Division 2 CBU defeated the University of Memphis 74-70 Wednesday night in an exhibition game at FedExForum and by Thursday morning cars were sliding across bridges and roadways because the world had been turned on its side.
Here are 10 quick impressions
1. Turnovers will be a major problem all season. The Tigers made 21 against CBU and also struggled with turnovers in the scrimmage against Saint Louis. Kedren Johnson, the guard transfer from Vanderbilt, had six of those turnovers.
2. This is a worse shooting team than a year ago. The Tigers went 5-for-22 from 3-point range vs. CBU. Think they’ll get better looks against No. 11 Wichita State next Tuesday in the opener?
3. They will be easy to defend. Pack it in on Shaq Goodwin and Austin Nichols, who went 14-for-17 Wednesday, and force anyone else to make a shot.
4. There’s a contradiction between what they can do and what coach Josh Pastner wants them to do. He says they need more pace on offense, which may be true, but if you make turnovers at a slower pace how many will you make at a faster pace?
5. With this small sample size, we’ve seen no indication this crop of guards can drive to the rim or at least deep into paint. Miss Joe Jackson yet?
6. Transfer forward Calvin Godfrey, who does have plenty of D 1 experience, looked lost in his 14 minutes.
7. Guard Avery Woodson plays extremely hard on defense but has very real limitations offensively.
8. Guard Pookie Powell has offensive potential but needs an introduction to defense.
9. Fans, those who came in the first place, left in two waves Wednesday. At the end of regulation and late in overtime when the loss was obvious. Patience is already thin.
10. This collection of players would be a challenge for a seasoned, top-shelf, X’s and O’s guy. Pastner will have to elevate his coaching game for the Tigers to reach the NCAA Tournament for a fifth straight season.
Alexis Grace is crowdfunding her debut EP and first music video.
The singer-songwriter from Memphis who was on the eighth season of “American Idol” in 2009 – she finished in 11th place – has since then been, as she puts it, “working hard to put my original music out in the world.” Along those lines, she’s planning to release her first EP in January.
She’s already written and recorded six new songs. She’s got an Indiegogo page set up where contributors can pick from goodies as rewards for donating.
Grace is dedicating the EP to her father, who passed away in the summer. “He was a professional bass player on Beale street for almost 40 years, and didn’t stop until he literally couldn’t play, so neither will I,” she writes on her Indiegogo campaign page.
You can’t be there. Media can’t be there. But on Saturday, Nov. 8 at FedExForum, the University of Memphis men’s basketball team will play an undisclosed opponent (Ok, we’re 99 percent sure it’s Saint Louis) in a “secret scrimmage.”
One thing that’s not a secret: Sophomore forward Austin Nichols won’t play because of “double case of pink eye,” according to Tigers coach Josh Pastner. Junior forward Shaq Goodwin and guard and Vanderbilt transfer Kedren Johnson, who also are nursing minor injuries, are questionable.
Sophomore Nick King not having Nichols, and possibly Goodwin, won’t have an impact on the rest of the Tigers.
“We know what Shaq and Austin are capable of doing,” King said.
Pastner has a largely inexperienced team this season after losing four senior guards off a team that advanced to the Round of 32 in the NCAA Tournament. He says he’s confident this team will play hard and defend but, beyond that, “I have no idea about outcomes of games.
“As much as I can’t stand gray area,” Pastner said, “this team has a lot of gray area.”
“I have not given up, we are still working with investors to buy our property. The last thing I ever wanted to do, but a difficult decision was made to close the doors and cancel some special events. November 19th we will either reopen for another 40 years working on our goals of renovation or we will look for a new location as the new developer has informed me, ‘they have other plans…'”