The Memphis Tigers men’s basketball team bounced back from a disappointing home loss to UT-Arlington to defeat Ohio State Friday in overtime 81-76 on a neutral-court in Miami.
Memphis will go for its fourth win of the young season Tuesday when Louisiana Tech visits FedExForum to play a nationally televised game on CBS Sports Network that will tipoff at 8 p.m. to wrap up their participation in the Hall of Fame Invitational.
“We’ve got a really good team we’re playing (Tuesday) in LA Tech,” Tigers’ coach Josh Pastner said. “They’re athletic; they’ve got good players 1-5. We’re going to have to do a good job in multiple areas.”
The all-time series between Memphis and LA Tech is tied at two wins a piece with the most recent game back coming on Dec. 20, 2005 saw the Tigers come away with a 76-58 home win.
The Tigers have been led this season by freshman forward Dedric Lawson, who has lived up to the preseason hype, averaging 15 points, nine rebounds and 2.4 blocks per game, leading the team in each category.
Lawson was named the AAC Rookie of the Week for the second time this season.
“I’m honored to be in this position to have this award,” Lawson said. “I’m looking forward to improving each game to try and continue to get this award.”
The younger of the two Lawson brothers said he is just trying to meet the expectations of his coaches.
“Coach Pastner told me from the start that he expects a lot out of me, and I came in to this year mentally ready and physically ready to fulfill the needs of my team,” he said.
Senior forward Shaq Goodwin, who was expected to be one of the leaders for the Tigers this season, has also stepped up and put up good numbers through five games.
The former McDonald’s All-American has averaged 12.2 points, 8.4 rebounds and 2.2 blocks this season, all of those numbers rank second on the team, trailing only Lawson in each category.
The Tigers have struggled so far this season from three, shooting just 23.5 percent, which ranks 348th in the country.
As for Louisiana Tech, they come in to the matchup against Memphis boasting a 5-0 record with wins over two teams the Tigers have already played – UT-Arlington and Ohio State.
Senior guard Alex Hamilton comes in averaging 15 points, seven rebounds and 5.4 assists for the season – including a season-high 24 in the team’s win at Ohio State.
“Hamilton is good,” Pastner said. “He’s quick, he’s fast, he can do a lot. He’s just a high-level player. I would assume he’s vying for conference player of the year once it’s all said and done in their league.”
Joining Hamilton in the backcourt will be Jacobi Boykins, who’s averaging 12 points and shooting 39 percent from three, and Qiydar David, averaging 10.8 points and 6.2 rebounds. The starting lineup is expected to be rounded out by 6-foot-8 forward Erik McCree, averaging 15.2 points and 7.4 rebounds, and 7-foot center Joniah White, who’s blocking 4.5 shots per 40 minutes and shooting 55 percent from the field.
Memphis forward Dedric Lawson averaged 12 points and 10 rebounds per game as he earned AAC Rookie of the Week honors for the second consecutive week.