Now riding a 10-game win streak, the Memphis Tigers must guard against being another team’s “quality win.” Their next opponent, the Georgia Bulldogs, certainly have the personnel to do it.
The Tigers host Georgia at FedExForum on Saturday, Jan. 4 with a noon tipoff. It’s part of an ongoing AAC vs. SEC challenge.
The Bulldogs enter the game with a 9-3 record, winners of their last three games. The Bulldogs feature a projected top-three draft pick in the 2020 NBA Draft: Anthony Edwards.
Edwards is averaging 18.8 points per game. Edwards is explosive; the kind of player who could go scoreless in the first half and put up 30 in the second half. He is what most NBA teams are looking for. He can create his own shot and he can shoot from the outside and attack the rim.
If the Tigers want to continue their streak here are some keys to the game:
Offense vs Defense
Georgia enters the game as one of the most efficient offenses in the country. While the Tigers are one of the best defensive teams in the country. Something must give.
Entering the season, the Tigers did not have any specific goals in mind regarding defensive stats.
“We just wanted to go out there and shut people down as a group,” Hardaway said recently. “We wanted (opponents) to shoot a low percentage from the field, three-point line and to keep them off the free-throw line.”
If Memphis continues to thrive in this area that will be a good sign.
Control the confidence
It will not be one player’s job to try to contain Edwards. It will be a defense by committed to contain him the entire game.
Memphis has a reputation for making opposing teams uncomfortable. That will help in helping keep Edwards from gaining some confidence. Edwards has and will go off if he is feeling it.
This is not Edwards first time playing in Memphis. Last year, while playing for Holy Spirit Prep, Edwards played two games here, losing both.
Edwards has made 25 three-pointers on the season. He is second on the team in three pointers made. Senior Tyree Crump is leading the team with 27 three-pointers. Georgia is averaging 82.2 points per game.
Control what you can control
The Tigers did a good job of managing their turnovers in their last game against Tulane. In the prior two games the Tigers had over 25 turnovers in both games. The Tigers did hold back on some of the hero plays and stop trying to go for the home run slash Sportscenter type play.
The game can be seen on national television on the CBS. Tipoff is at noon.