The Tigers defeated Jacksonville State 74-48 on Wednesday night in the final non-conference game of the season.
In light of some recent research regarding the dangers of anger on the internet, Negative Nellie has the night off.
So let’s jump right in and hear from some of our other friends:
- Jacksonville State is coached by a guy named James Green. If Green looked familiar to Tiger fans – it’s because he used to coach Southern Miss from 1996-2004.
- Those years covered the end of the Larry Finch era, the entirety of the Tic Price / Johnny Jones era, and the beginning of the John Calipari era.
- In other words, the Tigers had some very average years during the time James Green was at Southern Miss.
- As a result, Green was 9-7 in 16 games vs. Memphis. Some of them weren’t even close.
- The Tigers have 10 games left this season – and therefore a real opportunity to rewrite the narrative of their season.
- According to realtimerpi.com, the Tigers are projected to finish 8-2 over the final 10 games of the season.
- In other words, the Tigers should be favored in their next 8 games (vs. Temple, @ECU, @ USF, vs. UConn, @ UCF, vs. SMU, vs. TUL) and then underdogs in their final 2 games (@ UConn, @ Cincinnati).
- If the Tigers can live up to the statistical expectations by going 8-2, then they’d finish with a 22-10 record.
- Given that they entered the year with 9 new players, it would be really hard – even for the most passionate fan – to be too disappointed with that kind of season.
- The Tigers were playing Jacksonville State.
- Jacksonville State – in case you were wondering – is a lower level Ohio Valley Conference team. Their current record in that league is 2-8, their overall record fell to 9-16 after the Memphis loss.
- So we can’t glean much from the win – but we can see some of the, ahem, positive, things this Memphis team has begun to develop.
- Perhaps the most encouraging sign of the season for Memphis? The major improvement in ball security. The Tigers finished with just 3 turnovers vs. JSU. It was the 3rd consecutive game in which Memphis’ turnovers were at 10 or less following Gonzaga (10) and ECU (6).
- Turnovers were the Tigers’ biggest problem early in the year – so if that issue has truly been solved, then Memphis’ chance of finishing the season strong are enhanced.
- Memphis continues to play together. The Tigers assisted on 20 of 30 made field goals. Josh Pastner has to be proud that this Memphis team – like its predecessors – play an unselfish brand of basketball.
Temple Tidbit Teddy:
- The Tigers return to action this Saturday at Noon vs. AAC foe Temple.
- Temple has won 4 games in a row.
- Temple is 16-7 on the year and tied with Memphis and Cincinnati (in the loss column) for 3rd place in the AAC.
- RealTimeRPI predicts Memphis to beat Temple 70-59.