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Memphis basketball misses out on AP Top 25 ranking for second straight week.

Memphis is just left out of the AP Top 25 for the second week in a row.
By Roman Cleary - November 20, 2023, 12:18 pm - 1 comments

Memphis basketball narrowly missed out on an AP Top 25 ranking last week. It did so again this week.

The Tigers received 149 votes—more than any other unranked team—after a 3-0 start, including a 70-55 win at Missouri, effectively pinning them at No. 26 once again. Memphis most recently defeated Tony Madlock’s Alabama State Hornets 92-75 inside FedExForum on Friday.

CBS Sports’ Gary Parrish ranks the Tigers No. 17 in his Top 25 and 1 rankings. Jon Rothstein, also of CBS Sports and an AP Voter, ranks them No. 21 in his top 45 teams. They’re also ranked No. 30 in KenPom. Memphis was last ranked in last season’s final AP Poll at No. 24 before losing to No. 25 Florida Atlantic in the NCAA Tournament’s Round of 64.

Memphis had something of a sluggish performance in Friday’s game against Alabama State, repeatedly shooting itself in the foot throughout the night. The Hornets recorded 25 offensive rebounds against a Memphis team with 11 players that are at least 6-foot-5 or higher. Memphis only won the total rebounding battle 50-42, and lost the turnover battle by 10. The Tigers finished with 18 turnovers compared to just 8 for the Hornets.

Three different Alabama State players finished with 14 points or more. And though the Hornets shot 31% from the field, they also lit the Tigers up from deep by shooting 38% from beyond the arc. Tony Madlock’s team even went on a 7-0 run in the middle of the first half to cut Memphis’ lead to 31-30 with 5:12 to go until halftime.

“I’ma be honest, I wasn’t really happy with the way we played tonight,” point guard Jahvon Quinerly said Friday. “Letting a team come in here and get that many offensive rebounds on us—honestly, it’s unacceptable.”

But Quinerly, an Alabama transfer, and St. John’s transfer wing David Jones put together impressive outings that helped the Tigers finish the game on a 34-22 run in the final 13:24. Jones—a game-time decision due to a tweaked ankle—finished the contest with 22 points and 10 rebounds, a team-high in both categories. Quinerly recorded 16 points, 8 rebounds and 4 assists.

“I just felt in that moment that we needed somebody to bring energy to the game,” Jones said. “With the couple buckets that I got at the end of the [first half], we came out in the second half with more energy…I was just trying to help my team win the game.”

The good news is Memphis still won handily, thus avoiding a buy game loss—unlike Arkansas, Michigan or AAC preseason favorite Florida Atlantic. In even better news, head coach Penny Hardaway is set to return to the bench after suffering his NCAA-levied three game suspension.

Memphis (3-0) begins the Battle 4 Atlantis in The Bahamas against Michigan on Wednesday (4 p.m., ESPN2). It’ll then play either Arkansas or Stanford on Thanksgiving and finish the tournament against North Carolina, Villanova, Texas Tech or Northern Iowa depending on how the bracket shapes out.


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