The Memphis Tigers Basketball team has a lot to prove according to Tiger Nation and the experts who covers college basketball. They were supposed to have the best backcourt in the nation with the four senior guards (Joe Jackson, Michael Dixon Jr., Chris Crawford, Geron Johnson), but as of right now, that’s not the case. Coach Pastner has been hard on his guys since the loss to Oklahoma State and he has reason to do so.
Before the win over Nicholls State, Pastner was cool and calm. For the first time in awhile, he didn’t jump around the sideline.
“I was pumped up. But I was so hard on the guys for the 72 hours prior, I didn’t think it was good for me to go nuts during the game because they got the point during practice,” said Pastner. “We’ve done the same thing Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday of this week. We’ve grinded on ’em. We just gotta go execute.”
With the way Pastner has acted towards his team, they honestly need it as they open up the holidays with a game against Siena (2-4) on Thursday at 5:30 p.m. CST at the HP Field House at the ESPN Wide World at Sports Complex.
Many fans want the Tigers to face the Cowboys again, but they have to play two games before that happens. If they can get past Siena, they will face the winner of LSU/Saint Joseph’s.
So much is at stake and senior guard Michael Dixon Jr. knows that.
“I think each and every season is a new and different team no matter how many of the same guys played the year before because it’s a new year,” Dixon said. “We play Siena. They’re going to be a tough team coming in, and we’ve got to prepare for them just like we would prepare for anyone.”
The last two seasons have been horrible for Memphis. They began ranked in the top 15, then take a huge leap out of the top 25. In 2011, the Tigers lost to Michigan and Georgetown in the Maui Invitational followed by a home loss to Murray State, who came into the game undefeated.
Last season in the Battle 4 Atlantis tournament, the Tigers suffered back-to-back losses to VCU and Minnesota.
Pastner seems confident about this year’s team, but how will the Tigers perform? Pastner quickly responded by saying, “We got no option but to be ready.”
I received this information from the Commercial Appeal.