Tigers dominate in first Bahamas game without James Wiseman, Precious Achiuwa

Former Olive Branch star D.J. Jeffries leads Memphis with 21 points, eight rebounds.

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Your University of Memphis Tigers are playing basketball on an island this week – and unless you’re there, you can’t watch.

The Tigers are on a week-long excursion to the Bahamas, where they played the first of four exhibition games today, beating the Commonwealth Bank Giants in a 114-83 rout. Top prospects James Wiseman and Precious Achiuwa both sat out the game, leaving former Olive Branch star D.J. Jeffries to lead Memphis with 21 points and eight rebounds.

And if you’re wondering where you can stream it or watch it on TV, forget it. ESPN reportedly considered carrying the game, but chose not to. Fortunately, the Tigers Associate Director of Athletic Communications also happens to be a veteran sportswriter named Phil Stukenborg, who posted a recap at GoTigersGo.com. An excerpt:

NASSAU, Bahamas – The University of Memphis opened play in the Bahamas Basketball Federation Summer of Thunder exhibition series Wednesday with some thunder of its own in a 114-83 victory over the Commonwealth Bank Giants.

There was a game-leading 21 points and eight rebounds from freshman D.J. Jeffries.

There was 19 points and eight rebounds from Lance Thomas, who, like Jeffries, was making his debut in a Tigers’ uniform.

Overall, there were 22 assists, 13 3-pointers, 50 percent shooting and a monstrous, one-handed driving dunk by freshman guard Damion Baugh – with 7:32 to go in the game – worthy of an ESPN Top 10 highlight.

It made for a festive opening before nearly 500 fans at the Baha Mar Resort’s New Providence Ballroom.

Minus the top two recruits from the 2019 recruiting class – Precious Achiuwa (who did not make the trip) and James Wiseman (recovering from an injury) – the Tigers pulled away from a 51-44 halftime lead by outscoring Commonwealth BG, 33-15, in the third quarter. Memphis hit five 3-pointers in the quarter and Baugh closed the period by converting a three-point play. FIBA rules (four quarters, 24-second shot clock) are being used in the series.

“Obviously, there are some small things we need to take care of, ” Tigers coach Penny Hardaway said. “But overall – 114 points, upwards of 20 assists, and the energy we had and the way we shared the basketball was crazy.”

The Tigers play their second game in the four-game series at 4 p.m. Central Time on Thursday against The Bahamas National Team B. Check out Hardaway’s post-game remarks above and you can read the rest of Phil’s recap here.