Blog Entry

A long-time fan's take on the 2009-2010 Tigers

Posted on: July 21, 2009 2:51 pm
 
There has been a lot of worry about the fate of the University of Memphis men's basketball team this coming season (2009-2010).  It seems like whenever something good happens, something bad happens as well:

We had the #1 ranked recruiting class coming in, then
    John Calipari leaves for Kentucky, taking several recruits with him

We hire Josh Pastner as a promising new head coach, then
    We get hit with some NCAA violations (nothing too serious about basketball)

We get Latavious Williams and Elliot Williams (no known relation), then
    Latavious is going overseas (or not...who knows?)

So with all of this stuff going on, what kind of season do we have to look forward to?  A pretty damn good one.  Here's the breakdown:

We lost 5 players after this past season (Antonio Anderson, Robert Dozier, Tyreke Evans, Chance McGrady, and Shawn Taggart; two good guards, two starting big men, and a reserve).  We've definitely picked up 1 great player (Will Coleman), possibly 2 more if eligible (Martin Ngaloro and Elliot Williams), and maybe not a fourth (Latavious Williams).  At best, that leaves us down 1 player from last year.  Except that Angel Garcia, who never played last year, is now eligible, becoming almost like a fifth possible recruit as his input was missing in the last season.  So, if L. Williams ends up overseas, we're only down one player from this past season, and we can deal with that.

Our potential roster:
Will Coleman (PF), Angel Garcia(PF), Pierre Henderson-Niles(PF), Willie Kemp (PG), Preston Laird (SG?), Doneal Mack (SG/SF), Martin Ngaloro (SF/PF), Roburt Sallie (SG), Elliot Williams (PG), Latavious Williams (SF/PF), and Wesley Witherspoon (SG/SF).

So, yes, losing L. Williams would be a blow, but his position is pretty well covered.  The only position that isn't crawling with potential players is the point guard, and we've got two great players there.  Everyone's seen what E. Williams did at point for Duke last season as a starter, and most of us remember Kemp's freshman year.  I know a lot of people are disillusioned about Kemp after the last few years, but I've got faith in the guy.  He plays a very high energy game, and even on his off days he can produce a bit above mediocrity.  Honestly, the weakest link on this team is Laird, and he's a walk-on reserve player.  He's a great kid, but he's not the best on the team (we'll probably see more of him this season).

The one worry about our roster is the lack of experience.  Yes and no.  Obviously our seniors (H-N, Mack, and Kemp) have quite a bit of experience.  Our juniors (Coleman and Sallie) are both experienced, as well.  Coleman has no D-I games under his belt, sure, but the boy can play, and I believe he was part of the best JuCo team of this past season.  He'll be a force to be reckoned with.  And we know Sallie.  If he can get some more consistency in his game, he could be one of our top players this year.  Our sophomores (Garcia, Laird, E. Williams, and Witherspoon) are odd.  Garcia doesn't have experience, Laird has about 4 minutes or so, Williams has played a decent bit, and Witherspoon is about the same.  These guys may or may not be great, but they'll be developing chemistry over the next few years and will solidify into a very strong senior lineup.  Add to these guys the incoming freshmen (Ngaloro and L. Williams?), and new recruits over the next few years, and 2011 might be our year.  Obviously, our freshmen don't have experience...or do they?  Remember that Ngaloro has been attending Canarias Basketball Academy ("The top basketball academy in Europe located in the beautiful Canary Islands, Spain"), basically a prep school focused on basketball.  He'll need to muscle up and get ready for the American version of the game (read: more physical), but this guy is as prepared as can be.

So yeah, maybe we could do with a little more experience, but we can't just recruit players away from other schools (*cough*).


So now what do we have?  A talented roster with a surprisingly good amount of experience.  There has also been concern expressed over Coach Pastner's inexperience as well.  I'm not touching that.  I have no idea.  There are people who worship him, and people who think he's a punk kid taking credit for his head coach's work.  We'll see in the next few years (remember the year 2011).  I can say that he's put together a very nice supporting cast of assistant coaches, etc. in Cyprien, Murphy, Wilson, and Sebastian.  In this group, he has both experience, and the young, ambitious tenacity that has characterized him thus far.  I'm looking forward to seeing how that all works out.

