Memphis Men's Basketball 2013 NCAA Tournament Capsule

Memphis Tigers
Conference USA (30-4, 16-0)

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After early losses to VCU and Minnesota, Memphis fell off the national radar. It turns out those were not bad losses, especially at the time. The Tigers then went on to dominate Conference USA yet again and win the regular season title. Memphis teams of the past usually have been tested more heading into the NCAA Tournament. Wins over Ohio, Oral Roberts and Tennessee are good non-conference wins, but there is not that standout victory that instills confidence heading into March.

Big Wins: 1/04 at Tennessee (85-80), 2/09 at Southern Miss (89-76), 2/23 Southern Miss (89-73)
Bad Losses: 11/22 vs VCU (65-78), 11/23 vs Minnesota (75-84), 2/26 at Xavier (62-64)
Coach: Josh Pastner (4 seasons at Memphis)

Why They Can Surprise:
Coach Josh Pastner has plenty of talent to work with. The frontcourt is not physically imposing, but they are an athletic bunch. D.J. Stephens can jump out of the gym. The 6-5 senior is not a great scorer, although when he does score it is usually very entertaining, but he is a menace on the other end of the floor. Stephens is the best rebounder on a good rebounding team and one of the best shot blockers in the nation. Shots that Stephens fails to block are occasionally swatted away by Shaq Goodwin. At 6-8 and 235 pounds, Goodwin can bang around in the paint. The freshman is developing into a decent interior scoring option as well and he is getting better with every game. Tarik Black has mostly come off the bench this season as a backup to Goodwin or when the Tigers need more size on the floor. Black is a good, efficient scorer in the paint, but is not the strongest rebounder around. Like Stephens, Adonis Thomas is more of a wing than a forward. The 6-6 sophomore can light up the scoring column, especially on those rare occasions when his outside shot is falling.

Why They Can Disappoint:
Besides Thomas, the Tigers generally take smart outside shots. However, the team as a whole is not very prolific from beyond the arc. Joe Jackson can knock down the long ball with consistency, but Memphis also needs him to drive and dish and lead the defensive effort. Jackson has a lot to do, so he does not get as many looks from long range as the Tigers would hope. That has put the pressure on Geron Johnson, Chris Crawford and Antonio Barton. Johnson will do quite a bit of everything and has turned into a superb all-around guard. Crawford is built in the same mold and gives the Tigers another versatile guard. A foot injury to Barton has seriously slowed his progress late in the year, but he has the ability to spark the offense off of the bench with his shooting ability.

Probable Starters:
Joe Jackson, Junior, Guard, 13.6 ppg, 4.8 apg
Geron Johnson, Junior, Guard, 10.5 ppg, 3.7 apg, 4.6 rpg
D.J. Stephens, Senior, Guard, 7.6 ppg, 6.7 rpg, 2.4 bpg
Adonis Thomas, Sophomore, Forward, 11.9 ppg, 4.6 rpg
Shaq Goodwin, Freshman, Forward, 7.8 ppg, 4.6 rpg

Key Roleplayers:
Antonio Barton, Junior, Guard, 5.8 ppg, 1.2 apg
Tarik Black, Junior, Forward, 8.0 ppg, 4.8 rpg
Chris Crawford, Junior, Guard, 10.7 ppg, 3.3 apg

By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 74.9 (27th in nation, 3rd in conference)
Scoring Defense: 64.3 (113, 4)
Field-Goal Percentage: 47.6 (21, 2)
Field-Goal Defense: 40.3 (62, 2)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 5.8 (197, 10)  
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 37.3 (50, 3)
Free-Throw Percentage: 67.2 (240, 10)
Rebound Margin: 5.4 (34, 2)
Assists Per Game: 17.0 (6, 2)
Turnovers Per Game: 14.9 (282, 8)

Last Five Postseason Appearances:
2011    NCAA    Round of 64 loss to Arizona
2010    NIT    First Round win over St. Johns
2010    NIT    Second Round loss to Mississippi
2009    NCAA    Round of 64 win over Cal State Northridge
2009    NCAA    Round of 32 win over Maryland
2009    NCAA    Regional Semifinal loss to Missouri
2008    NCAA    Round of 64 win over Texas Arlington
2008    NCAA    Round of 32 win over Mississippi State
2008    NCAA    Regional Semifinal win over Michigan State
2008    NCAA    Regional Final win over Texas
2008    NCAA    National Semifinal win over UCLA
2008    NCAA    National Final loss to Kansas
2007    NCAA    Round of 64 win over North Texas
2007    NCAA    Round of 32 win over Nevada
2007    NCAA    Regional Semifinal win over Texas A&M
2007    NCAA    Regional Final loss to Ohio State

*all team stats through 3/10


See All Men’s Basketball Postseason Capsules