Cincinnati Bearcats at Memphis Tigers
Cincinnati Bearcats Preview
Since going an underwhelming 7-5 in nonconference play, Cincinnati is 3-1 in the American Athletic Conference under first-year coach John Brannen. The Bearcats play with a similar aggressive defense that was the program’s hallmark under longtime coach Mick Cronin, holding opponents to just 49.7 points per game in their three AAC wins. Seven-foot-1 center Chris Vogt keys both the defense as an adept shot-blocker, and the offense with a 2-point field-goal average of 70.5 percent.
With Vogt drawing attention in the interior, Jaevin Cumberland complements with Cincinnati’s most effective 3-point shooting touch. Vogt, Jaevin Cumberland, Jarron Cumberland and Keith Williams all have double-figures scoring averages.
Memphis Tigers Preview
Memphis rebounded from a two-game losing streak with a Sunday win at South Florida, but not before having to rally from a 14-point deficit in the second half. The Tigers have endured slow offensive starts in each of their past three games, including losses to Georgia on Jan. 4 and Wichita State on Jan. 9.
Memphis played the first of those games without D.J. Jeffries, who returned to the lineup at Wichita State from an illness but scored only three points. He finished with three points at South Florida, as well. Center Precious Achiuwa continues to post double-doubles regularly, carrying the load while Jeffries and Lester Quinones, returning from a hand injury in recent weeks, get up to speed.