Tigers Drop Out of A.P. Poll But Bounce Past Drexel Dragans at FedExForum - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Jarvis Greer

Tigers Drop Out of A.P. Poll But Bounce Past Drexel Dragans at FedExForum

The Memphis Tigers entered Monday's game against Drexel expecting the worst from the National Pollsters after the weekend loss to Syracuse..

They're only half right..

While the U of M DOES fall out of the A.P. Poll for the first time in almost 4-years, the Tigers DO remain in the Coaches' Poll..but just barely, at Number 24.

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) - Tyreke Evans scored 20 points and four

other Tigers finished in double figures as Memphis pulled away

early and easily defeated Drexel 87-49 Monday.

Evans was 8-of-14 from the field as Memphis rebounded from

Saturday's loss to No. 11 Syracuse, although the Memphis

performance was far from flawless.

Robert Dozier had 14 points for Memphis on 6-of-9 shooting

including both 3-pointers, while Shawn Taggart finished with 13

points and seven rebounds. Roburt Sallie added 11 for Memphis,

while Doneal Mack had 10.

Tramayne Hawthorne led the Dragons (2-6) with 26 points.

Memphis struggled over the last four games and despite

overmatching the Dragons, the early lead wasn't enough to avoid the

screaming of Memphis coach John Calipari in an effort to get some

enthusiasm from his team.

Memphis was ranked No. 23 before Saturday's 72-65 loss to the

Orange, and played like a team about to drop out of the polls later

Monday. When the Tigers did, they snapped a string of 64 weeks in

the Top 25, leaving UCLA with the longest successive run in the

polls. Memphis was last unranked at the end of the 2004-05 season.

The Dragons were under the direction of Mike Connors while head

coach Bruiser Flint was serving a one-game suspension after

receiving two technicals in the Dragons' 81-75 loss at Bucknell on

Saturday night. Under Colonial Athletic Association rules, the

ejection comes with a one-game suspension.

That meant Flint, a former assistant to Calipari, would not face

his former boss, but Connors, Drexel's associate head coach, also

worked under Calipari for three years at Massachusetts.

The Tigers' uninspired play drew the wrath of Memphis coach John

Calipari, who was screaming at his players throughout the half.

Calipari chastised them about one-handed rebounds, bellowed about

his team not playing hard and pleaded with them to communicate on

defense.

Making Calipari's displeasure even more evident was that his

voice echoed among the smaller than usual midday crowd that also

seemed quiet. At times, Calipari's antics drew snickers from fans

who could hear his instructions clearly.

When things got really bad, he just went with wholesale

substitutions to see if the next group would be any better. Most of

the time, that unit didn't please Calipari either.

Despite all the displeasure, Drexel still shot 21 percent in the

half, missed five of its six 3-pointers and committed 11 turnovers.

That contributed to Memphis building a double-digit lead early,

fueled by 14 unanswered points as the Dragons went more than 7

minutes without a field goal.

The second half proved better for Memphis, particularly from

outside the arc, where they opened 6-of-9 from 3-point range while

continuing to extend the lead, eventually reaching 44 late in the

game.

Memphis shot 56 percent after halftime, including 67 percent

outside the arc.

Drexel finished the game shooting 28 percent, while committing

18 turnovers.

  The Tigers now take Christmas off.

They'll get back in action December 29th against Cincinnati at FedExForum

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