Tigers seniors thankful for time spent at UofM

Tigers seniors thankful for time spent at UofM

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - The Memphis Tigers end the regular season on Saturday night against Tulsa at FedExForum.

It'll be senior night for five Tigers, who have taken different paths to the Bluff City.

Saturday night isn't the final time seniors Jeremiah Martin, Raynere Thornton, Kyvon Davenport, Mike Parks and Kareem Brewton will play at FedExForum this season.

The Tigers host the AAC tournament at the forum next week, but the matchup against Tulsa will be the final time the seniors will play at the Forum in the regular season.

"It's going to be emotional that it's going to end here, but I know I have to keep going, we still have the conference tournament next week, so, we have to bounce back and try to win that,” Martin said.

Martin’s main objective is to win the conference tournament, so the Tigers can get a spot in the NCAA Tournament.

He's the only one in this senior class that's been at Memphis all four years.

The Memphis native has had three different coaches in his time with the Tigers and has yet to play postseason basketball.

“I feel confident. I feel like we play our best basketball at home, and we feed off of our great crowd that we have, and I feel like it’s going to be great,” Martin said. “I feel like we’re going to win it, and we’re going to shock a lot of people.”

Davenport couldn’t even dribble a basketball until high school but dominated the JUCO ranks, ultimately earning a scholarship at Memphis.

Tigers head coach Penny Hardaway says Davenport is 'unstoppable' when he wants to be.

As senior night approaches this is how Davenport wants to be remembered.

"I'd like to be remembered as a good teammate, a great person, exciting person to be around, no bad vibes towards me, or people look at me like off the wall,” Davenport said. “If you come to me I'm going to talk to everybody. I'm a friendly person, so, just a great teammate."

For Brewton, Penny’s arrival as head coach changed everything.

Brewton says he's the ultimate competitor and the program-changing presence of Penny is what he will remember most.

"I be having people talking to me, they be in their car, 'how you doing Kareem. Good game.' I can tell more people be watching the games since coach got here,” Brewton said. “Fact that we're his first team and everything. You already know, it just feels exciting that you have him around you and stuff."

Parks and Thornton both came to Memphis from junior colleges, and both have faced major adversity in their lives.

Parks was once homeless, and Thornton overcame a lot of hurdles to get to this point.

"I'm just going to be feeling unreal, because I've made it a long, long way,” Parks said.

“It’s just been amazing,” Thornton said. “It’s been a blessing to play for both coaches. Playing for both Coach Smith and Coach Hardaway. In the last two years I’ve learned more basketball than I have playing my entire career.”

When the ball tips off Saturday, these five Tiger seniors want to win and keep winning, hoping they’re known as the class to end the UofM’s postseason drought.

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