#15 Memphis Men's Basketball 2019-2020 Preview

Memphis Tigers
2019-2020 Overall Rank: #15
Conference Rank: #1 American
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Year one of the Coach Penny Hardaway era went relatively well. The Tigers won 22 games and won a game in the NIT. But the expectations are much, much higher entering year two and that is even with all five starters gone. Coach Hardaway has brought in an epic recruiting class and even a couple talented sophomore transfers. If Coach Hardaway can get all of those pieces to come together and form a cohesive unit, this will be a big year at Memphis.
2018-19 Record: 22-14, 11-7
2018-19 Postseason: NIT
Coach: Penny Hardaway
Coach Record: 22-14 at Memphis, 22-14 overall
Key Departed Players:
Jeremiah Martin, Guard, 19.7 ppg
Kyvon Davenport, Forward, 13.1 ppg
Raynere Thornton, Guard/Forward, 7.1 ppg
Mike Parks Jr, Forward, 5.8 ppg
Kareem Brewton Jr, Guard, 8.3 ppg
Antwann Jones, Guard, 4.7 ppg
Key Returning Players:
Tyler Harris, Sophomore, Guard, 10.8 ppg
Isaiah Maurice, Senior, Forward, 5.6 ppg
Alex Lomax, Sophomore, Guard, 5.1 ppg
Key New Players:
Precious Achiuwa, Freshman, Forward
Damion Baugh, Freshman, Guard
Ryan Boyce, RS Freshman, Guard
Malcolm Dandridge, Freshman, Center
Boogie Ellis, Freshman, Guard
Jayden Hardaway, RS Freshman, Guard
D.J. Jeffries, Freshman, Forward
Lester Quinones, Freshman, Guard
Isaiah Stokes, Sophomore, Forward, Transfer from Florida
Lance Thomas, Sophomore, Forward, Transfer from Louisville
James Wiseman, Freshman, Center
Sophomores Tyler Harris and Alex Lomax will join senior Isaiah Maurice as the team’s only three returning players. Harris set a Memphis freshman record with 79 made three-pointers last season and Lomax will provide the team with a quality ball handler, likely off the bench. But this group is not about the returning players. James Wiseman is the top freshman in this class and the 7-1 center could be the top choice in the 2020 NBA Draft too. Wiseman can run the floor surprisingly well for a player of his size. Precious Achiuwa is another McDonald’s All-American forward who will use his athleticism to score in bunches. D.J. Jeffries and Malcolm Dandridge are the freshmen who will mix it up in the paint. Memphis also adds Louisville transfer Lance Thomas who can stretch the defense with his shooting ability. That is an immense amount of frontcourt talent, albeit almost entirely unproven. Boogie Ellis, Lester Quinones and Damion Baugh are the top freshmen on the perimeter and will all compete for major minutes. In total there are seven true freshmen on the roster and all seven of them are ranked in the top 125 of this class. That is impressive and goes to show just how much talent is on this roster. But talent will not be the potential issue with this team, it will be chemistry and that is the only thing that could keep Memphis from winning an American Athletic Conference title and making a deep NCAA Tournament run.
Projected Postseason Tournament: NCAA
By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 80.1 (29th in nation, 1st in conference)
Scoring Defense: 74.4 (254, 11)
Field-Goal Percentage: 45.2 (129, 2)
Field-Goal Defense: 42.3 (91, 7)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 7.2 (222, 6)
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 32.2 (288, 9)
Free-Throw Percentage: 71.4 (153, 4)
Rebound Margin: 1.9 (117, 6)
Assists Per Game: 15.4 (42, 1)
Turnovers Per Game: 15.0 (317, 10)
Madness 2020 NBA Draft Rankings:
#1 James Wiseman
#10 Precious Achiuwa
Madness 2019 Men’s Basketball Recruit Rankings:
#1 James Wiseman
#15 Precious Achiuwa
#36 Rejean Ellis
#41 D.J. D.J. Jeffries
#58 Lester Quinones
#97 Damion Baugh
#111 Malcolm Dandridge