It wasn’t pretty by any means, but the Memphis Tigers find a way to defeat the pesky St. Louis Billikens behind an impressive outing from Tyler Harris. Without Tyler Harris tonight, it’s hard to see how Memphis would have fended off St. Louis and left the Fed Ex Forum with a win.
Every time St. Louis would try to cut the Memphis lead, it was a barrage of Tyler Harris who would shut down the run and help sustain momentum for the hometown Memphis Tigers. Tyler Harris not only led the way in scoring for the Tigers tonight in their win over St. Louis, but he provided a spark to this team that many have been longing to see out of him since he first stepped foot on campus. A lot of folks around the program have hinted at Tyler Harris having the ability to be one of the core leaders of this Memphis Tigers Basketball team. Like anything in life, it took time and patience from Penny Hardaway and his coaching staff to allow Harris to fully realize his true potential as one of the core leaders of this team.
As far as the rest of the team goes? Memphis still has a long way to go until they can be considered elite but to earn a double-digit win over a potential A-10 contender in St. Louis is a dang good start. There were moments in tonight’s game where the Tigers looked like one of the best teams in the country, but then there was a majority of the first half where the Tigers looked like the same Memphis team from last season. I will say when Coach Hardaway goes with the lineup that consists of Tyler Harris, Emoni Bates, and Jalen Duren, then good things happen. On top of that, when Coach Hardaway adds DeAndre Williams to that mix, then you have a lineup in which the Tigers make it nearly impossible to stop.
Overall, Tuesday night was a nice win for the Tigers. It was the type of win that you feel good about all week, especially leading into a matchup on Friday night against Western Kentucky. St. Louis is a quality opponent, and the Tigers proved yet again this year’s team is better than any other team under Head Coach Penny Hardaway.
Memphis will welcome the Hilltoppers of Western Kentucky to the FedEx Forum on Friday night for a 7:00 tip-off time.