Memphis vs Tulsa Preview and Prediction
Memphis vs Tulsa Preview
The Memphis Tigers (13-6, 4-2) didn’t start the season the way they wanted to, but a solid stretch of games in conference play has given the once dead Tigers life. A four-game American Athletic Conference winning streak will be on the line Saturday when Memphis travels to Oklahoma to take on the Tulsa Golden Hurricane (10-9, 3-4).
In putting together the consecutive victories the past three weeks, the Tigers have accomplished what no other U of M team has since joining the league five years ago. No Memphis team had won four straight games in the AAC.
To extend the streak, the Tigers will have to beat a conference team twice for the first time this season. The U of M defeated Tulsa, 78-67, Jan. 6 at FedExForum to begin an AAC winning streak that also includes wins over Tulane, Temple and UConn.
Memphis also will attempt to win a second straight road game after beating Temple in overtime in Philadelphia last weekend. Kareem Brewton Jr., drained a game-winning 3-pointer in the closing second of overtime to secure the win, the U of M’s first away from FedExForum this season. Tip-off is 7 p.m. at the Reynolds Center in Tulsa and ESPNU will carry the game.
Tulsa is coming off a slim 59-58 setback on Wednesday night at Temple despite 12 points and a career-high 15 rebounds from Junior Etou. The senior forward is averaging a team-leading 15.7 points and 7.4 rebounds per game. His 9.0 RPG during conference play ranks second in the circuit.
After averaging 1.6 ppg in his first five games, Corey Henderson Jr. is averaging 11.4 PPG in his last 14 contests and 11.1 PPG during conference play for Tulsa.
Memphis leads the all-time series, 27-16, but TU won last season’s matchup in Tulsa.
- Memphis is led by former TU coach Tubby Smith (1991-95), while Tigers assistant Alvin “Pooh” Williamson played under Smith at TU from 1991-95.
- All seven of Tulsa’s games during January are against opponents currently ranked in the top-100 of the RPI.
- Tulsa was picked to finish eighth in The American Preseason Poll. TU has finished better than its preseason prediction in all three previous seasons under head coach Frank Haith.
- With its four straight league wins, the Tigers have moved into a tie for third place in the American Athletic Conference with Houston. Both have 4-2 league records and trail only Cincinnati (5-0) and Wichita State (5-1).
- Memphis forward Mike Parks Jr., is averaging 13.2 points in the team’s six conference games. He averaged 3.8 points in the team’s 13 non-conference games.
- Tigers guard Jeremiah Martin has scored 354 points through 19 games this season, 26 more than a year ago. Last season, he scored 328 points in 32 games.
The Tigers have only captured one victory this season away from FedEx Forum and despite Tulsa’s recent struggles, they will be the favorite to come out with the victory.
Tubby Smith is coaching up the little talent he has, but that can only get you so far.
LINE: -4 Tulsa
Tulsa 77 Memphis 70