Rushed Reaction: #9 Saint Louis 61, #8 Memphis 54Posted by WCarey on March 16th, 2012
Three Key Takeaways.
- Neither team played very well. Saint Louis won despite turning the ball over 16 times. The Billikens had an assist/turnover ratio of 7 to 16. Brian Conklin, the team’s leading scorer, turned the ball over a total of eight times. Memphis only shot 38.9% from the field for the game, turned the ball over 11 times and only had four assists. There were many times during the game were both teams possessed zero offensive rhythm.
- Rick Majerus can still really coach. Saint Louis was overmatched physically and athletically, but the Billikens found a way to get the victory. Leading scorer Brian Conklin struggled throughout most of the game, so Majerus went away from Conklin and ran the offense through Kwamain Mitchell, who ended up with 22 points. It was quite obvious that Majerus made some adjustments that Memphis head coach Josh Pastner could not.
- Memphis still has a ways to go before it is an elite team. The Tigers have way too many guys that play as individuals. Never once during the second half did Memphis look like a cohesive unit. Also, when Saint Louis grabbed the lead in the second half, it seemed like Memphis lost complete confidence in itself and its body language was subpar.
Star of the Game. Kwamain Mitchell, Saint Louis. The junior guard took over the game for the majority of the second half. He finished with 22 points, while hitting 4-7 from long range. Mitchell’s performance was crucial for the Billikens due to the fact that leading scorer Brian Conklin did not turn in his best performance.
Quotable. “The open guy is the go-to guy and we obviously went away from that.” – Memphis head coach Josh Pastner.
Sights & Sounds. Very impressive showing from the Saint Louis faithful. They remained loud and proud even when the Billikens were struggling. Memphis had a decent size contingent, which spent a majority of the second half yelling at referee Ted Valentine.
Wild Card. It has to be Rick Majerus’ wardrobe selection. The navy blue Saint Louis sweater and dark khaki pants were a welcome departure from the serious suit and tie look that most coaches utilize.
What’s Next. Saint Louis will meet the winner of Michigan State and LIU Brooklyn on Sunday. You have to figure it will be Michigan State, which would provide the Billikens with a tough and physical test, but with how today’s games have gone, you cannot really assume anything.