The off season for the University of Memphis Basketball team is intact as they are getting into premier shape for the 2014-15 season. Coach Josh Pastner is losing four senior guards (Joe Jackson, Geron Johnson, Chris Crawford, and Michael Dixon Jr.), but easily replaced those guys with a 2014 recruiting class that features Helen Cox High standout Dominic Magee.
Magee and 17 of the top high school senior basketball players in the country played in the Fifth Annual Jack Jones Shootout at Lausanne Collegiate School located on 1381 W Massey Rd. in Memphis, TN.
Before Magee took the floor to participate in the Jack Jones Senior Showcase, he was one of the few players receiving handshakes from the fans while doing interviews with some of the local reporters.
Magee recognizes that he will be looked at as only a basketball player by Tiger Nation, but he wants to achieve things on and off the court. Magee is ranked No. 71 on Rivals.com in the class of 2014. He’s the only Memphis recruit to be ranked in Rivals top 150.
“I want to be taught things that I never been taught. I think I want to major in business because I want to learn more about business in college,” Magee said. “I just want to have fun in college, but do my work on the court and do what I got to do to get minutes.”
Before Magee’s arrival to Memphis, he was already living the life of an athlete. He’s accustomed to people coming up to him for autographs and pictures, but tries not to allow the fame to throw him off focus of the opportunity he has in front of him.
“Not to be cocky, I been having that spotlight since I was young. That’s just being blessed. Anyone that knows me knows that I am a hard worker and I be in the gym a lot,” Magee said. “I take basketball serious and people got to understand that I have a one-year-old son and we got to eat.
I promised him that we’re going to be rich one day son and I can’t let my son down.”
Alongside Magee (6-3, 185), Memphis has three junior college players for the class of 2014: Avery Woodson from East Mississippi Community College in Scooba, MS (6-3, 188), Chris Hawkins (6-5, 240) from Southwest Tennessee Community College, and Trashon Burrell (6-7, 180) from Lee Community College in Baytown, TX.
This class is not one of the recruiting classes that has been receiving a lot of attention as Kentucky, Louisville, Duke, and North Carolina. ESPN and CBSSports.com doesn’t have Memphis in their way-to-early preseason top 25 poll for next season.
Magee pays attention to the sports sites like a crazy sports fanatic would do. With the media not giving Memphis any respect during the off season makes him more humbled to play harder for his coaching staff and for the city of Memphis.
“I don’t care about the rankings. I don’t care what people say. I know that we’re going to shock the world. People are doubting us and that’s good. We are going to overcome it.”
Magee seemed to be locked in with his new teammates. He has already created close bonds with the returning players. His relationship with coach Pastner has gotten better since he committed to the U of M back in September of 2013.
“I have talked to Avery. The other junior college players I haven’t had a chance to talk to. I have talked to Pookie. I have talked to Markel, Nick, and Austin. As for Josh, me and coach Josh relationship is like amazing. He just told me a few days ago he love me. I can’t wait to do whatever he wants me to do like dive on the floor. Anything he wants, I am going to do it.”
Magee mentioned how proud his parents are of his accomplishments and having a chance to go to college to earn a degree. Magee’s father, Darren Turner, was in attendance at the Jack Jones Shootout to watch his son play against the other talented prospects.
Magee was on the West Allstars team, who was being coached by White Station’s Men’s Head Basketball coach Jesus Patino. The team featured four prospects from the state of Tennessee: Josh Bower (6-4, committed to Tennessee Tech) from Christian Brothers, Ladarius Coleman (6-5, undecided) from White Station High School, Coleman’s former teammate Marcanvis Hymon (6-7, committed to Ole Miss), and Lausanne’s own Joe Williams (6-6, undecided).
Magee’s team lost 94-87 to the East Allstars, but he managed to finish the game with 19 points. Magee has the ability to either shoot the basketball from the outside or drive to the lane. He showed promising aspects of his game during his time on the floor. A bulk of his points came from in the paint as six of his 19 points came from beyond the arc. His father feels that his son has the tools to be a solid player at the collegiate level.
“I think the way he handles to ball is great. His defense is good for him to be his size. He probably put on a good 20 pounds over the past year. With his work ethic, it’s like he’s real dedicated,” Turner said. “He doesn’t get into trouble. If he’s not at the house, he’s at the gym. You can’t never get made at that, you know.”