July 14, 2024

Memphis Travels To UAB For A Get Right Game

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

Memphis Travels To UAB For A Get Right Game

The Memphis Tigers {15-2, 4-2 AAC} will look to end their current two-game losing skid with a win as they take on the UAB Blazers {12-7, 4-2 AAC} from Bartow Arena in Birmingham, Alabama. These two long-standing rivals will tussle on ESPN beginning at 4 pm. We will give some historical perspective, scout the Blazers, and give our weekly three keys to a Memphis win. 

– Photo Credits – Madison Penke / Madison Penke Photography

Series History

The Tigers and Blazers are no strangers to each other on the hardwood as these two programs are preparing for their 51st meeting dating back to 1983-4. The Tigers currently lead, 39-11, in the overall record including a 14-9 in Birmingham. Bartow Arena would see the last win, 71-56 on November 30, 2917, for UAB in this series, and is the only win for the Blazers since the 2006 season. Furthermore, Memphis controls the series as of late as they are winners of 18 of the last 19 games. This will mark the first meeting between these programs since the 2019 season. 

Memphis coach Penny Hardaway is 2-0 against the Blazers in his tenure. For the Blazers, head coach, Andy Kennedy, comes in with a 3-2 record against the Tigers. All three of his wins came under the Ole Miss tenure for Kennedy. Memphis has won eight of the last nine games played in Birmingham. 

– Photo Credits – Madison Penke / Madison Penke Photography

Scouting The Blazers 

As stated, the Blazers are coached by Andy Kennedy who enters his fourth season at the helm in Birmingham. In these seasons he has compiled a 90 – 32 record. The Blazers enter the contest winners of 8 of their last 10 games but are coming off a loss, on Tuesday, 76-70, in Charlotte. As the Blazers return home they look to improve on their 8-3 record at Bartow in 2023. UAB has defeated South Florida, Tulane, and East Carolina at home this season and will look to increase this with the rival #19 Tigers coming to town. 

UAB comes in averaging 76.6 points scored per game as a team which ranks them 6th in the AAC. Leading the Blazers in points, assists, and steals is Eric Gaines. Gaines is averaging 12.2 points per game, 4.9 assists, and 2.4 steals. Center Yaxel Lendeborg is averaging 11.5 points and 9 rebounds per game. Lendeborg leads the American Conference with seven double-doubles on the season as well as second in the league with 2.1 blocks per game. In addition to these players, the Blazers have Alejandro Vasquez, who is averaging 10.8, and Javian Davis, who is averaging 10.2, who are averaging double figures on the season. The Blazers are not all offense as they rank 11th, with 75.1, in scoring defense. 

Three Keys To A Memphis Win

Put The Ball In The Hoop 

It sounds simple we know but we have numbers to back it up. Memphis leads the conference with 85.2 points per game. Over the last four games, the Tigers have been led in scoring is David Jones, who is averaging 25.5 points per game. in addition to having scored 25 or more points in three of the last four games for the Tigers, Jones has also made 11 three-pointers in this stretch and enters the weekend as the nation’s number six scorer as he is averaging 21.7 points per game. 

– Photo Credits – Madison Penke / Madison Penke Photography

In addition to scoring the Tigers need to continue to shoot at a high level. To further this point, Memphis has a 50.4 field goal percentage entering this contest. This, combined with making the three-point shot will be key. From deep this season, the Tigers are shooting a 2nd best in the conference at 39.3 percent through this point. 

Rebound The Ball 

As mentioned above the Blaers have a weapon down low. With this, the key will need to be rebounding to get more offensive opportunities. Memphis averages 37,3 rebounds offensively and 36.7 on defense. This is only a +0.6 difference and this will need to continue to rise for a challenging road win. Tigers such as Malcolm Dandridge, Jordan Brown, and others will need to be active and physical in the paint and prepared for a battle on every possession. 

Memphis will need to make rebounding a focal point in their preparation and Hardaway, and staff will need to make the proper adjustments in the game if this is not being met. This will be a key that can win and or lose a game. 

Score 80 

Once again, sounds simple right? Well, when Memphis scores 80 or more points they are really good. To further this point, the Tigers are 8-0 when reaching this point total. Conversely, the Tigers are 7-4 this season when not reaching this mark. With players such as Jones, along with Jahvon Quierly and a healthy Nae’Qwon Walton, Memphis has a good chance to reach this mark and extend this season’s streak. 

– Photo Credits – Madison Penke / Madison Penke Photography

On Sunday, we will watch two rivals with many years and webs of history continue a storied history. With a surging Blazers team hosting a Tigers program licking its wounds, it could set up for another classic. Will Memphis lose a third straight game? Can Memphis use recent history in the series, plus some keys to a win to get a big road conference win? We will soon find out. 

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