#24 Memphis Tigers: College Basketball 111 in 111


memphis-dance-team

Welcome to The Sports Bank’s third annual college basketball season preview series.  Two years we looked at 99 teams in 99 days.  Last year, we were slightly more aggressive and expanded to 111 teams in 111 days and will do so again as we look ahead to the 2012-2013 season.

We will rank the 75 power conference teams and top 36 mid-majors in reverse power ranking order.  We’ll break down rosters, transfers, incoming freshmen, non-conference schedules, and pick a player to watch for each team.

New season, same old story in Conference USA as the Memphis Tigers are undoubtedly the team to beat.  It will be their final season in C-USA before heading to the Big East.

MEMPHIS TIGERS
Last Season: 1st, 13-3 in CUSA, 26-9 overall
Predicted C-USA Finish: 1st

Projected Depth Chart
F/C: Tarik Black (Jr)/Stan Simpson (Sr)/Hippolyte Tsafeck (So)
PF: Ferrakohn Hall (Sr)/Shaq Goodwin (Fr)/D.J. Stephens (Sr)
G/F: Adonis Thomas (So)/Damien Wilson (Fr)
SG: Chris Crawford (Jr)/Geron Johnson (Jr)
PG: Joe Jackson (Jr)/Antonio Barton (Jr)

Gone: G/F-Will Barton, F-Wesley Witherspoon, G-Charles Carmouche (transfer-LSU). G/F-Drew Barham (transfer-Gonzaga)

2012-2013 Outlook:
The key for the Tigers to stay in the national picture will be the maturation of their guards.  Joe Jackson and Drew Crawford both arrived on campus as highly-touted recruits and while they’ve shown flashes at times, have struggled to produce at a consistent level.  Antonio Barton provides experience off the bench and JUCO transfer Geron Johnson will add some scoring.

A healthy Adonis Thomas will be relied upon to replace the scoring of Will Barton who left early for the NBA Draft.  Thomas is a tough match-up due to his strength but can also shoot the ball from deep.  Freshman Damien Wilson is an athletic slasher who should fit the Tigers’ up and down style of play.

Tarik Black’s presence on the floor will be essential for this team to reach their full potential.  He has had major issues staying out of foul trouble which has been costly since he is the team’s only true back-to-the-basket post option.  Ferrokhan Hall brought some athleticism to the floor after transferring in from Seton Hall.  He figures to compete with McDonald’s All-American Shaq Goodwin for the starting power forward position.  Goodwin is extremely active on both ends but very skilled with the ball in his hands.

Stan Simpson and Hippolyte Tsafeck each played sparingly a year ago and provide Josh Pastner with more size and depth up-front.  D.J. Stephens has been used as a versatile energy player and should see spot minutes as well.

Conference USA figures to be relatively weak this season with the exception of Memphis.  For the Tigers to truly dominate the league and remain a Top 25 caliber team, they need their backcourt to play like upperclassmen while Thomas develops into the player that he is capable of becoming.

Player to Watch: Joe Jackson
Jackson did cut down on his turnovers last year which was a step in the right direction but his decision-making and shot selection could still use some improvement.  If he can fully adopt his role as floor general and not try to do too much especially when pushing the tempo, that will help Memphis tremendously.

Key Non-Conference Games:
11/22 vs. VCU (Battle 4 Atlantis)
11/23 vs. Duke/Minnesota (Battle 4 Atlantis)
11/24 vs. Louisville/Northern Iowa/Missouri/Stanford (Battle 4 Atlantis)
12/5 vs. Ohio
12/15 vs. Louisville
1-4 at Tennessee
1/19 vs. Harvard
2/26 at Xavier

OTHER 111 IN 111′S:
#25 Baylor Bears
#26 Wisconsin Badgers
#27 Tennessee Volunteers
#28 Pitt Panthers
#29 New Mexico Lobos
#30 St. Mary’s Gaels
#31 Georgetown Hoyas
#32 North Texas Mean Green
#33 Ohio Bobcats
#34 Texas Longhorns
#35 Miami Hurricanes
#36 Purdue Boilermakers
#37 Alabama Crimson Tide
#38 St. Joseph’s Hawks
#39 Murray State Racers
#40 VCU Rams
#41 Davidson Wildcats
#42 Stanford Cardinal
#43 UMass Minutemen
#44 St. John’s Red Storm
#45 Butler Bulldogs
#46 Florida State Seminoles
#47 Drexel Dragons
#48 St. Louis Billikens
#49 West Virginia Mountaineers
#50 BYU Cougars
#51 Temple Owls
#52 Washington Huskies
#53 California Golden Bears
#54 Kansas State Wildcats
#55 Nevada Wolfpack
#56 Colorado Buffaloes
#57 Iowa State Cyclones
#58 Northern Iowa Panthers
#59 Colorado State Rams
#60 Iowa Hawkeyes
#61 South Florida Bulls
#62 Valparaiso Crusaders
#63 Illinois Fighting Illini
#64 Arkansas Razorbacks
#65 Wichita State Shockers
#66 George Mason Patriots
#67 Virginia Cavaliers
#68 Villanova Wildcats
#69 Maryland Terrapins
#70 Marshall Thundering Herd
#71 Iona Gaels
#72 Northwestern Wildcats
#73 Oklahoms State Cowboys
#74 Rutgers Scarlet Knights
#75 USC Trojans
#76 UConn Huskies
#77 Harvard Crimson
#78 Xavier Musketeers
#79 Ole Miss Rebels
#80 Clemson Tigers
#81 Oregon State Beavers
#82 Texas A&M Aggies
#83 Providence Friars
#84 Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets
#85 Oklahoma Sooners
#86 Lehigh Mountain Hawks
#87 Washington State Cougars
#88 Long Beach State 49ers
#89 Belmont Bruins
#90 Vanderbilt Commodores
#91 Dayton Flyers
#92 Houston Cougars
#93 UCF Knights
#94 Old Dominion Monarchs
#95 Oregon Ducks
#96 LSU Tigers
#97 South Carolina Gamecocks
#98 Seton Hall Pirates
#99 Georgia Bulldogs
#100 DePaul Blue Demons
#101 Boston College Eagles
#102 Penn State Nittany Lions
#103 Arizona State Sun Devils
#104 Virginia Tech Hokies
#105 Texas Tech Red Raiders
#106 Auburn Tigers
#107 Wake Forest Demon Deacons
#108 TCU Horned Frogs
#109 Mississippi State Bulldogs
#110 Utah Utes
#111 Nebraska Cornhuskers

David Kay is a senior feature NBA DraftNBA, and college basketball writer for the Sports Bank.  He also heads up the NBA and college basketball material at Walter Football.com and is a former contributor at The Washington Times Communities.  David has appeared on numerous national radio programs spanning from Cleveland to New Orleans to Honolulu.  He also had the most accurate 2011 NBA Mock Draft and the most accurate 2012 NBA Mock Draft on the internet (Yup, repeat champ… #humblebrag.)

You can follow him on Twitter at David_Kmiecik.

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