The Memphis Tigers defeated the Lane College Dragons 106-49 in their first exhibition game of the 2023-24 basketball season.
For the third consecutive season, Coach Hardaway and company welcomed Memphis’s all-time assist leader Andre Turner, and his Lane College Dragons for an exhibition game.
The Tigers held out Alabama transfer and projected started Jahvon Quinerly for precautionary reasons, giving Jayden Hardaway the start. The Tigers started transfers Jaykwon Walton, David Jones, Caleb Mills, and Jordan Brown along with Hardaway.
Memphis won the tip-off and started with Caleb Mills serving as the point guard. Jayden Hardaway started the scoring with a steal and layup. Caleb Mills hit a floater on the next Tigers possession and David Jones hit the Tigers first three of the game from the left wing after that.
UCF transfer point guard Jayhlon Young was the first Tiger off the bench, with Malcom Dandridge, Ashton Hardaway, and Nick Jourdain coming in at the first media timeout.
Penny gave the starters their second run of the game together in the latter part of the half, and the Tigers built a 25-point lead.
The Tigers ran two distinct lineups in the first half in shifts with the starters playing together and a seven-man bench, with Jonathan Pierre and freshman Carl Cherenfant alternating roles.
At the half, Memphis led 54-18 thanks to an incredibly balanced scoring effort with Caleb Mills leading the way with 9 points. The Tigers shot 58.8% from the field in the first half including a 7-10 performance from 3-point range.
Memphis continued to pile on in the second half, dominating both ends of the floor.
The Tigers won comfortably 106-49.
The Tigers showed off their three-point shooting ability, hitting 9-for-18 on the game. Penny figures to have seven or eight legitimate threats from the perimeter.
Despite having 11 newcomers on the roster, the Memphis offense looked very smooth. The Tigers dished out 24 assists, and every player that came into the game scored outside of walk-on Noah Stansbury.
Malcolm Dandridge looked healthy and in shape, putting up 14 points and 6 rebounds. Dandridge and Jordan Brown should be a tough duo to guard in the American Conference.
David Jones showed versatility, leading the team with a +45 plus-minus and putting up 17 points, 8 rebounds, and 5 assists.
After a historically good season from the charity stripe a year ago, Memphis struggled from the free throw line in this exhibition. It’s just one game, but free throws have plagued the Tigers for years.
While Lane College struggled from the field, they were able to get 13 offensive rebounds, which is an area where Penny Hardaway’s teams have struggled historically.
Assuming Jahvon Quinerly’s absence is nothing serious, the rotation seems to be fairly set in stone. Quinerly, Mills, Jones, Walton, and Brown seem poised to be the starting lineup, while Malcolm Dandridge, the Hardaway brothers, Nick Jourdain, and Jayhlon Young look to be the 2nd unit. Carl Cherenfant and Jonathan Pierre were the next two in the pecking order.
Notably, freshman JJ Taylor did not see action until after the under-16-minute timeout in the second half. While this could have been purely experimental, it is worth noting that it is highly unlikely the Tigers will play 12 or 13 guys on a night-to-night basis. Taylor could be a candidate for a redshirt.
The Tigers will play their second and final exhibition game of the year on Thursday, Nov. 2nd at 7:00 P.M. CT at FedExForum.