MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - The holiday break is over for the Memphis Tiger Men’s Basketball team. Head Coach Penny Hardaway’s team using the last eight days to implement a new offense for Tuesday’s game against USF. At the FedExForum, U of M was trying to get above .500 in the AAC.
The new offense emphasizing motion, and it pays off early with assists on the first five buckets, and nine different players scoring on the first nine trips. But, it all comes down to defense. Tigers up a point with under ten seconds left.
Caleb Murphy on the drive, but he’s denied by Alex Lomax and DJ Jeffries at the rim as time runs out. Tigers hang on to win it, the final score 58-57.
Alex Lomax is the real hero of this game. After sitting out in the Tulsa game with his thumb injury, he said he realized how important he was to the team and went out there Tuesday night and just played basketball.
Midway through the second half, he had the game-changing play. Coming up with a steal, and one. Penny Hardaway says that’s the Alex Lomax he’s used to seeing. Lomax with the ultimate mic drop when talking about fans turning against him.
“If I just want to speak the truth the people that turned against me are probably the people I used to beat by 30-40 in high school,” said Lomax. “And it’s their nephews, or their aunties, or uncles are still upset from things I did in middle school or high school. I never really lost in this city. So they kind of still want to hold a grudge, and waiting on me to do bad, but that’s life. I’m kind of glad that’s happening because I need some type of adversity.”
Coach Hardaway overall pleased with his new offense. But the defense was the difference-maker. He called it championship defense. Eight blocks and 14 steals in the one-point win, Tigers next game on the Road at Temple Saturday, 11:00 am.