Phenom Hoops is just like everyone else… they are ready to see talent back on the court this season. We have discussed a ton around the high school level, but we are as equally as excited about the upcoming college basketball season. Which is why we are looking and previewing teams for this upcoming season. Let’s dive into what we are looking at for each team.
Memphis Tigers (Last Season’s Record: 21-10)
Scoring defense: 64.9ppg
Rebounding margin: +3.3
Turnover margin: -1.6
Shooting percentage: 44.0%
3-point percentage: 32.9%
Free-Throw percentage: 67.9%
Memphis lost some big-time, young talents from last year’s team but they also return several sophomores that will be national names, especially with a year under their belt. 6’7 D.J. Jeffries is coming off a season in which he averaged 10.8ppg and 4.3rpg, and there should be big expectations with him this year. 6’5 Lester Quinones is another, especially after starting the final 16 games for the Tigers. That doesn’t mention Boogie Ellis, who struggled at times last year but still brings a ton of talent to the floor, Damion Baugh, who had flashes last season, and 6’9 Malcolm Dandridge, who brings size down low that can score and rebound. How will these players take the next step? That will be a big question but one that could really take Memphis to another level this season.
Big names transfer in:
Several programs received some big help with key transfers but Memphis may have seen some of the biggest success with the transfer portal. You first have to start out with the prize transfer in Landers Nolley from Virginia Tech. He was an absolute star early on in the ACC, averaging over 15 points per game and taking the conference by storm. Memphis also welcomes in Evansville transfer, 6’9 DeAndre Williams, who averaged 15 points and seven rebounds. However, they are still waiting to see if he will be eligible this season. If he is, he provides another big that can score inside and step out as well. They also were able to add Ahmad Rand from USC Salkehatchie.
Even without adding Moussa Cisse, the Tigers were sitting pretty well with the roster they had. But adding freshman 6’10 center Moussa Cisse was huge, as he immediately can bring a force down low for Memphis. Just this past season alone, he averaged 18.4 points, 15.3 rebounds, and 9.2 blocks per game, giving the Tigers a legit difference-maker. He should be certainly in the discussion as one of the top freshmen in the country.
Where can they improve statistically:
There are a few areas that Coach Hardaway and his team could improve, especially looking at them at a statistical point last year. One would be at the free-throw line, as they ranked 269th in the country at 67.9 percent. They also ranked 12th in the conference and 292nd in the country in turnover margin. Lastly, they could see a slight improvement from behind the arc, shooting 32 percent from three last year. Those are just a few areas Memphis could improve in but they were also one of the top defensive teams in the country.