Memphis Tigers at South Florida Bulls
No. 21 Memphis Tigers Preview
The Memphis Tigers have lost two in a row since a 10-game winning streak, and coach Penny Hardaway is looking for better all-around offense from his young team. Memphis shot 35.7 percent and committed 18 turnovers in Thursday’s loss at Wichita State; the Tigers had similar numbers while falling to visiting Georgia — 36.1 percent shooting and 16 giveaways.
The top three scorers are freshmen, with forward Precious Achiuwa being the only given after recording four consecutive double-doubles and eight this season. He also supplies much of the interior defense, as Memphis entered Saturday ranked second nationally in blocked shots (6.9 per game) and field-goal percentage defense (35.0).
South Florida Bulls Preview
The South Florida Bulls have lost four of six games and have mostly been treading water this season after being picked fifth in the American Athletic Conference preseason coaches poll. The Bulls’ best hope is to assert their strengths and turn this into a defensive battle, as they prefer a slower pace and generate 8.9 steals per game.
USF has at least eight steals in 12 of 16 games and has held all but two opponents below their season scoring average. But the Bulls commit 15.2 turnovers per game, shoot just 41.9 percent from the field and convert a woeful 60.6 percent from the free-throw line. They have two double-digit scorers: David Collins (14.5) and Laquincy Rideau (13.5).