Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Memphis 97, Belmont 81

[recap] [box score]

I was looking forward to this matchup, because the two teams are similar in so many ways -- preferred pace, length of bench, frequency of substitution. The problem for Belmont is that Memphis is just a bit longer, a bit quicker, a bit more athletic than the Bruins. And when, for the second straight game, they couldn't hit their outside shots with any consistency, they really didn't have any chance to knock off a Tiger team that was hitting on more or less all cylinders.

Memphis notes: The Tigers under Josh Pastner always seem to me to be like an AAU team that has just recently had its first practice. They don't always place cohesively and it often seems like a bunch of talented individuals doing their own thing ... Still, when they get it going, "their own thing" can be very effective. Wesley Witherspoon was torrid from deep in the first half; Will Barton came alive in the second; and Joe Jackson was dynamic in the open floor all night. They don't really have all the pieces that we consider necessary for college basketball these days (they're missing a spot-up shooter and a true go-to guy) but they're awfull dangerous every time they step on the floor.

Belmont notes: J.J. Mann was a bright spot throughout. He scored much more consistently than he did against Duke ... Belmont needs more from its bigs -- specifically, Mick Hedgepeth and Scott Saunders. The way the Bruins play is admittedly tough on bigs, but they need to be tougher and they need to convert the relatively easy opportunities they've been missing to start the season.

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