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Five takeaways from Memphis' four-game win streak

<p>Jeremiah Martin goes up for a layup against Wichita State.</p>
Jeremiah Martin goes up for a layup against Wichita State.

 The Memphis Tigers have won four consecutive games after a three-game losing streak in conference play.

The Tigers are currently  fifth in the American Athletic Conference standings. Memphis is 18-11 and 9-7 in conference play and is trying to earn a first-round bye and a fourth seed in the AAC tournament. 


1. Post-season is not out of the question.


The Tigers have two games left before the AAC tournament. Under former head coach Josh Pastner, Memphis was an eight seed in the 2014 NCAA Tournament and reached the sweet 16.

The Tigers will most likely have to win the AAC tournament to reach the NCAA Tournament, but the NIT is not out of reach. The Tigers have seen three consecutive seasons without post-season bids.


2. Tubby Smith claims he knows what to do.


The Tigers’ head coach Tubby Smith was under fire earlier this season. A petition to fire Smith has more than 800 signatures on Last week, after the Tigers gained their third win in a row, Smith said he was confident in his coaching ability.

“I’ve been in this business 45 years. I know what to do,” Smith said after Memphis upset Houston. “I’m secure in who I am. I’m pretty damn successful at what I do.


3. Martin is out for the season, but the Tigers seem to be okay.


The league’s top scorer, Jeremiah Martin, missed Memphis’ 70-67 win over SMU due to a hip injury, but Memphis had five players in double-figures. Martin was back for Memphis’ win against Tulane. When Memphis returned home,  Martin went down with less than six minutes left in the first half. He returned to the bench in a boot. It was announced Friday Martin would miss the rest of the season.

“Tiger faithful, I would like to thank you ALL for your outpouring love and support through this past season and especially over the last 24 hours,” Martin tweeted. “Although this season will not end the way I would have liked for it to, this season was developing into something special … My rehab begins NOW! Months from now, I will return from the injury better than ever.”

Martin will need to take four to six months off to heal from his injury.


4. Number four, Raynere Thornton.


Thornton has become valuable to the Tiger offense. In just 19 minutes in the win against Houston, the junior saw a career-high 21 points, five rebounds, and he did not commit a foul.

He saw more playing time in the Tigers’ win over UConn on Sunday. He scored 16 points and 15 points were from beyond the arc. Thornton has shot above 80 percent from deep in the last two games, and the Tigers need him to continue to put up consistent numbers with Martin out.


5. Tigers want to win at home and have two more chances to do so.


Memphis’ last two conference matches are at home against opponents they have already seen this season. Memphis beat South Florida on the road, and they lost by three points to East Carolina.

The Tigers have played well at home this season, going 13-4. The players have said many times they would  like to get wins at home and “protect the home court.”

Jeremiah Martin goes up for a layup against Wichita State.

Victor Enoh gets a dunk against Wichita State. The forward saw 15 minutes in the win over Houston.

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