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AAC Basketball News and Notes | Memphis Continues Slide

This week was not too kind to AAC basketball. With Memphis’ skid and no other marquee wins this week, Houston is now the only ranked team in the conference. However, Memphis is still receiving some votes in both the college basketball rankings. If teams like Cincinnati and Wichita State can string together some more wins this week, they could possibly see themselves vault up into the discussion as well. Even with just one ranked team, it’s clear that this conference will be close from start to finish.

With such a long season ahead, AAC basketball is still wide open. Leads tend to shrink once the conference season starts anyways. Here is a shakedown of how the past week played out.

javon greene usf aac college basketball
Credit: Mary Holt/South Florida Athletics

AAC Basketball Weekly Headlines

While there weren’t as many headlines as in past weeks, there was still a fair share that happened in the AAC. For starters, the Memphis Tigers have now lost three straight to unranked opponents. The streak sees them drop out of the AP rankings entirely. The Wichita State Shockers got an impressive win at Oklahoma State before losing at home to Kansas State.

While there is only one ranked opponent for an AAC team this week, it’s quite the matchup with the ninth-ranked Alabama Crimson Tide hosting the 14th-ranked Houston Cougars.

Javon Greene Ice Cold in USF’s Upset Loss to SC State

Coming into this season, there were high hopes for the fifth-year transfer from George Mason. While he did average 41% from beyond the arc coming into this game, he actually shot worse from inside the arc, shooting just 40%. In a game where every bucket was needed, Greene was nowhere to be seen, shooting an abysmal 1-13 from the field and missing on all five of his three-point attempts.

With starters Caleb Murphy and Jake Boggs shooting efficiently, all that was needed from Greene was just a little more than the worst performance of his career. Unfortunately for the Bulls, tonight wasn’t the night, as his only real contributions were from the free throw line where he hit all six attempts. Not only did he shoot poorly, but he left his team out to dry by fouling out of the game with just under two minutes left. In a game this close, you’d assume your best players would at least be able to stop from fouling out in case of overtime. His shooting definitely hurt the team, but his lack of discipline may have been the final nail in the coffin.

Memphis Basketball college
Credit: Dale Zanine/USA TODAY Sports

Emoni Bates’ Immaturity Leads to Memphis’ Third Straight Loss

In fairness to Emoni Bates, he is only 17 and, if he didn’t reclassify, he would be a junior in high school right now. With that in mind, you’d still expect better awareness and decision-making from a five-star recruit. The problem with Bates wasn’t his poor shooting, it was the shots he was taking that’s problematic. Bates made just one of 10 shots and it’s easy to see why with the shots he was taking.

No possession better emphasizes his immaturity than his late-game decision-making. Down four with 21 seconds left, Bates grabbed an offensive rebound, sprinted to the three-point line and took a contested fadeaway three. With so much time left and the game still so close, that is the last thing you want or need in that scenario. He then compounded that issue by stepping out of bounds while receiving a pass with three seconds left. Looking at his late-game “hero ball” efforts and combining them with a love for taking tough runners, floaters and contested jumpers all game, and it’s clear that Emoni Bates needs plenty of maturing if Memphis wants to go anywhere.

Updated AAC Basketball Standings

TeamConference RecordOverall Record
Houston4-015-2
SMU4-113-4
Tulane4-27-8
Cincinnati3-213-5
Temple3-210-6
East Carolina2-211-5
Memphis3-39-7
UCF2-310-5
USF1-36-10
Wichita State0-49-7
Tulsa0-46-9

Upcoming AAC Basketball Games to Note

Even though there is only one ranked opponent facing off against an AAC team, there are still plenty of intriguing matchups this week. As we get closer to the winter break, here are some big games to watch.

Dayton at SMU

Date: Wednesday, Dec. 8
Time: 8:00 pm EST
TV Coverage: ESPN+

Murray State at Memphis

Date: Friday, Dec. 10
Time: 8:00 pm EST
TV Coverage: ESPN+

Cincinnati at Xavier

Date: Saturday, Dec. 11
Time: 8:30 pm EST
TV Coverage: FS1

#14 Houston at #9 Alabama

Date: Saturday, Dec. 11
Time: 10:00 pm EST
TV Coverage: ESPN2


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