Cleaning up before the NCAA Tournament

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The Memphis Tigers suffered their second loss of the season against the Georgia Bulldogs Saturday. It’s no secret that Coach Hardaway, and his Tigers, have seen a significant amount of controversy, and adversity this season. However, Saturday’s loss cost the Tigers their top 10 rankings. Even though it was a heartbreaker, Coach Hardaway and his Memphis Tigers now have seen what needs to be fixed. The Tigers have until March to clean up the messes on the court.

Free Throws

During Saturday’s heartbreaker to the Bulldogs, the Tigers only made 11 of 22 free-throw attempts. Considering the loss was only by 3 points, if they had shot better from the line, the Tigers would most likely have won that game Saturday. Following the game, Coach Hardaway stated, “You want to make more than 11 of 22 free throws at home”

Turnovers

Turnovers have been the poison of the Memphis Tigers all season. In the last four games, the Tigers have averaged a little over 20 turnovers per game. Their talent was enough to get past Jackson State, New Orleans, and Tulane, but not against the Bulldogs. If the Tigers are unable to fix the turnover problem before March, it’s going to be very challenging to make a run in the tournament.

Consistency

Since the beginning of the season, the Tigers have lacked one very important thing: consistency. Even though it was a nail bitter the entire game, the Tigers still failed to play a complete basketball game. Despite Precious Achiuwa’s double-double (AAC Freshman of the week) and a much-improved game from Boogie Ellis, it was not enough to beat the Bulldogs. Consequently, it won’t be enough in the postseason.

The combination of Saturday’s loss, losing Wiseman, and the big wins beginning to look not-so-big, the Tigers now have a chance to bounce back. They’ll travel to no. 23 Wichita State. Ideally, they’ll be looking to prove AP voters wrong and to keep their top 25 rankings. However, the  Tigers have to sharpen up for this must-win basketball game. The Tigers travel to Wichita for 6:00 pm tip-off. 

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