Why in the world was Memphis Tigers senior forward, D. J. Stephens considering redshirting for the 2012-13 season? Maybe he was still nursing some past injuries. Maybe he thought he would not receive much playing time. I don’t know.
What I do know is this guy has been Superman for the Tigers basketball team this season.
He flies out of nowhere to get his hands on rebounds, to get loose balls and to make those magnificent dunks.
WOW! Giving up his body during games is an understatement.
Against the Louisville Cardinals, he got to start the game, which was a good move from the staff.
He provided exactly what the Tigers needed to NOT have a slow start against the Top 25 team.
He was everywhere. All you heard from the TV commentators in the first half was D.J. Stephens this and D. J. Stephens that. In the midst of all his hustling, he even found a moment to knock down a three point shot.
Unfortunately for Stephens, he has been hampered by injuries throughout his career. If you give up your body as much as him, injuries are sure to occur.
During a couple of plays, you saw him elevate so high above the other players to only see him crash down on the floor.
Then there was the play when he collided with a Cardinal guard with his bad shoulder. Boy, did I feel his pain. The commentator had previously mentioned that the shoulder could not take any contact.
It was apparent that the injuries were having an effect on Stephens. In the first half of the game, he had eight points, six rebounds and three blocks in 15 minutes. During the second half, he was banged up and not as effective. He finished with two points, two rebounds in seven minutes.