Countdown to the NCAA Season: JNixon-Iggy9's Top 35 Teams (#20)
20: Memphis Tigers
Frontcourt- Wesley Witherspoon, a favorite of mine because we used to be classmate in middle school lol, is an interesting player. He's a point-forward with high-level length, good quickness and fluidity, and a decent spot-up shot. Witherspoon is a very good defender right now, and he has the potential to be elite, at both the college and NBA level. He's a decent ball-handler and passer too. He needs to get tougher though, continue to add weight to his frame, develop a more consistent mid-range, and just add polish to his overall game in general. This is a big season for Witherspoon, and if he can be at least as productive as last year while getting more efficient around the rim, he could be a lotto pick. He has the potential to be a Tayshaun Prince-type of player. They have some other interesting pieces now, with Fr. Jelan Kendrick, Tarik Black, Will Coleman, and RS Soph Angel Garcia. Kendrick, a Mickey D's guy, has the biggest upside of the 3 IMO, with an unorthodox game and decent athleticism and handles, as well as a nice mid-range game. He's not real strong right now, but he has a nicely polished offensive game for a incoming freshman. By the end of his college career, he could be an All-American, and he played almost EXACTLY like CDR did at Memphis. Black is an undersized banger at C (6'7 240), but he's strong and provides an aggressive brand of basketball, but he's not the type that you want creating his own offense down low. He'll see limited time (aka a little less than the time Pierre Niles got). Will Coleman has the most experience of the 3, and provides a strong body who finishes hard and athletic at the rim, is a good shot-blocker (just over 2 a game) and is a tenacious rebounder. He's not a very good offensive player by any stretch, but he is a solid college role-player. Garcia is a 6'11 perimeter shooter, but his shot is cash. The problem is he doesn't provide much else and he's a weak player and defender. He provides a mismatch when on the floor though, and I think he should see more than the 9 mpg he saw last year in 12 games. This group has solid depth, and they have some nice matchup ploys to throw in too. This has the makings of a group that's stronger than last year.
Backcourt- Elliot Williams did some good for Memphis last year. He provided strong athletic ability, was a better shooter and scorer than at Duke, and he was a top defender in the C-USA. The cupboard isn't bare despite his early departure to the NBA (he was a 2nd round pick if you didn't know), with Fr. Joe Jackson, SG Will Barton, SG Roburt Sallie, ands Fr. Chris Crawford figures to see some time now with Will Barton being ineligible and whatnot. Jackson is very athletic and explosively quick, with great handles and a nice shot. He's not a 1 and done guy, but likely a 2 year guy who can have a big impact on the Memphis team both years. He'll always have some questions regarding whether he can be a great winner (more so in the NBA) because he plays a rather ball-dominant style, and he's a tweener guard without the true ability to really make teammates better. He's also probably only OK on D, other than pressuring the ball. Still, Jackson will be very fun to watch. Barton is a skinny and quick scorer who has the raw ability to put the ball in the basket. He's long and athletic, and figures to give Memphis a 14 ppg scorer, but he's a little rough around the edges, and he needs more discipline. I'm not a big fan of incumbent Roburt Sallie, but his shot is cash and he has some quickness and wiggle. He plays a little too wild though, and he's not a good defender. Not rare to watch a Memphis game and it seems like Sallie will score, but also give up just as many as he scores. Crawford is a nice scorer right now, who figures to see some limited time. He is a nice shooter and he has the ability to replace Sallie in 2011-2012. I like the sheer offensive talent of these Memphis guards.
Overview: Coach Pastner has some work to do again, but he did a respectable job last year given the circumstances. He's an elite recruiter with nice charisma as a very young coach, but he did have some trouble last year at times when he had to make mid-game adjustments. I expect that to improve sooner or later, but he still has to grow up. I think that besides Witherspoon, this team isn't great on D. If Pastner gets Memphis to play strong D, with the offensive talent they have, he will have done his job. Still, I see Memphis as either a 1-and-done team, or 2 and out team.
Will Barton has been cleared to play next season.
And no wonder why you always say good things about Wesley Witherspoon lol.
GREAT WORK IGGY....
CANT WAIT UNTIL YOU GET TO THE #1 TEAM AKA VILLANOVA....OH WELL 19 MORE TO GO.
I just noticed that y'all made a post about Will Barton, so I edited it real fast before it said "access denied" again lol.
Villanova is coming. They'll be next week though. I expect them to be a top 10-15 team
I think Memphis is going to be a great darkhorse.
I agree, Memphis has the upside to be a top-10 team IMO (if everything goes right). Correct me if im wrong, but did you say Elliott Williams was a 2nd round pick? I believe he was a first round pick to my Portland Trail Blazers.
Elliot Williams was a 1st round pick my bad. I could've sworn he was a 2nd rounder, but I'm confusing him with Armon Johnson probably
Memphis should be higher, especially since Barton is now eligible to play. Oh well, I can pretty much guarantee they will be alot higher at the end of the season.
They'll be ranked higher, but this post is based on who I personally feel are the best teams in the country. Not really about who will be ranked higher etc etc
They'll be ranked much higher because they will dominate conference U.S.A. as usual and will a good record, albeit against mid-major competition.
That will be one reason why they will be ranked higher at the end of the season, but there aren't 20 teams with more overall talent than Memphis.
How much does better does Barton be elgible make them
"but there aren't 20 teams with more overall talent than Memphis."
That's not all that makes a team a top 20 team. They have a good deal of talent, but that isn't what guarantees success. They still have a young coach and a team that doesn't defend that well. They should dominate the C-USA agaibn, but what does that mean? Other than UTEP, that isn't saying much.
Just look at last year for UNC. So much talent, but played terrible. And that was with one of the best coaches in the college b-ball.
Obviously chemistry plays into how good they are, but you can say that about Kentucky, UNC, Ohio State, and every other young team like that. And how is there defense bad exactly? On paper they look solid defensively. Btw Roburt Sallie isn't even on the team anymore he transferred to Louisville a couple of months ago.
LOL how do they look good on paper defensively? Witherspoon and Coleman are the 2 best defenders on the team, and after that they are extremely average or below. Who besides Coleman and Witherspoon can be considered good defenders?
Jnix did you already get to UCONN?
What i should ask is are they even ranked.... if so what #
Nah I didn't include UConn, they aren't a top 35 team IMO.
Nixon i was looking for your Xavier post because i wanted to know what you know about a transfer they got from Monmouth Travis Taylor? All i know is that he is a 6'8 sf/pf and he averaged 17.8 pg (on 54% from the field) and 7.6 rebounds
How are they a bad defensive team? In high school some of the players took off on plays on defense for offense but lots of high school players do that, when they try all of them are good defenders. The only bad defender on the team is Angel Garcia and he will be a better defender than he was last year because he will be fully healthy. The team is very long and athletic that usually means a good defensive team. They wont be the best defensive team in the world but they will be a above average defensive team.