As I watched the Tigers get blown out by Gonzaga Saturday night, I thought of Former Arizona Cardinals coach Denny Green’s famous post-game rant. The Tigers are who we thought they were. In other words: the least talented Memphis team – especially at the point guard position – in possibly 15 years. Nothing we saw against Gonzaga changed any of that – though you do have to give the Tigers some credit for playing hard and sticking together – in the midst of getting their doors blown off once again.
More after Denny’s rant:
It’s good every time, isn’t it?
Anyway – back to the game. Let’s hear from some of our friends:
- Tiger fans have to be very sick of seeing Memphis get blown out – because it’s happening a lot.
- In the last calendar year, the Tigers have been blown out 10 times.
- The games and margins are as follows – beginning on 2/1/14: at SMU by 15, at Cincinnati by 13, vs. UConn by 19, vs. Virginia by 18, vs. Wichita State by 15, vs. Baylor by 24, vs. Oklahoma State by 18, at SMU by 14, at Tulsa by 18 and tonight vs. Gonzaga by 18.
- That’s 10 times in the program’s last 35 games that Memphis has been blown out. I’m no statistician, but that’s 1 time every 3.5 games. That’s a lot of blowouts.
- Certainly Memphis is young – but one has to acknowledge that the blow outs could indicate a deeper problem in the program.
- Shaq Goodwin had 8 rebounds, some nice hustle plays and appeared to keep a positive attitude – but he also had 0 points on 6 shots and thus his Junior season continues to be a disappointment.
- Some fans will disagree, but it’s always a glass half full / half empty thing with Pastner’s teams.
- Half full – the Tigers – in a very hostile environment – fought hard and kept it close for a while. Then, after getting blown out on both sides of halftime, they scraped back in the last 10 minutes against what will be the the #2 team in the country this week.
- Half empty – is this what the program has been reduced to? Feeling good about only losing by 18 to Gonzaga?
- Half full – Trashon Burrell and Markel Crawford bring a lot of defensive energy to the lineup and appear to be nice pieces for the program going forward.
- Half empty – the Tigers have no true point guard on the roster. Pookie Powell – since high school – has always been more of a scoring guard. Kedren Johnson still isn’t back to his former level. Demarnier Cunningham plays hard but hasn’t proven he can be effective at this level yet (he also, by the way, is the only PG in the history of basketball who dribbles with an upper body strut that looks like a cross between George Jefferson and Woody Woodpecker (left)).
- Unfortunately, the trio combined for a mere 3 total assists.
- Half full – all 3 PG’s combined for only 2 turnovers. After their early season struggles holding onto the ball, the staff has slowed the Tigers offense down and figured out a way to not let turnovers beat them. Gotta give them credit for that adjustment.
- There just has to be a story about Shaq Goodwin and why he’s so clearly regressed from last year. Is he unhappy with the coaching staff? Distracted? Bored with basketball?
- I’m sure those close to the program know the answer to that, but nobody on the beat has written that piece. Maybe it’s not an appropriate story to write about a college kid. I get that – but it’s fair to say this coaching staff has had several different guys that they simply can’t get through to. Shaq is the latest, whatever the reason.
- It would be one thing if Shaq hadn’t had a very promising Sophomore campaign – he is averaging fewer points, rebounds, assists, blocks and steals from last year.
- The Tigers next game – vs. Jacksonville State on Wednesday night at FedExForum, 7pm – is a nice late season cupcake before Memphis re-enters AAC play for the stretch run. Attendance prediction? Over / Under 5,500?
- Memphis has some winnable games down the stretch – and if they can display the same kind of stick-togetherness and fight they showed in the last 8 or 10 minutes of the Gonzaga game, they can still finish the season on a high note.