If the Memphis Tigers were trying to win back the respect of the media and coaches after dropping in the Top 25 polls, they did exactly the opposite during their opening round game of the Battle 4 Atlantis tournament. The Tigers were defeated by the Virginia Commonwealth Rams 78-65.
Once again the Tigers started a game with no energy, giving up three point shots, lack of hustle and unprepared for the Rams “Havoc” defense.
“You’ve got to give VCU total credit. They deserved to win the game. They played great,” coach Josh Pastner said to the Commercial Appeal. “I was proud of our guys to battle back in the second half. Hard to win a high-level game having 22 turnovers and also giving up the 3-point shot like we gave up.”
It’s hard to win at any level of basketball with 22 turnovers and allowing 13 three point shots.
The Commercial Appeal reported this explanation about the Tigers’ performance. Maybe they were tight to start the game. Maybe they were scared.
Or maybe the Tigers were focusing on not repeating what they did in last year’s highly competitive invitational tournament. They finished with a disappointing 1-2 record in the 2012 Maui Invitational.
If the Tigers were to go 2-0 over the next two games of the Battle 4 Atlantis, the damage may already be done as far as winning back the respect of the media and coaches.
Look for the Tigers to drop out of the next AP Top 25 and USA Today Coaches Poll.
Patosha Jeffery is the Memphis Tigers Featured Columnist at Rant Sports. Be sure to follow her on Twitter: @patoshajeffery and add her Google + to your circles for all of her latest articles and thoughts.