Tigers

The Commercial Appeal - - Sports -

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Com­bine the of­fen­sive re­bounds that Har­d­away pre­vi­ously noted with turnovers, and Mem­phis has al­lowed op­po­nents to at­tempt for 39 more shots than the Tigers over the last two games.

Of the 162 points Har­d­away's team has sur­ren­dered in its last two con­tests, 78 have come off turnovers or sec­ond­chance op­por­tu­ni­ties.

The Tigers could also be with­out their fourth-best re­bounder Sun­day, Alex Lo­max, who left Thurs­day's game with a head in­jury and did not re­turn. But there's good news for Mem­phis. While those sta­tis­tics might be dis­cour­ag­ing, Tu­lane is one of the worst re­bound­ing teams in the AAC.

The Green Wave ranks 285th in the na­tion in re­bound mar­gin, and last in the AAC in that cat­e­gory. That's not ex­actly ideal for Dun­leavy's team, es­pe­cially when con­sid­er­ing Tu­lane ranks third in the coun­try in av­er­age height.

But Har­d­away won't be blinded by the num­bers or Tu­lane's 4-11 record.

"I'm never go­ing to take a team for granted," he said. "I've been watch­ing Tu­lane since the be­gin­ning of the sea­son . ... Their record doesn't in­di­cate how well they are go­ing to play, es­pe­cially at home."

Three of Tu­lane's four wins this sea­son have come at home, and Har­d­away in­sists that Green Wave plays hard in its own build­ing de­spite the small at­ten­dance num­bers.

The first-year Tigers coach is de­ter­mined to make sure his group does not get out­worked for the third game in a row against a team that, on paper, it should dom­i­nate.

"We have to go into this game and play tough," Har­d­away said. "It's not about Xs and Os. It's not about who starts or who doesn't start . ... What­ever time you're on the floor, it's all-out."

MARK WE­BER, THE COM­MER­CIAL AP­PEAL

Mem­phis guard Jeremiah Martin (right) bat­tles ECU for­ward Dim­itrije Spa­so­je­vic (left) for a loose ball on Thurs­day, Jan. 10.

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