How ironic that the movie Deja Vu was playing over the weekend on cable television. The Memphis Tigers basketball team just cannot be reliving a disappointing national tournament performance like last season.
They finished with an unexpected 1-2 record in the 2012 Maui Invitational and this year returned to Memphis, TN with a 1-2 Battle 4 Atlantis record.
The showing in the tournament has also knocked the team out of the national rankings. The team did receive some votes – 23 for the AP Top 25 and 16 for the USA Today Coaches poll.
Was it premature for the media and coaches to rank the Tigers in the preseason?
“Facts are the ranking part probably ended up being misleading,” Josh Pastner said to the Commercial Appeal. “What’s great about this past week is we’ve been able to see what’s good, things we need to adjust, where we need to tweak, and we’re gonna make those adjustments as we continue to focus on the basics, the fundamentals and continue to get better on an everyday (basis).
The coaching staff saw one change that needed to be made during the tournament – the starting lineup. There had been a lot of hype and attention around the lineup of all players from Memphis (TN), however the early production was not there.
The starters were being overshadowed and out worked by the bench.
Even at the Tigers media day on Monday, a bench player not a starter, was brought out to talk to the media.
Senior forward D.J. Stephens averaged eight points and 5.3 rebounds off the bench during the Battle 4 Atlantis tournament. The numbers may not look that impressive. However, it was how he produced that stood out the most – with energy and hustle.
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.