Memphis, already short of great men, had to contain Charles Bassey of Western Kentucky to get a shot to get to the Crossover Classic championship game in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.
But the tigers (1-1) couldn’t do it. The 6-11, 235-pound Bassey, a junior class of 2018 No.. 6 overall prospects in the country, 21 points, 14 rebounds and seven blocks in a 75-69 Hilltoppers win (2-0).
Bassey put Memphis’ tender – at least possibly for the time being – under his stomach. The highly regarded but inexperienced Moussa Cisse could not subdue him. Sophomore Malcolm Dandridge and Junior Lance Thomas did their best, but it wasn’t enough. Lester Quinones, a sophomore who usually protects his opponent’s best player, gave him a shot, but bad problems tied his hands a little. And spot-up shooter Landers Nolley II was no match for Bassey, whom Hardaway described as « almost a lottery player ». ”
After losing the Tigers on Thanksgiving Day 75-69 in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, the third-year coach told reporters on Zoom that he had learned how to better deal with a situation like this should it ever arise again demonstrate.
« Honestly, I thought Lester did a really good job with Charles, » said Hardaway. “When he first got it, he took responsibility. And after that he got his fourth foul, which hurt us because I had a feeling that Lester could protect him. As soon as Landers attacked him, he climbed up and hit a couple of times. Then we got in there Moussa and he hit a couple of times. So we had an inexperienced rookie who was really guarding a senior and some undersized people guarding him.
“Having a few bigs hurts in this game. If you’ve got those undersized bigs down there, (Nolley) has to go down there and fight these guys. It is exactly what we need to sustain. I’m ready the next time we have to face this. ”
Memphis is without 6-8 Ahmad Rand due to COVID-19 contact tracing protocol and is still waiting for 6-9 DeAndre Williams’ request to waive transfer. The Tigers won’t have 6-8 Isaiah Stokes who will miss the season after he was banned.
Something else that the Tigers sacrificed that Hardaway didn’t plan on is the lack of insults from the Second Wing D. . J. . Jeffries. The former Olive Branch star scored four points in the season opener win against Saint Mary’s and six against the Hilltoppers.
Hardaway still has high expectations and big plans for Jeffries, who missed the last 12 games of last season with a knee injury. But he admits that not getting the kind of firepower that preseason AAC second-team selection can provide wasn’t another factor in the loss.
Even so, Hardaway said he could live with Jeffries explaining this by contributing in other areas.
« He doesn’t score basketball, but he does other things. But we need him to score, ”said Hardaway. “We need his rating because he usually has a disparity when he gets the basketball. Whenever he takes his step, he’ll be fine. But at the moment he just doesn’t score. But he does a lot of other things. ”
Perhaps the most disturbing thing that surfaced in the game against WKU – because no adjustment from Hardaway’s side can help fix it – was a lack of overall effort in the rebound fight. He pointed directly to the problem he believed had arisen during a crucial stretch in the first half when the Hilltoppers took the lead with an 11-0 run that lasted less than two minutes. The WKU made three straight 3-pointers, two of which came after offensive setbacks that kept the property alive.
« You wanted it more, that’s all, » said Hardaway. “I always talk to the guys about being the toughest team and they were the toughest team for this track. ”
Hardaway adds that he anticipates the tigers who will speak at 8 p.m.. m. Friday in a consolation game, will get back on your feet.
« We’re going to come out and play hard because that’s our culture, » he said. “We work on it every day. You have to be the toughest team and the toughest team, which means you have to end the game on a rebound. If you do that, we will beat a lot of teams with our offensive talent. ”
Western Kentucky Hilltoppers Men’s Basketball, Memphis Tigers Men’s Basketball, Basketball, Charles Bassey, Penny Hardaway, Rick Stansbury, Western Kentucky University
World News – USA – Penny Hardaway Promises to Adjust Afterwards Frontcourt- Problems cost Memphis
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