So how about a little bit of fantasy in here?  I'm thinking our starting lineup will be one of these two:

PG - Willie Kemp
SG - Doneal Mack
3G - Roburt Sallie
PF - Angel Garcia
PF - Will Coleman

or

PG - Elliot Williams
SG - Doneal Mack
SF - Martin Ngaloro
PF - Angel Garcia
PF - Will Coleman

Kemp is more suited to run point for the 3-guard setup, methinks.  Obviously, you can see that I think Mack, Garcia, and Coleman will be starting no matter what.  If I remember correctly, Williams played with more big men on the floor.  Either way, Kemp is a better scorer than Williams, and that's what you want with 3 guards on the floor.  The one thing I am least convinced about is the 3G and SF position.  That one could go to Witherspoon depending on the day.

Defensively, we will hurt from losing Anderson on the perimeter, but I think we'll do better down low with Coleman and Garcia than with Dozier and Taggart.  I don't know how good E. Williams is on D, but I've got a feeling he won't be surpassing Anderson.  We'll probably allow a few more open perimeter shots, but with strong defense down low, our opponents will have to rely on that too much.  So unless they've got Roburt Sallie from the UC-Northridge game last March, they could be hosed from this.

Offensively, it's much the same.  We've lost our top 4 scoring and top 3 assisting players.  Our incoming players aren't looking like the high-volume scorers that we've gotten accustomed to over the last few years.  I'm expecting a lot more close, physical, intense games this season.

After it's all said and done, I think we'll probably have to say goodbye to our unbeaten conference streak about 1/2 to 2/3 of the way through the season.  We might make Sweet 16 if we get a few lucky breaks, or if our offense starts kicking.  If our defense is as it will most likely be, and our offense can just be consistently good (60-70 ppg), we could be pretty impressive.  All in all, though, this is not a season to give up hope.  We're getting a good restart, blowing out the pipes, and continuing on down our path.  And just remember that, though this year may not be the one we want to remember forever, it won't be abysmal, and things will continue getting better.

Category: NCAAB
Comments

Since: Jun 9, 2009
Posted on: August 3, 2009 6:03 pm
 

A long-time fan's take on the 2009-2010 Tigers


MJamammy,

I was able to walk right in without any problems each time I have went. The games have been really intense when Penny, "The General" Andre Turner, Thaddeus Young were on the floor against the current tiger team. Coleman is going to be a BEAST this year. 

Also, hurry up and get that goal up! I believe both of you guys are going to enjoy that time together and the game itself.....Take him to see the current tigers and the ex-tigers battle at the Finch center as well, he will grow to love the Tigers even more.  

Go TIGERS GO!!!!


MJamammy
Since: Jun 30, 2009
Posted on: August 2, 2009 10:32 pm
This comment has been removed.

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Since: Jan 22, 2008
Posted on: August 1, 2009 8:20 pm
 

A long-time fan's take on the 2009-2010 Tigers

Vitale's first 39 must have been Duke and Carolina alternating 19 times then, maybe, Villanova thrown in for good measure at 39...



Since: Jun 13, 2009
Posted on: July 31, 2009 9:24 am
 

A long-time fan's take on the 2009-2010 Tigers

KingKong, I saw that about the invite only pickup games.  I was curious how our current guys were fitting in.  Thanks for the info.  I also think this had a lot to do with Penny Hardaway not being a member of the Memphis coaching staff.  He is able to be there right now teaching these guys.  If he were on the staff, he couldn't do this.  I cannot image better experience for our guys than be schooled by an NBA all-star on a regular basis. 
Did you see Vitale's top 40?  He has Memphis at 40.  Its a good start, but I believe we will finish much higher.



Since: Aug 14, 2008
Posted on: July 30, 2009 7:54 pm
 

A long-time fan's take on the 2009-2010 Tigers

A long-time fan's take on the 2009-2010 Tigers

GREAT post Memphis Man,

I do believe coach Pastner is going to be something great, it's as if he was born ready to coach basketball.  He will be very successful because he is very smart, a extremely hard worker, and very determined. As for our team, we will be able to create match up problems for most teams and we have guys that will be able to play several positions. Another good thing that our team is playing pickup ball in the field house against ex Memphis players and NBA players such as Penny Hardaway, Cedric Henderson, Thaddeus Young (76ers), etc. at lease 4 to 5 times a week for several hours each time. Memphis current players are always teamed on the same team and the pro players such as Penny plays and take opportunity to coach the players when they are making mistakes. The games are extremely intense and by invite only. It's as if everyone in the city is pulling in to do whatever it takes to help the Tigers and coach Pastner to be successful this year. I really do think Memphis will surprise a lot of people this year and we may go undefeated in the C-USA. We have a much stronger team than many know. I have watched them play 4 games and we look very impressive.  I can't wait for the season to start....GO TIGERS GO!!    


