Just five days ago No. 24 Memphis put forth one of its worst halves of basketball this season in their 69-53 loss to Cincinnati, shooting 24.3% from the field and turning the ball over eight times in the second half against the stout Bearcat defense. The Tigers didn’t share the basketball or execute, and with their four senior guard combining to shoot 14-for-49 for the game and failing to work the ball inside it came as no surprise that Memphis lost the game.
“We went away from getting the ball inside to our big guys,” Memphis head coach Josh Pastner said after the loss. “This game was reminiscent of the [first] Oklahoma State game where we had individual play. We had a lot of open looks, but when you miss that amount of shots from those guys, it sucks the life out of you.”
The good news for Memphis is that the schedule provided them with an opportunity to rebound from that disappointing performance in the form of Thursday night’s game at No. 12 Louisville. Thanks to a balanced offensive effort and a 7-0 run to end the game the Tigers did just that, beating the reigning national champions 73-67.
Five Memphis players scored in double figures with Joe Jackson and Shaq Goodwin leading the way with 15 points apiece, and as a team the Tigers shot 50.9% from the field. Despite turning the ball over 15 times Memphis did a better job of finding shots, and that was most evident in the production of Goodwin and Austin Nichols.
After combining to attempt just nine shots (making three) against Cincinnati the duo attempted 17 against Louisville, making 11 and combining for 25 points and 15 rebounds. Much has been made of the Memphis backcourt all season long and with good reason, because that four-man rotation is among the deepest and most talented in the country. In addition to Jackson’s 15 points and six assists Memphis received 13 and 11 rebounds from Geron Johnson and 12 from Chris Crawford, who hit all three of his attempts from beyond the arc.
Even with Michael Dixon Jr. struggling Memphis has enough skill on the perimeter to account for an off night from one of its key contributors. But if Memphis is to win the American Athletic Conference and ultimately achieve greater things in the NCAA tournament, those big men will need to be heard from as well. After doing little to get Goodwin and Nichols involved on Saturday the Tigers changed their approach against Louisville, and the result was another quality win for Josh Pastner’s team.
Arizona commit Terrance Ferguson has been known as one of the best dunkers in the country for the last few years. So you knew the 6-foot-6 wing was going to attempt the latest internet dunk craze that’s been going around.
Some call it the, “5-point play” in which the dunker makes a 3-pointer and immediately sprints following the shot release to catch the make for an under-the-legs dunk.
It’s as tough as it sounds and Ferguson makes it look easy.
Bol Bol is the son of former NBA center Manute Bol, and the younger Bol is earning quite a bit of attention himself as a five-star prospect in the Class of 2018.
The 6-foot-11 Bol showed off some of his freakish coordination and athleticism on Friday night, by ripping a steal and taking it coast-to-coast for an under-the-legs dunk in the middle of a game at the Jayhawk Invitational.
Bol will be one of the players to watch this spring as he plays with KC Run GMC.
Iowa State guard Naz Mitrou-Long gets hardship waiver to play additional year
“Everything happens for a reason and although it hurt to not be able to play for a group of guys I loved last year, my body needed time to recover and that time off allowed me to feel the best I’ve felt since my freshman year,” Mitrou-Long said in the release. “I’m glad I’ll be able to play for the best fans in the country and represent the name on the front of my jersey, Iowa State, one more year. Words can’t describe this feeling. Cyclone Nation, be ready for a special year.”
The 6-foot-4 Long played in eight games last season for Iowa State as he averaged 12 points per game. He missed the rest of the season to deal with pain in his surgically repaired hips. Mitrou-Long has been a very effective three-point shooter during his career at Iowa State and he should be a nice option to have for next season if he’s healthy.
CIAA will stay in North Carolina despite state’s LGBT law
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) The Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association says it won’t move its headquarters, its basketball tournament or other conference championships from North Carolina, despite the state’s controversial new LGBT law.
The CIAA said in a statement Thursday that it will instead partner with the NCAA to educate its members on lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender issues as it does on other issues, like graduation rates and concussion management.
The Charlotte Observer reports that the CIAA, the oldest African-American sports conference in the U.S., has hosted its annual basketball tournament in Charlotte since 2006 and announced it was moving its headquarters to Charlotte from Virginia in 2015.
The CIAA said Thursday that it will continue to “monitor the issues,” as it has since House Bill 2 passed.
VIDEOS: Stephen Curry personally invites athletes to his select camp