Coming into Thursday’s matchup, SMU basketball was looking to stay on the heels of Houston for the top spot in the AAC. For Memphis, they were looking to try to get back on track as they were just 3-3 since their resounding upset of Alabama in December. With Memphis 7-1 at home and SMU just 3-2 on the road, the game provided both teams an opportunity to make a statement.
It was a sloppy game to start, as SMU took the reigns early. The Mustangs jumped out to a 16-2 lead and it looked like more of the same from Memphis. The Tigers clawed back to just a two-point deficit with 10 minutes left before SMU took over. SMU basketball will certainly be riding high after a great road win while Memphis will again be searching for answers.
Memphis Tigers Start Slow Again
In another disappointing performance, Memphis can blame nobody but themselves for a slow start out the gate. Memphis has struggled with injuries the entire season and has had trouble getting any consistency in the starting lineup. Even with that, this team has too much talent to be starting the way they did Thursday night. Memphis had a huge size advantage, as no SMU starter was taller than 6’5″. Memphis refused to pound it inside, and when they tried, they turned the ball over.
Memphis made a run to get the deficit to just two points halfway through the second half. This would’ve been a completely different game had they not started so slowly. Memphis committed five turnovers in the first three minutes. The Tigers also only scored two points in the first nine minutes of play. For as much talent as Memphis has, they will beat very few teams with that kind of start. No matter how good the defense is, if the offense can’t even hold on to the ball, Memphis is doomed.
Weathers’ Twins Carry SMU
Grad transfers Marcus and Michael Weathers balled out in a big way for the Mustangs. Marcus was starting in just his tenth game of the season and Michael in his fourth. From the way they played, however, you would think they’ve been starting every game this season. The Weathers’ twins combined for 22 points, 14 rebounds, four steals and two blocks. Offensively, they took plenty of pressure off of guard Kendric Davis and got Memphis forward Jalen Duren in foul trouble early.
Defensively, they made sure to capitalize on some lazy plays made by Memphis. The Tigers were loose with the ball but more times than not, SMU was able to capitalize thanks to some good hustle plays by the two brothers. With Kendric Davis and Emmanuel Bandoumel providing plenty of star power every night for SMU, the emergence of the Weathers twins can take SMU to new heights. With just a half-game between the Mustangs and the Houston Cougars for the top spot in the AAC, SMU has a great chance to take the conference by storm.