Memphis Tigers vs. Christian Brothers University Lady Buccaneers Takeaways
In the Tigers’ first action of the year, they came away with the victory against the Lady Bucs 71-61. Senior, Gazmyne Herdon led the team in scoring with 11 points as they outlasted the Lady Bucs in the defensive battle.
Chemistry is still being developed
Even with dozens of practices under their belt, Memphis still had the look of a team that was playing with each other for the first time.
To be fair, it’s to be expected when you’re introducing more new players than those who are returning. Not to mention including three players in your starting lineup who hadn’t suited up for the team last year.
Forwards Dulcy Fankam Menjiadeu, Keke Hunter and Lanetta joined Gazmyne Herndon and Jamirah Shutes as the team’s starters.
The group started off disorientated and committed three turnovers in the first 45 second of the game.
They cleaned things up a bit more, but still committed eight turnovers in the first half.
Melissa McFerrin spot to the media about her team’s decision-making and said she that it was just early season jitters.
“I think it’s just a result of it being the first game,” McFerrin said. “There was a lot of people handling the ball and we haven’t worked against a zone defense like there’s a lot. Our guards have to make better decision so that we can find better shots.”
In the second half, despite their efforts to clean up those mistakes, they committed 13 more turnovers and finished the game with 21.
Luckily for the Tigers, this is just an exhibition game and they have over 30 games to develop that chemistry with one another.
Gazmyne Herndon is their do-it-all player
It didn’t take Herndon long to get back into the groove that she’d found towards the end of last season.
The senior started at point guard for the team and helped guide her teammates to their right positions to be successful.
She finished the game with 11 points, five assists, five rebounds, three steals and a block in 21 minutes of action.
Following her game, she spoke with the media about what it felt like to be back on the court.
“I feel like I played pretty good,” Herndon said. “I need to work on the little things like the missed layups that I could have easily made.”
She’s the team’s only senior and said that because of that she feels it more necessary to take on a larger role.
“It means a lot to me to be the only senior,” Herndon said. “It shows that I have to step up into the leadership role more.”
If this game is any indication, she should maintain her starting point guard job and do big things throughout the year.
Outside shooting has become a focal point for the team
When McFerrin began recruiting for this 2019 season, she knew that she wanted her new players to be bigger, more physical and most importantly, better shooters.
That’s where players like Madison Griggs and the aforementioned Hunter come in because they were some of the top scorers at their positions.
So, when it was game time, it was no surprise players took more shots from outside of the paint.
Still, 42 of their 71 points came from the paint, showing that that will have to be their bread and butter until their shooting improves.
They also made it more of a point to attempt three-point shots. In the game they attempted 15 shots from long range and made one of them.
It’s not the best stats by any means, but it shows that they have a trust in themselves and their teammates that they can make those shots.
Herndon spoke with the media about her team’s aggressive shooting and said that it’s something that the team will keep getting better at.
“I think those shots will come when we make the right ones,” Herndon said. “We have the talent to knock those shots down.”
For an exhibition game, it was nice to get a chance to see a bulk of the latest Tigers, even if it was in a limited capacity.
When the Tigers’ begin their season next Tuesday in their season opener against Alcorn State, I’m sure the Tigers’ will prioritize fixing mistakes and making the most of the shots that they take.
The Lady Braves will be traveling to Elma Roane Fieldhouse next Tuesday at 5 p.m. as the Tigers open what should be an exciting 2019-2020 season.