#33 Memphis Men's Basketball 2020-2021 Preview

Memphis Tigers
2020-2021 Overall Rank: #33
Conference Rank: #2 American
 Memphis Logo
Memphis has performed quite well during Coach Penny Hardaway’s first two seasons leading the program. However, the final results were a trip to the NIT in 2019 and what likely would have been another trip to the NIT in 2020. That is not good enough at Memphis and certainly not good enough for this season. The Tigers return four starters and bring in some great newcomers as well. This group could be special but even if they do not live up to their potential, they should still reach the NCAA Tournament.
2019-20 Record: 21-10, 10-8
Coach: Penny Hardaway
Coach Record: 43-24 at Memphis, 43-24 overall
Key Departed Players:
Precious Achiuwa, Forward, 15.8 ppg
Tyler Harris, Guard, 8.7 ppg
Isaiah Maurice, Forward, 3.5 ppg
Key Returning Players:
D.J. Jeffries, Sophomore, Forward, 10.8 ppg
Lester Quinones, Sophomore, Guard, 10.7 ppg
Boogie Ellis, Sophomore, Guard, 8.0 ppg
Alex Lomax, Junior, Guard, 6.7 ppg
Lance Thomas, Junior, Forward, 4.4 ppg
Damion Baugh, Sophomore, Guard, 4.1 ppg
Malcolm Dandridge, Sophomore, Center, 3.4 ppg
Jayden Hardaway, Sophomore, Guard, 2.0 ppg
Key New Players:
Moussa Cisse, Freshman, Center
Conor Glennon, Freshman, Guard
Landers Nolley II, Sophomore, Guard, Transfer from Virginia Tech
Ahmad Rand, Junior Forward, JC Transfer
Isaiah Stokes, Junior, Forward, Transfer from Florida
DeAndre Williams, Junior, Forward, Transfer from Evansville, pending waiver
Even with losing Precious Achiuwa early to the NBA, this was a great offseason for the Tigers. They grabbed one of the hottest transfers of the season in Landers Nolley II. He averaged 15.5 points, 5.8 rebounds and 2.4 assists during his freshman campaign at Virginia Tech. The news got better when his waiver was approved for immediate eligibility. Coach Hardaway also picked up five-star recruit Moussa Cisse, who should be an immediate replacement for Achiuwa in the paint. Florida transfer Isaiah Stokes heads to Memphis after seeing limited action with the Gators. D.J. Jeffries, Lance Thomas and Malcolm Dandridge are back to help Cisse and Stokes in the paint. Jeffries proved to be a very versatile forward during his freshman season, averaging 10.8 points, 4.3 rebounds and 1.1 blocks while stretching the defense with his outside shooting ability last season. Thomas was a regular starter last year and Dandridge should be ready to see more minutes after being slowed by a knee injury as a freshman. In the backcourt, Nolley may emerge as the star, but he is just one of many sophomore guards looking for a big year. Lester Quinones and Boogie Ellis are both quality outside shooters and were regular starters as freshmen. Damion Baugh earned 25 starts as well. He does not need to do much scoring, but he can handle the ball and set up his teammates. Alex Lomax, a junior veteran, is another point guard and he led the Tigers with 4.3 assists per game last year. This is still a young team, but the talent has been building under Coach Hardaway and this is the year for Memphis to make a tournament run and get back onto the national stage.
Projected Postseason Tournament: NCAA
By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 72.0 (143rd in nation, 5th in conference)
Scoring Defense: 64.9 (52, 5)
Field-Goal Percentage: 44.0 (168, 4)
Field-Goal Defense: 36.1 (1, 1)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 6.6 (240, 8)
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 32.9 (203, 3)
Free-Throw Percentage: 67.9 (269, 10)
Rebound Margin: 3.3 (79, 5)
Assists Per Game: 14.1 (90. 3)
Turnovers Per Game: 16.5 (341, 12)
Madness 2021 NBA Draft Rankings:
#17 Moussa Cisse
#56 Landers Nolley