Screening report and score prediction
As Memphis Basketball’s chances of rallying against SMU dwindled on Thursday, so did the reported crowd of more than 13,000 inside the FedExForum.
Penny Hardaway, the Tigers’ fourth-year coach, took notice.
“It’s embarrassing for me to see the fans leave early,” he said after his team’s third straight loss and eighth in their last 12 games. “I’ve never seen this in my life (in Memphis) and it doesn’t suit me at all.”
Hardaway won’t have to worry about that the next time the Tigers play.
Memphis (9-8, 3-4 AAC) is scheduled to take on last-place Tulsa (6-10, 0-5) at the Donald W. Reynolds Center on Sunday (2 p.m., ESPN). The Tigers haven’t won in Tulsa since March 3, 2012, nearly a decade.
Here’s what else you need to know about the game.
PENNY HARDAWAY: ‘Stop disrespecting me bro’: Penny Hardaway loses her temper after Memphis’ 3rd straight loss
MEMPHIS BASKETBALL: The Tigers lose their third in a row. 3 takeaways from SMU’s win over Memphis
GIANNOTO: There’s a problem (beep) with Penny Hardaway’s answer to this stupid question (beep)
Alex Lomax is back?
Main point guard Alex Lomax was the only backup the Tigers got against SMU.
Lomax, who missed five games with a left ankle problem after Memphis’ loss to Tulane on Dec. 29, has angered fans this season largely because of his tendency to commit critical turnovers. . But his return has been welcome as the Tigers continue to deal with a series of injuries among starters and major contributors.
In 26 minutes, Lomax scored five points and had five rebounds, five assists and four steals. He only made one turnover.
But, after the game, Lomax said he got hit on a late game.
“Right now, I don’t feel what I want. But I’m good for, like, for future aspects,” he said in a radio interview. “It was just an unfortunate game where I tripped at the end of the game. I really won’t be able to tell (how bad it is) until (Friday).”
As to whether Williams and Nolley (or Jayden Hardaway and Chandler Lawson, who also missed Thursday’s game) will be available on Sunday, Hardaway didn’t dare guess.
“It’s just day to day,” he said.
Tulsa reconnaissance report
The Golden Hurricane have lost five straight and are 5-5 at home this season.
More recently, Frank Haith’s team got blasted by Cincinnati on Thursday. But Tulsa has been competitive despite its lousy record, losing its last four games by a combined 15 points. That includes a 3-point loss at Memphis on Jan. 4.
In that game against the Tigers, Sam Griffin scored 25 points and Jeriah Horne had 20. But Memphis got double-digit contributions from Earl Timberlake, Malcolm Dandridge and Lester Quinones to survive Tulsa. Freshman Josh Minott also helped with 11 rebounds to give the Tigers a 38-31 edge on the boards.
In Tulsa’s loss to Cincinnati, he gave up 16 3-pointers. The Golden Hurricane’s 3-point defense has been a problem this season, as they rank 332nd in the nation there.
Memphis 65, Tulsa 64: The list of Tigers is exhausted. They also have a lot of work to do. But nothing will stop them from beating the worst team in the AAC.
Contact sportswriter Jason Munz at [email protected] or on Twitter @munzly.