Memphis Tigers Head Coach Pastner talks with Johnson and Black during a time out during the first half of their third round NCAA tournament basketball game against the Michigan State Spartans in Auburn Hills

Memphis gets transfer in George Washington forward David Pellom

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After losing Tarik Black to transfer, Memphis was on the lookout for a forward to replace him. Coach Josh Pastner may have found him.

George Washington big man David Pellom is reportedly headed to Memphis and will be eligible to play immediately under the graduate transfer rule when he graduates in May, according to the Memphis Commercial Appeal’s Jason Smith.

Pellom, a 6-8, 220-pound fifth-year senior-to-be sat out all of the 2012-13 season with a wrist injury.

“I was kind of leaning towards (transferring to) Drexel, but (Memphis assistant Aki Collins) gave me a call,” Pellom said to Smith. “I looked up Memphis and did my research on them … and felt what I had to bring to the table was something that Memphis was looking for.”

As a junior in 2011-12, Pellom averaged 10.4 points, 6.1 rebounds and shot an impressive 68.5 percent from the field (122-of-178). He had some trouble at the free throw line, hitting 53 percent from the stripe. Pellom’s almost 70-percent clip overall was a single-season record for the Colonials.

Pellom experienced a sizable scoring improvement from his sophomore to his junior year at George Washington, pouring in 6.7 points in 2010-11. That will be necessary in his time in the Tigers’ post with Black (8.1 points, 4.8 rebounds this past season) gone.

Pellom was a dire need for Memphis with very little experience returning in the frontcourt. The Tigers do get sophomore-to-be Shaq Goodwin (7.4 points, 4.4 rebounds in 2012-13) back, and bring in a stellar recruiting class for next season, including forwards Kuran Iverson and home-grown talent Austin Nichols.

Follow David Harten on Twitter at @David_Harten

BUBBLE BANTER: Key Atlantic 10, Big East bubble games

Kelan Martin, Kyle Alexander
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This post will be updated throughout the night.

Butler (KenPom: 41, RPI; 67) at Seton Hall (KenPom: 31, RPI: 37), 6:30 p.m.
LSU (KenPom: 53, RPI: 76) at South Carolina (KenPom: 45, RPI: 28), 7:00 p.m.
Nebraska at Wisconsin (KenPom: 51, RPI: 62), 7:00 p.m.
Saint Joseph’s (KenPom: 48, RPI: 30) at George Washington (KenPom: 71, RPI: 34), 7:00 p.m.
Missouri at Vanderbilt (KenPom: 35, RPI: 58), 9:00 p.m.
No. 14 Iowa State at Texas Tech (KenPom: 59, RPI: 51), 9:00 p.m.
Michigan (KenPom: 46, RPI: 56) at Minnesota, 9:00 p.m.
Washington (KenPom: 80, RPI: 57) at Utah (KenPom: 44, RPI: 16), 9:00 p.m.
San Diego State (KenPom: 65, RPI: 47) at Fresno State, 11:00 p.m.

PREGAME SHOOTAROUND: Ben Simmons, LSU get tested at South Carolina; more important bubble matchups

FILE - In this Nov. 24, 2015, file photo, LSU forward Ben Simmons (25) drives downcourt as teammate Antonio Blakeney (2) follows in the first half of an NCAA college basketball game against North Carolina State in New York. For all of his gaudy numbers, Simmons is still trying to figure out the best way to put the Tigers in position to win. And now the schedule gets harder, starting with Tuesday night's, Dec. 29, 2015, tilt against Wake Forest, followed by the opening of Southeastern Conference play against Vanderbilt and No. 10 Kentucky. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens, File)
(AP Photo/Kathy Willens)
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GAME OF THE NIGHT: LSU at South Carolina, 7:00 p.m.

LSU attempts to stay atop the SEC standings when they travel on the road to face South Carolina. The Gamecocks have been very tough at home this season and they’re trying to form a potential four-way tie in the conference standings if they’re able to win this one (and Texas A&M wins tonight). It will be intriguing to see how Ben Simmons fares against South Carolina’s stingy defense.

THIS ONE’S GOOD, TOO: Saint Joseph’s at George Washington, 7:00 p.m.

An important game in the Atlantic 10 as Saint Joseph’s heads to the Smith Center to play surging George Washington. The Colonels have won three straight games as they try to stay with VCU and Dayton and make a move to tie the Hawks in the league standings. CBT’s Rob Dauster will be in the building for this one, so make sure to follow him on Twitter for updates.

FIVE THINGS TO WATCH FOR

  1. No. 21 Baylor will have a tough one in the Big 12 when they go on the road at Kansas State. The Wildcats just knocked off Oklahoma and the Octagon of Doom is a very tough place to play, even if Kansas State is struggling in the standings.
  2. No. 16 SMU will try to stay in the lead in the American as they host Tulsa. The Golden Hurricane could really use a road win like this for its postseason chances.
  3. An intriguing Pac-12 contest tips as Washington heads to Utah. The Pac-12 standings are a mess right now, but these two teams still have a chance to make one final move for the regular season title if they start building momentum now.
  4. In the SEC, Alabama hosts No. 15 Texas A&M, a team that has lost three of its last four games. The Aggies will be favored in this road contest, but this one could be interesting because of Avery Johnson’s unique connection to Texas A&M. Avery Johnson Jr., a transfer guard sitting out this season at Alabama, played for the Aggies last season, so he could have some useful tips for his dad on slowing down Texas A&M’s potent offense.
  5. No. 20 Providence will be looking for revenge when they head to Milwaukee to face Marquette. The Golden Eagles currently sit eighth in the Big East standings, but they did win on the road by a point over the Friars earlier this season.