After falling to the Cincinnati Bearcats by the score of 69-53 in their American Athletic Conference opener, the No. 18 Memphis Tigers made it very clear that they might not be the team everyone drew them up to be. At 10-3 on the season, they only have two wins in which they played complete games on both ends of the court, which came against Siena and USF.
In the other eight wins, general sloppiness, high turnover rates and inexperience was evident as they struggled against much inferior opponents in terms of skill level. This will only continue.
The Tigers thrive in transition and in situations where they can use their elite athleticism. On the other side, they have proven that they can’t shoot the ball. On the season, they are shooting a terrible 29 percent from 3-point range, hitting just 61 of 210 attempts on the year. Taking 210 3-pointers in 13 games is a lot in itself, but making just 29 percent of those attempts is simply inexcusable.
In order to squash Memphis’ attempts to attack the inside, many teams in the AAC will most likely resort to using a 2-3 zone against them, forcing the Tigers to make shots from the perimeter. Shaq Goodwin and Austin Nichols on the inside have raw talent, but might need another year to mature and progress. Until then and until they can find the net from the outside, I see them being a bubble team when we enter March.