Wichita State vs Memphis Preview and Prediction
Wichita State vs Memphis Preview
Losses aren’t common for the Wichita State Shockers. But the losses are piling up for the Shockers in AAC play.
“Every team (in the American Athletic Conference) has a guy that can really go off on you … potential NBA guy. You have to be ready to play,” coach Greg Marshall told The Sunflower, Wichita State’s student newspaper. “If you hit the snooze too many times on one of these teams, you’ll get an L.”
The Shockers (17-5, 7-3 American), in the midst of losing three of their past five games, fell to No. 22 in The Associated Press Top 25 on Monday. Marshall’s squad already has three losses to conference opponents — make that unranked conference opponents — with a trip to Memphis to take on the Tigers on Tuesday night.
Memphis (14-9, 5-5) has its own problems, but has lost only twice at home all season.
The Tigers are also slumping, having lost three of four, including an 88-85 overtime loss to East Carolina on Saturday in a game that head coach Tubby Smith called out his players.
“We probably need some psychological help. Really, I’m serious,” Smith told the Memphis Commercial Appeal, which called the loss humiliating. “There’s strange things. When you have to scream and holler from the start of the game to get in their stance, to sprint back, pick it up, run harder, it’s a real issue.”
Junior forward Kyvon Davenport is averaging 12.9 points, 6.6 rebounds and 1.5 blocks per game but he has stepped up his play against AAC opponents. He has recorded a double-double in three of his last four games and has pulled in double figure rebounds in his last four straight games.
Junior guard Jeremiah Martin leads the Tigers in scoring averaging 19.4 points, 4.6 rebounds and 4.0 assists per game. He is averaging 25 points in his last eight games and has taken control of Memphis’ offense.
Martin scored 33 points in the Tigers overtime loss to East Carolina and was quoted saying this after the game…”We took a bad loss, but this should be motivation for us,” Martin said, “to let us know we got to come out and play every team hard in the conference no matter the record.”
The Shockers need Shaq Morris
The loss to Temple detracted from senior center Shaq Morris becoming just the 46th player in school history to reach 1,000 points. He scored 24 points and grabbed nine rebounds in a losing cause.
“When he is focused and ready to go, he’s a problem,” Wichita State guard Austin Reaves told the Wichita Eagle. “That’s what we’ve got for these last three games and hopefully it will continue over.”
In those last three games, Morris is averaging 21 points and shooting 68 percent from the field. His increased production is not an accident.
“My teammates, they really want me to lead and be a dominant force on the court,” Morris told the Eagle. “They give me the ball as much as they can and when you get a feeling like that, you’ve got to play that role. I love that they trust me with that. We all trust each other.”
Tubby Smith always has his team prepared when they host opponents on their home floor–only losing two games at home this season is a testament to Tubby’s coaching acumen.
I expect Memphis’ third home loss to come tonight. Wichita State may be struggling, but this team is too talented to consistently lose to middle-of-the-pack teams in the AAC.
LINE: -9 Wichita State
Lay the points and watch the Shockers win by double-digits.
Wichita State 78 Memphis 65