Column: Memphis Tigers Basketball Team Is Ready


New member of the Memphis Tigers, Nick King, wanted to pick a player who has the most talent on the roster. He stalled for a moment and couldn’t pick a player. This team is loaded with talent and by the looks of it, Pastner feels the same way. As I have mentioned before, Oct. 3 is the first official day of practice for the Memphis Tigers and the rest of the Division 1 schools. Oct. 18 will be the day that the fans get to see their Memphis Tigers and Midnight Madness will take place for the rest of the schools.

Newcomers like Austin Nichols, Kuran Iverson and Nick King headline the 2013 recruiting class that’s ranked No. 2 in the nation. With their height and size, the defenders will have a hard time of defending them.

“It’s crazy. I’ve never seen this many good players on one team. I don’t think a team can have too much talent. I think a team can have too much arrogance and a lot of egos, but that’s not us. That is not us,” said King.

With all of the talent on this roster, Memphis has to prove to the world that they are ready to compete at the highest level. Their first big game will be against Oklahoma State on Nov. 19. Then they will participate in the Old Spice Classic (Nov. 28-Dec. 1), where Memphis could play the Cowboys for a second time in less than a month. Other non-conference games will include Florida (Dec. 17 in New York) and Gonzaga on Feb. 8 at the FedEx Forum. College Gameday will be at the Gonzaga game so fans should definitely come out and rock the house on a awesome Saturday.

The American Athletic Conference will include some heavyweight competition like defending national champion Louisiville, Cincinnati, UConn, Temple and others. This will be the toughest schedule that Pastner has had since he days as head coach began in 2009.

Pastner will have leadership on this roster with four senior guards in Joe Jackson, Chris Crawford, Geron Johnson and Michael Dixon, a Missouri transfer who was cleared by the NCAA right after the fall semester began. Chris Crawford is definitely hyped for the season as he seems confident about the guys around him. Sophomore forward Shaq Goodwin will look to improve and have a steady season since he has shed 40 pounds.

“We have a lot of pieces. We just have to come together and play as one unit,” said Crawford. “The freshmen definitely got it better than we had it in 2010. We were thrown in the fire when we got here with no senior guard leadership, like we’ve got right now. They can look up to some guards that have played since their freshman year and have been through everything.

“The main key to me is not having egos. We say that a lot. Everybody says it all the time. But it’s all about doing it.”

Part of this information came from the Commercial Appeal.

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