#35 Memphis Men's Basketball 2021-2022 Preview

Memphis Tigers
2021-2022 Overall Rank: #35
Conference Rank: #2 American
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Memphis has won at least 20 games in each of Coach Penny Hardaway’s three seasons. Last season they fell on the wrong side of the bubble in part due to a 76-74 loss to Houston in the American Athletic Conference tournament. However, the Tigers made the most out of their trip to the NIT, beating Dayton, Boise State, Colorado State and Mississippi State on their way to winning the NIT title. With the return of three starters, four transfers and a great crop of incoming freshmen, Coach Hardaway’s team has a lot of hype heading into the 2021-2022 campaign.
2020-21 Record: 20-8, 11-4
2020-21 Postseason: NIT
Coach: Penny Hardaway
Coach Record: 63-32 at Memphis, 63-32 overall
Key Departed Players:
Boogie Ellis, Guard, 10.2 ppg
D.J. Jeffries, Forward, 9.9 ppg
Moussa Cisse, Center, 6.6 ppg
Damion Baugh, Guard, 3.4 ppg
Lance Thomas, Forward, 2.1 ppg
Key Returning Players:
Landers Nolley II, Junior, Guard, 13.1 ppg
DeAndre Williams, Senior, Forward, 11.7 ppg
Lester Quinones, Junior, Guard, 9.5 ppg
Alex Lomax, Senior, Guard, 6.0 ppg
Malcolm Dandridge, Junior, Center, 3.8 ppg
Jayden Hardaway, Junior, Guard, 2.6 ppg
Key New Players:
Emoni Bates, Freshman, Forward
John Camden, Freshman, Forward
Jalen Duren, Freshman, Center
Tyler Harris, Senior, Guard, Transfer from Iowa State
Tadarius Jacobs, Freshman, Guard
Chandler Lawson, Junior, Forward, Transfer from Oregon
Johnathan Lawson, Freshman, Guard
Nikc Merriweather, Junior, Guard, JC Transfer
Josh Minott, Freshman, Forward
Sam Onu, Freshman, Center
Earl Timberlake, Sophomore Guard, Transfer from Miami
Landers Nolley II led the Tigers with 13.1 points per game last season and is back to lead the way again. He is a prolific three-point shooter and connected on a team high 65 attempts from beyond the arc. Lester Quinones will rejoin Nolley in the backcourt after averaging 9.5 points per game. Alex Lomax dished out a team high 4.2 assists off the bench. DeAndre Williams is a great passer for a 6-9 forward. He dished out 3.4 assists on top of his 11.7 points and 5.8 rebounds. Tyler Harris returns to Memphis after a brief stint at Iowa State. His best season came as a freshman in 2018-2019 when he averaged 10.8 points per game. Earl Timberlake played in just seven games at Miami, but did average 9.3 points, 5.0 rebounds and 2.4 assists. Chandler Lawson, a transfer from Oregon, is the experienced newcomer in the frontcourt. However, it is the recruiting class that has Memphis fans the most excited. Emoni Bates is a 6-9 forward who can play anywhere on the floor and Coach Hardaway does plan on having him run the point this season. Bates is really young, even for a freshman, so the expectations should not be too crazy, but he is a great talent. The recruiting class also includes top 150 recruits John Camden, Sam Ayomide, Johnathan Lawson and Josh Minott.
Projected Postseason Tournament: NCAA
By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 72.4 (139th in nation, 3rd in conference)
Scoring Defense: 62.7 (19, 2)
Field-Goal Percentage: 44.4 (152, 3)
Field-Goal Defense: 38.9 (5, 2)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 7.8 (117, 4)
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 36.3 (58, 1)
Free-Throw Percentage: 61.7 (334, 11)
Rebound Margin: 7.3 (17, 2)
Assists Per Game: 18.0 (27, 1)
Turnovers Per Game: 15.6 (311, 11)
Madness 2022 NBA Draft Rankings:
#50 Josh Minott
Madness 2021 Men’s Basketball Recruit Rankings:
Emoni Bates (reclassed)
#45 Josh Minott
#89 Johnathan Lawson
#115 Sam Ayomide
#131 John Camden