After heading to the Battle 4 Atlantis tournament as a Top 25 squad, returning with a 1-2 record and being dropped out of the national rankings, Josh Pastner decided it was time to make some much needed changes.
One of the changes made publicly was the starting lineup by adding freshman forward Shaq Goodwin. Goodwin replaced senior forward Ferrakohn Hall as a starter in the Minnesota Gophers game.
Pastner was not overly concerned about the team’s ranking after returning to Memphis, but looked at the tournament as a measuring stick to what the team needs to work on. Working on mental toughness was on the top of the list.
He told the Commercial Appeal about opportunities in the games against the Gophers and Virginia Commonwealth Rams to win yet not doing the little things: making free throws, open shots and layups and getting key stops and rebounds.
“I felt from a mental conditioning aspect that we need to be able to dig in when it gets down to crunch time and find ways to win games,” he said.
After returning from the Bahamas, the Memphis Tigers had several days before their next game, which gave the Tigers an opportunity to work on some internal changes.
This past week of practice, Pastner put the team through “mini boot camp” to push the Tigers beyond their mental breaking points.
Memphis has the talent to remain a Top 25 team but have not displayed the discipline or consistency to do so. Even in games they were expected to win, they struggled. Defending three point shooters, playing with energy, or even putting teams away have all been issues for the team.
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.