Great post, I don’t think people realize how many current and retired NBA players that live in Memphis, they all seem to gravitate to the Finch Center for pickup games. What a great recruiting tool. It’s obvious ex Tiger players are coming back to campus to play with the current team. I like that fact that Pastner isn’t afraid to share the limelight, again something our past coach wasn’t willing to do unless it benefited himself.




Since: Aug 14, 2008
Posted on: July 30, 2009 7:47 pm
 

A long-time fan's take on the 2009-2010 Tigers

Many Wildcat fans believed that giant was Josh Pastner. I was increibly disappointed when we didn't even seem to make an effort to land him.
Nothing can make me switch my loyalties, but after Ariz. I am rooting for Memphis. I know that Pastner will be a great coach. He's certainly different from Lute Olsen, but I beleive that in the end, he will be right up there with him.
You guys are very,very lucky.

That is a glowing endorsement from a fan from another school. I think Memphis now realizes what a gem we might have. I feel once recruits see that guy in action and just listen to him speak you have to come away impressed. I hope it turns in wins for Memphis but only time will tell. I think Pastner is a class act. He really didn’t seem to fit the Caliapri assistant coach mode Memphis was use to. looking back on that overservation I come away glad we have a coach players and people will respect and like. He seems to be a tireless worker and straight shooter, something Memphis hasn’t seen since Larry Finch before Larry became ill. Go Tigers!




Since: Jun 9, 2009
Posted on: July 30, 2009 7:26 pm
 

A long-time fan's take on the 2009-2010 Tigers

GREAT post Memphis Man,

I do believe coach Pastner is going to be something great, it's as if he was born ready to coach basketball.  He will be very successful because he is very smart, a extremely hard worker, and very determined. As for our team, we will be able to create match up problems for most teams and we have guys that will be able to play several positions. Another good thing that our team is playing pickup ball in the field house against ex Memphis players and NBA players such as Penny Hardaway, Cedric Henderson, Thaddeus Young (76ers), etc. at lease 4 to 5 times a week for several hours each time. Memphis current players are always teamed on the same team and the pro players such as Penny plays and take opportunity to coach the players when they are making mistakes. The games are extremely intense and by invite only. It's as if everyone in the city is pulling in to do whatever it takes to help the Tigers and coach Pastner to be successful this year. I really do think Memphis will surprise a lot of people this year and we may go undefeated in the C-USA. We have a much stronger team than many know. I have watched them play 4 games and we look very impressive.  I can't wait for the season to start....GO TIGERS GO!!    



MJamammy
Since: Jun 30, 2009
Posted on: July 30, 2009 5:52 pm
This comment has been removed.

Post Deleted by Administrator




Since: Jul 30, 2009
Posted on: July 30, 2009 5:15 pm
 

A long-time fan's take on the 2009-2010 Tigers

Hey,
I don't know Memphis from Thebes, but I do know Josh Pastner. I have been a devoted University of Arizona fan for many.many years. When Josh Pastner arrived the same year as Mike Bibby, you understood that he would get zero playing time. Having said that, it was immediately obvious that Pastner , even as a freshman, was guiding Bibby and generally acting as an assistant coach. You could see the other players responding to him, even though he was a Freshman and only played during garbage time.
 During the last 2 difficult years, I was hoping that Lute would return. At the same time, being a realist, I knew that he might not and that we would need a giant to replace him. Many Wildcat fans believed that giant was Josh Pastner. I was increibly disappointed when we didn't even seem to make an effort to land him.
 Nothing can make me switch my loyalties, but after Ariz. I am rooting for Memphis. I know that Pastner will be a great coach. He's certainly different from Lute Olsen, but I beleive that in the end, he will be right up there with him.
 You guys are very,very lucky.



Since: Nov 28, 2006
Posted on: July 30, 2009 4:43 pm
 

A long-time fan's take on the 2009-2010 Tigers



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