Memphis vs USF Preview and Prediction
Memphis vs USF Preview
A pair of struggling teams will meet in the sunny state of Florida tonight when the Memphis Tigers (13-8, 4-4) travel south to take on the USF Bulls (8-14, 1-8).
The Tigers are hoping to break a two-game losing streak that saw them lose consecutive games to Tulsa and Cincinnati.
South Florida has dropped eight of its past 10 games, but had an impressive 80-75 win at Tulane a week ago. The Bulls ended a seven-game losing streak with the victory at Tulane. Following the 1-1 week, USF graduate point guard Stephan Jiggetts was named to the American Athletic Conference weekly honor roll. He averaged 16.5 points, 4.5 assists, and 3.0 rebounds for the week. Against Tulane, Jiggetts had a season-high 23 points and did not turn the ball over once in 40 minutes.
For the Tigers, USF’s performance in the win at Tulane has captured the attention of coach Tubby Smith and his players. In USF’s victory, the Bulls led by as many as 23 points late in the second half before Tulane mounted a closing rally.
“South Florida is playing everyone well,” Smith said. “I’ve been impressed with what they are doing.”
USF also played a formidable UCF team close before dropping a 71-69 decision at home Jan. 20. UCF (13-7, 4-4 American) has league wins this season over Temple and Memphis.
Smith said although the Tigers lost, 62-48, to No. 8 Cincinnati last weekend at home, “the effort was good for the most part, Cincinnati was just very physical and took us out of the game some.”
The Tigers are led by point guard Jeremiah Martin, whose 18.5 points per game are second in the conference. Martin is averaging 19.0 points per game since the start of conference play, which is also second in the AAC. He also averages 4.6 rebounds and 3.8 assists.
- A win against Memphis would be the first conference home win for the Bulls in nearly a year. USF last won at the Sun Dome in AAC play on Feb. 11, 2017, a 64-57 victory over ECU.
- As a team, the Bulls rank third in the AAC in three-point field goal percentage since the start of conference play. USF is shooting 36.1 percent (53-for-147) from three in that span.
- Memphis leads the all-time series 24-4. The Bulls’ last victory against the Tigers came at the Sun Dome, on Feb. 20, 2016. The Bulls won that
- The Tigers are 7-0 when they dish out more than 15 assists.
- Three Bulls — Jiggetts (37.3), freshman Justin Brown (35.9) and Banks(35.7 percent) — shoot 35 percent or better from the three-point arc.
Both of these teams are not close to sniffing a postseason Tournament bid unless something drastic changes in the next month. That being said, Tubby Smith may not have the most talented squad in the AAC, but he knows how to coach them up to play solid team basketball.
LINE: -7.5 Memphis
The line is a little scary if you are laying the points, but I expect the Tigers to win outright.
Memphis 73 USF 68