If you asked any fan of college basketball who has a dangerous backcourt, would they say the Memphis Tigers? To some experts, the answer should be yes. Since Michael Dixon joined the Tigers in the summer, the Tigers could possibly have the best backcourt in the nation.
The title has been given to Memphis, but they will have to live up to the high expectations that surrounds the team come November. On Saturday, the team scrimmaged and you would have thought they were playing a real game with the authentic uniforms on.
It was simply a high scoring game and just like Memphis Madness, no defense was being played. No one could seem to stop one another. Dixon, Chris Crawford and Joe Jackson combined for 116 points in a 114-103 Blue Team win over the White Team.
Dixon was that guy you had to watch during the scrimmage. He scored 35 points on 11 of 15 shooting and dished out nine assists for the Blue team. Jackson had a solid game as well finishing with 21 points and six assists.
For the White team, Crawford and Johnson contributed on the scoreboard as well. Both of them combined for 22 of 30. Crawford, reigning Conference USA Sixth Man of the Year, finished with 32 points and Johnson added 28.
With all of these points scored someone has to ask, where’s the defense? If defense was played, then the score would have definitely been a lot lower. There’s no doubt that the Tigers will be trouble for any team on their schedule, but the defense will have to play good as well.
The full court press that Pastner is trying to run needs more work as players were breaking the press for easy lay-ups.
“I thought the guards were fantastic,” said Pastner. “I’ve gotta study the film. We’ve got to be better defensively. When the press is broken, we’ve gotta get back, guard and get stops. In the half-court, we’ve gotta get stops.
“Now, it also could be we have some great offensive firepower, too. But if we want to be able to do what we want to do, we gotta keep getting better defensively.”
Freshman forward Austin Nichols did not participate in the scrimmage due to a stomach virus. So David Pellom and Shaq Goodwin highlighted the effort for the big men in the scrimmage. Goodwin finished with 22 points and eight rebounds for the Blue team and Pellom added 28 points on 13 of 17 shooting with 10 rebounds and five assists.
Pellom did well on the offensive end, but to him there was something else missing. Pellom simply said, “That we need to play defense.”
The Tigers will get their chance to play better defense once they hit the floor in a closed scrimmage against the Baylor Bears on Nov. 2 in Ruston, La.
I received this information from the Commercial Appeal.