to Texas on Jan. 2 had an affect on Bogan's decision.

"We were at the Texas game, and it had just started, and Will told me he would really like to play Memphis' style," Bowling told the newspaper. "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.'"

Brandtner said Thursday, "Will felt it was a really good opportunity. They've got a good program going. He liked what it offered academically, he liked the coaching staff. It's a big-time program; it's an awesome opportunity.

"It gives him less to worry about next year and he can just focus on winning a state championship."

Bogan is Memphis' first commitment for the class of 2007, the Commercial Appeal reported. The early signing date for basketball begins in November.

"I'm looking forward to it," Bogan told the Commercial Appeal. "I'm ready to play."

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