The No. 13 Memphis Tigers failed their first test of the season against the No. 7 Oklahoma State Cowboys. Memphis lost the lead early and trailed 32-50 at the half. The final score was a blowout, 101 – 80.
Memphis Forward Nick King led the team with 23 points and seven rebounds, but the real story of the night was the inability of Michael Dixon Jr. (1-of-10) and Geron Johnson (1-of-10) to score. Memphis’ efficiency was terrible. As a team they were 28-of-70 from the floor and 2-of-13 from three-point range.
If Memphis plays this poorly offensively against any of the better teams on their schedule, they will be crushed. Honestly, if the Tigers play like this against any of the weaker teams on their schedule, they will be crushed. Oklahoma State is a good team, but getting beaten this badly, even away, is not what anyone expected.
The Tigers have to go into panic mode. Although they have every opportunity to make the 2014 NCAA tournament, they have to come out strong against their fairly weak upcoming opponents, the Nicholls State Colonials. After a beating like that, every game becomes a must-win.
The good news for the Tigers is that they won’t face another strong team until mid-December when they face the Florida Gators. With a fairly solid set of non-conference wins, the loss to the Cowboys won’t be that big of a deal. The newly created ACC is an extremely difficult conference that will provide multiple opportunities for Memphis to shine in the future. The only question that remains – was Memphis that overrated coming into this season, or is Oklahoma State that good?