2014 NCAA Tournament: Memphis Basketball’s 5 Most Important Players

2014 NCAA Tournament: Memphis' 5 Most Important Players

Josh Pastner
Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

This year's Memphis Tigers team might not be the 2008 team that was led by John Calipari and Derrick Rose, but it has pieces that can help make a deep run in the NCAA Tournament. Head coach Josh Pastner, one of the youngest coaches in the country at age 36, has his team primed and ready to go after already beating George Washington yesterday by the score of 71-66. Next up, No. 1 seed Virginia on Sunday.

5. Austin Nichols

Austin Nichols
Jamie Rhodes-USA TODAY Sports

5. Austin Nichols

Austin Nichols
Jamie Rhodes-USA TODAY Sports

Even though he is not even in the top-5 on the team in minutes played, Austin Nichols is 4th on the team in scoring (9.1 ppg) and 3rd in rebounding with 4.3 rpg.

4. Michael Dixon Jr.

Michael Dixon Jr.
Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

4. Michael Dixon Jr.

Michael Dixon Jr.
Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

As the Tigers' 6th man, Michael Dixon Jr. won the 6th Man of the Year award in the American Athletic Conference this season. He is 2nd on the team in scoring with 11.8 ppg. He led Memphis against GWU yesterday with 19 points and the two clutch free-throws to seal the win for the Tigers.

3. Geron Johnson

Geron Johnson
Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports

3. Geron Johnson

Geron Johnson
Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports

Geron Johnson is a starter on this team and is 2nd in rebounding with just under five per game. He also averages just under nine points per contest as well.

2. Shaq Goodwin

Shaq Goodwin
Justin Ford-USA TODAY Sports

2. Shaq Goodwin

Shaq Goodwin
Justin Ford-USA TODAY Sports

Being the 2nd leading scorer on the team, as well as the team's leading rebounder, Shaq Goodwin will have to keep up the good work for the Tigers to beat Virginia and advance to the Sweet 16.

1. Joe Jackson

Joe Jackson
Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports

1. Joe Jackson

Joe Jackson
Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports

Joe Jackson gets after it on both sides of the ball. As the team's best player, Jackson leads the Tigers in scoring (14.3 ppg), assists (4.5 per game), and steals (1.6 per game). His play is crucial for the Tigers' success the rest of the way.

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