Game Preview: Memphis Tigers Basketball Hosts Temple
Tigers Are On the March Madness Bubble, Super Bowl Sunday Showdown Against Solid Temple Ballclub Ahead
The distractions are plenty… Penny Hardaway’s Memphis Tigers are hosting Temple on Super Bowl Sunday and their star Point Guard Kendrick Davis has a good chance to make history… Yes, Sunday’s game has the makings of a “trap game” for the Tigers- as they sit firmly on the NCAA Tournament Bubble (18-6, 8-3 AAC). Get the dub against a pesky Temple club that they beat at the buzzer (on a last second shot by Davis) and they don’t really get any closer to making the Madness. Lose and their chances are smacked down to most likely having to win the upcoming AAC Tournament to go Dancing.
Kendrick Davis is just 23 points shy of becoming the all-time leading scorer in AAC history (he already holds the all-time records for Assists and FT’s Made). The former SMU star transfer is averaging 21.8 points and 6.1 assists per game this season. He is the only player in America to break the Top 10 in both categories and his success has brought him the opportunity to be on the Naismith Midseason Team and be a finalist for the Bob Cousy Award.
The challenge will be for Coach Penny Hardaway to keep his players focused and locked-in on a day where the rest of their classmates are in party mode. It still looks like the squad will be without Senior big man Malcolm Dandridge (sprained ankle Dec 13th, now running at practice) or Alex Lomax (groin, hopes to be back for AAC Tourney).
The Temple Owls (14-11, 8-4) come in to Fed Ex Forum to play an early Sunday game scheduled ahead of the Super Bowl (11 a.m., Sunday, ESPN2). They are a very tough defensive minded ballclub who match up well with Memphis and have a win over #2 ranked Houston on their resume. Khalif Battle leads the Owls with 18.4 points and 1.9 assists per contest.
The 81.0 points per game the Tigers score are 12.2 more points than the Owls give up (68.8).
The Owls put up an average of 69.3 points per game, only 4.0 fewer points than the 73.3 the Tigers allow to opponents.
Nashville Live will be there to bring you full coverage on Sunday.