Memphis Basketball finished their 2021-2022 off-season on Sunday afternoon with wins over Lemoyne-Owen and Lane College. Both of which, as expected, Memphis looked highly impressive and looked deserving of their top 15 preseason rankings.
Now, I know what you’re thinking, it’s just the preseason, and it’s only two games, but three things stood out about this team over the last week.
First, the immediate impact of having Larry Brown and Rasheed Wallace on the bench is self-evident when you watch this Memphis Basketball team play. Compared to years past under Penny Hardaway, this team seems to have a better understanding of the game of Basketball as a whole. Not to mention, having both Larry Brown and Rasheed Wallace on the bench allows for Coach Penny Hardaway to focus on the in-game situations rather than the grind of the development stages of a game.
Second, Memphis fans will love to watch the three-headed monster of Lester Quinones, DeAndre Williams, and Landers Nolley. If there were ever three guys who used the off-season to develop, it would be these three. When you watch Memphis play, you can see the vast improvements these three have made. It’s almost as if last season’s NIT Title run added lighter fluid to already prelit fire. If Memphis were to make a deep run this season at a National Championship, it would be because of the leadership from these three guys.
Lastly, after watching Memphis play their two exhibition games, the hype around this Memphis team is deserved. For the first since the John Calipari days at Memphis, there’s a deserved level of respect surrounding the program heading into a new season. This season might not bring a National Championship to the 901, but fans can expect this team to play for the city and only care about making their brother look good rather than taking all the personal credit for the teams’ success.
Memphis will open their regular season on Tuesday night as the Tigers welcome Tennessee Tech to the FedEx Forum.