Whatever speech or adjustment Josh Pastner delivered at halftime of the Tigers’ AAC contest at Tulsa tonight……he probably shouldn’t use that one again. Tulsa dropped a 22-1 run on Memphis early in the 2nd half and after that, the Tigers were essentially dead.
What had been a 3-point game just a few minutes before halftime, ended up a 73-55 final. All the positive momentum from the recent 3-game winning streak – gone in a hurricane.
What is it about this Memphis team that causes it to fall apart in the 2nd half of games? Memphis has been blasted after intermission by Tulsa, SMU, Wichita State, Stephen F. Austin, and Baylor – all games that were relatively close at the break. I had the unique perspective of watching this game after I already knew the final, detached from emotion. From that point of view, it was interesting to note that Memphis actually played pretty well the first 10 minutes of the game, and was certainly competitive at the break. But again, the Tigers got boat raced in the final 20 minutes.
Since we’re on the subject of halftime pep talks, before we hear from our friends, here’s a clip of maybe the best halftime speech ever (warning, very explicit language):
Now, let’s hear from our pals:
- I really don’t feel like piling on Pastner tonight. Not sure why, I just don’t.
- Tulsa looked good.
- If Memphis is going to have a bad year, it’s nice to see some other AAC programs – like Tulsa, and Temple – have good seasons.
- Temple, Tulsa, SMU – those are the kind of programs the AAC needs to step up alongside traditionally stronger programs Memphis, UConn and Cincinnati. All 3 have solid fan support and can enhance the league’s basketball profile.
- It’s nice to see Tulsa have some success after all those years in CUSA where they fought like hell to be that next best team to Memphis but never could quite reclaim the successful program they fielded in the 80’s and 90’s.
- As I said, I really don’t feel like piling on Pastner after every loss. There’s probably going to be more, so it just gets old and unnecessary.
- That being said – the “subbing on feel” thing didn’t work tonight. Nobody (outside of Avery Woodson) ever got into a rhythm, so there was nothing to “feel” except desperation.
- Pastner just kept juggling and juggling and juggling (he used an 11 man rotation), but nobody got going.
- Only 2 guys played more than 22 minutes (Nichols, Woodson). Everyone else split time.
- 11 guys is just too many to juggle “on feel.” It’s looks great in a blowout against UCF at home – but in a competitive game guys need more time to get going.
- Pastner tried all 3 point guards – Powell, Johnson and Cunningham – at various points. None got into a flow, though Johnson came closest.
- The grey uniforms will always, always evoke the NCAA tournament loss vs. Drexel in 1996.
- No matter that the Grey jerseys have actually seen some good wins in the last few years including last year’s NCAA “2nd” round game vs. George Washington.
- Maybe Pastner should go “on feel” and break out the black uniforms next week?
- As Pastner warned us yesterday, Memphis is not a juggernaut.
- Apparently, he was right.
- With every loss, Memphis gets closer (some suggest they’re already there) to needing to win the AAC tournament in Hartford to qualify for an NCAA bid. That’s a long ways away though – Memphis just needs to try to get better.
- The Tigers have an opportunity to bounce back and get revenge when they visit Tulane this weekend. 8pm Saturday / ESPNU.