NCAA Preview: Memphis TigersPosted by rtmsf on March 16th, 2009
Memphis (#2 seed, West, Kansas City pod)
vs. California State Northridge (#15)
March 19th, 12:25 P.M.
Vegas Line: Memphis -19.5
Thanks to Vegas Watch for providing these graphs that measure the moving average of a team’s spread (moving avg.) over time vs. the spread for each individual game (indiv). If a team’s moving average is higher than zero, then Vegas currently has a higher opinion of them than Pomeroy, and vice versa.
Location: Memphis, Tennessee
Conference: Conference USA, won the conference tournament
Coach: John Calipari, 251-68 at Memphis
08-09 Record: 28-3, 16-0 C-USA
Last 12 Games: 12-0
Best Win: 68-50 v. Gonzaga, February 7th
Worst Loss: 70-79 v. Georgetown, December 13th
Off. Efficiency Rating: 111.8/ 39th overall
Def. Efficiency Rating: 79.4/ 1st overall
Nuts n Bolts
Star Player(s): Tyreke Evans- 16.6 points/game, 5.5 rebounds/game, 3.8 assists/game, 2.1 steals/game
Unsung Hero: Antonio Anderson- 10.2 points/game, 4.9 rebounds/game, 4.1 assists/game, 43.8 FG%
Potential NBA Draft Pick(s): Tyreke Evans- projected 36th overall
Key Injuries: none
Depth: 26.6%, 270th overall
Achilles Heel: The Tigers are extremely athletic, but they don’t shoot the ball particularly well. They only shoot 32% from behind the arc as a team, and they still shoot under 70% (69.6) from the charity stripe as a team as well. Tyreke Evans has been a solid point guard, but his strength is his drive and kick ability, but if there is no one out there to shoot, they will struggle.
Will Make a Deep Run if…: The Tigers are easily the best defensive team in the country, but one gets the feeling that the offense truly revolves around the turnovers they create, and the play-making ability of Evans. If Evans doesn’t turn the ball over and the team continues to suffocate the opponents, they have a great shot at the Final Four.
Will Make an Early Exit if…: Evans turns the ball over a lot and the Tigers go cold from behind the arc, they will really struggle. They won’t struggle in the first round, but
Maryland and California are both solid teams with really good players that can play defense and create their own shots. If the Tigers aren’t able to get out on the break via created turnovers, they will have trouble scoring against the Terps or Bears
Last Year Invited: 2008, lost to Kansas in the National Championship game.
Streak: Three consecutive years
Best NCAA Finish: They have lost in the National Championship game in 1973, and 2008.
Historical Performance vs. Seed (1985-present): +0.17 wins per appearance
Six Degrees to Detroit: None
Distance to First Round Site: 452 miles away from Kansas City, Missouri
School’s Claim to Fame: Kentucky might have Ashley Judd, but the Tigers have Justin Timberlake!!….Ok, kidding! I scoured for a real claim to fame, and really all I came up with was that Michael Wilson, a former Tiger and current Harlem Globetrotter, holds the record for highest slam dunk (12 feet) ever. So there’s that.
School Wishes It Could Forget: The misfortunes of the 1985 Final Four team.
Prediction: Despite their soft schedule, the Tigers should have no problem reaching the Sweet 16. A match-up between Missouri and Memphis would be awesome to watch for defensive minds, and Missouri has the type of players to exploit Memphis’ lack of a true point guard. However, I think Calipari’s squad will get through Missouri before succumbing to UCONN in the Elite Eight
Major RTC stories: Reflections on Monday Night
Preview written by… Mike Lemaire