Unless something drastically changes, Tyreke Evans is going to Memphis, according to a source close to the American Christian Academy all-American guard.
"There's a 90 percent shot that he will go to Memphis," the source said.
Evans, who spent yesterday in Bristol, Conn., filming a show for ESPN, would say only that Memphis, Villanova and Connecticut were still being considered. Reggie Evans, Tyreke's older brother and legal guardian, had no comment.
Tyreke Evans, 18, will officially make his announcement at 3 p.m. today at American Christian.
According to the source, the 6-foot-6 combo guard, the MVP of the recent McDonald's All-American Game, picked Memphis on Friday night while in Portland, Ore., preparing for the Nike Hoop Summit. After practice, Tyreke sat down with his older brothers, Reggie, Julius and Eric, and his cousin Temetrius Evans.
"They told him to go over all of your choices: Seton Hall, Villanova, UConn, Memphis, Louisville and Texas," the source said.
The source said the group read through detailed binders that had the head coaches' biographies, the strength of each team's conference, and which players were leaving for the NBA on those teams.
"He was torn between 'Nova, Texas and Memphis," the source said. "Then he just said, 'I think I just want to get away from [the Philadelphia area]. I just want to get away from here.' "
With that, Evans' decision was down to Memphis and Texas.
Then he said, "Texas is a long plane ride," the source said. "He narrowed it down to just Memphis."
Reggie Evans confirmed that there was a meeting, but he would not comment on what was said.
It's understandable that Tyreke Evans would want to leave the area. He faced what Chester Township authorities called the possibility of gang retaliation after a fatal shooting in Brookhaven. Evans was at the scene of a homicide that involved his cousin Jamar "Mar Mar" Evans on Nov. 25.
Jamar Evans was charged with third-degree murder in the shooting death of 19-year-old Marcus Reason. Chester Township Capt. Kenneth J. Coalson said at the time that investigators had no doubt that Reason's death was gang-related. The Evans family had reason to be fearful, he said, speaking after police contacted gang members in the Toby Farms neighborhood.
The Evans family said in the past it would love to see Tyreke sign with Villanova. Tyreke Evans even said a week ago that he was leaning toward the Wildcats.
At the time, there was speculation that Memphis coach John Calipari would leave for an NBA job. His name has been linked as a possible replacement for embattled Knicks coach Isiah Thomas.
"He says he isn't going [anywhere]," Reggie Evans said of Calipari. "And if he was going somewhere, out of respect, he would let us know."
Evans is ranked as the top player in his class nationally by, among others, Dime and Slam magazines. There's a chance he will step right in and play at Memphis. Freshman point guard Derrick Rose entered the NBA draft yesterday, and junior shooting guard Chris Douglas-Roberts also is expected to turn pro.
Evans averaged 29 points, 8 rebounds, 6 assists and 4.3 rebounds this season. He scored 50 points twice.
He is scheduled to compete in Saturday's Jordan Brand Classic at Madison Square Garden.