April 16, 2024

Memphis Looks To Ride The Wave

- Photo Credits - Madison Penke / Madison Penke Photography

The Memphis weather has been slick with ice and snow. Based on Thursday’s loss, 74-73, to South Florida, The hometown program may have as well. The #10 ranked Memphis Tigers {15-3, 4-1 AAC} look to get their grip as they hit the road, to New Orleans, to take on Tulane Green Wave {11-6, 2-3 AAC} for a noon tiip on ESPN2. We will delve into some series history, who the Green Wave is as a team, and how Memphis can win.

– Photo Credits – Madison Penke / Madison Penke Photography

We will start with some history between the longstanding opponents!

History

Memphis and Tulane have met 75 times on the hardwood dating back to 1977. Of these, the Tigers lead, 61-14, all-time. In Bluff City, the Tigers lead,35-4, and also New Orleans 22-10, in this long history. Memphis holds the last win in last season’s AAC Championship, 94-54 which was the second-largest margin of victory in postseason play in program history.

Memphis head coach, Penny Hardaway, has a 9-3 record against the Green Wave. Despite losing both regular season games in 2022 Memphis looks to get its first win since 2020. The road environment in this series has had some voodoo as Memphis has dropped the last two games in Devlin Fieldhouse.

Scouting The Green Wave

Tulane comes in looking to get back on the winning wave as they have dropped three of the last four games including an 83-69 loss to UAB on Wednesday night. Tulane head coach, Ron Hunter, will look to use the above-mentioned success at home in this series to pull the upset.. While at home this season, Tulane has six games of 90 or more points This ranks tied for 5th in the NCAA.

The wave has five players averaging double figures, which is led by Kevin Cross, who has an average of 17.1 points per game. Cross is the Waves ‘Mr. Do It All’ as he also leads the team in rebounds with 8.1 and assists with 4.6 per game.

– Photo Credits – Madison Penke / Madison Penke Photography

How Does Memphis Win?

For the Tigers to get their fifth consecutive win on the road they will need to do three things well. If you look at the Tigers nationally they need to improve in some and continue to excel in others. We think if the Tigers do these things they win.

Make The Three

In 2023, the Tigers have been up and down in many areas. Of these, three-point shooting is one of the top of the lists. Memphis as a program has shot .352 from deep. While this ranks fourth in the American it is 118th nationally. This will have to be a key to the Tigers’ strategy to continue what has been a special season.

Rebound The Ball

While the Tigers have a great rebounder in Malcolm Dandridge who has 4.8 per game, this is an area of improvement. Memphis ranks 8th in the AAC and 131st in the nation in rebounding offense with 37.2. Furthermore, in defensive rebounding, the Tigers rank 7th in the AAC and 158th nationally with 36.9. This is something that the Tigers have to improve to win not just against Tulane but as the season matures.

Turn The Wave Over

Turn the Wave! Memphis has forced 54 turnovers, which includes 154 steals in 2023. These turnovers have turned into 17.4 points per game. The Tigers rank 50th with 8.6 steals per game and the above-mentioned 17.4 points rank 52nd according to KenPom. This defensive effort equals 14.1 turnovers per game which ranks 4th in the AAC. Memphis will look to score twenty or more points off turnovers for the 6th time and, if possible, get 15 or more turnovers in their 12th game.

– Photo Credits – Madison Penke / Madison Penke Photography

It will be another battle in this long history between these programs. Can the Tigers ride the Wave in an arena that hasn’t been smooth to Memphis? We will soon find out!

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