July 18, 2024

Memphis Tigers Look To Dock The Commodores

- Photo Credits - Madison Penke / Madison Penke Photography
– Photo Credits – Madison Penke / Madison Penke Photography

Memphis Tigers Look To Dock The Commodores

Head Coach Penny Hardaway and the Memphis Tigers have been making a strong statement this season, with their latest victory being a convincing triumph over Virginia, 77-54. In the Tigers’ next matchup, against Vanderbilt, at 3 pm on CBS, the Tigers hold a record of 9-2 and are ranked 23rd in the AP/Coaches poll. They are also ranked 26 in the NCAA Net, suggesting they are a force to be reckoned with this season.

Memphis Is Clawing Through 2023

A key player for the Tigers is David Jones, who has been phenomenal on both ends of the court. Jones has demonstrated his versatility and ability to influence the game in multiple ways by leading the team in scoring with 20.8 points per game and rebounding with an average of 6.3 rebounds per game. His physicality and relentless effort on the boards have been instrumental in Memphis’ success this season.

– Photo Credits – Madison Penke / Madison Penke Photography

Additionally, Jahvon Quinerly‘s contribution to the team must be considered. With an average of 4.9 assists per game, Quinerly has been the primary facilitator for the Tigers. His vision and playmaking ability have been invaluable, enabling his teammates to get open looks and maintain a fluid offense.

One of the impressive aspects of Memphis’ success this season has been their performance in Quad I games. Quad I wins are a significant factor in the NCAA tournament selection process, and the Tigers already have two such wins (against Clemson and Virginia) while having played two other Quad I contests (against Villanova and Ole Miss). Only two teams in the country, including Memphis, have seven combined Quad I and Quad II victories this season, the other being No. 1 Purdue. These wins suggest that Memphis is winning games and against quality competition.

– Photo Credits – Madison Penke / Madison Penke Photography

Vanderbilt Commodores: Struggling To Find Their Footing

On the other hand, Vanderbilt comes into this game with a 4-7 record and has not picked up a victory since Dec. 2 against Alabama A&M. They have lost their last three games and have struggled to find their footing this season.

Despite their struggles, the Vanderbilt team has a few bright spots. Ezra Manjon, who leads the team in scoring with 15.2 points per game and assists with an average of 3.7 assists per game, has been a standout player. His offensive prowess has kept the Commodores competitive in many of their games.

Colin Smith, Vanderbilt’s leading rebounder, has also been a critical figure for the team. With an average of 6.6 rebounds per game, his contributions on the glass will be essential against a Memphis team that is strong in rebounding.

However, the Commodores have had significant issues on both court ends. Defensively, Vanderbilt has struggled to contain opponents, particularly from the three-point line. They allow opponents to shoot 40.5 percent from beyond the arc, one of the worst rates in the country. Offensively, their struggles continue with a field goal percentage of just 39.6 percent, ranking them in the bottom 20 in the country.

The Game Ahead: A David vs Goliath Showdown?

Given Memphis’ recent form and Vanderbilt’s struggles, the Tigers are the clear favorites in this game. However, underdogs can spring surprises in sports, and the Commodores will hope to do just that.

– Photo Credits – Madison Penke / Madison Penke Photography

For Vanderbilt to stand a chance against the in-form Tigers, they need to substantially improve their 3-point defense and find a way to bolster their offensive efficiency. Their key players, Manjon and Smith, must step up and deliver exceptional performances.

For Memphis, maintaining their current level of play will likely see them secure their fifth straight victory. However, they cannot afford to underestimate Vanderbilt. As long as they stay focused, the Tigers should be able to continue their winning streak.

As we close, while this game might seem like a clear-cut prediction on paper, the outcome will be determined by which team is ready to play on the day. Will it be a resurgence for the struggling Vanderbilt Commodores, or will the Memphis Tigers continue their march to dominance? Only time will tell.

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