Memphis Tigers vs. South Florida Bulls Pick & Prediction JANUARY 18th 2024

This was the type of game Memphis coach Penny Hardaway believed his team could play all along.

The No. 10 Tigers scored a season-high 112 points in a 26-point drubbing at Wichita State on Sunday that increased their winning streak to 10 games and kept them atop the American Athletic Conference.

Memphis tries to keep rolling on Thursday night when it hosts defensive-minded South Florida in another conference matchup.

The Tigers (15-2, 4-0) shot 64.7 percent from the floor and 19 of 30 from beyond 3-point arc. Six Memphis players scored in double figures, led by Jahvon Quinerly and Jaykwon Walton, who each scored 23 points. Quinerly also dished out 11 assists and added four steals.

“That’s awesome to watch,” Hardaway said of Sunday’s display. “That’s how I envisioned this team with all the weapons we have.”

Memphis leading scorer David Jones, who averages 20.9 points and a team-high 6.7 rebounds, added 19 points. He scored 15 in a little over three minutes during the second half to help Memphis pull away. The Tigers also got 14 points off the bench from Nae’Qwan Tomlin.

Perhaps more important: Memphis shared the ball, which had to please Hardaway. He has called out his players’ selfishness, as less than half of their field goals have been assisted.

On Sunday, the Tigers finished with 25 assists on 44 baskets.

“When we do what we did today, playing freely and getting into the paint and shooting those shots, then it can be like that,” Hardaway said. “If it’s going to be like this the rest of the year, it’s going to be a fun, fun, fun year.”

Memphis enters the game ranked in the top 60 in offensive and defensive efficiency, per

Meanwhile, South Florida (9-5, 2-1) is coming off an 81-73 home win Friday night over Rice that gave the Bulls seven wins in eight games. Kasean Pryor carried the Bulls with a career-high 29 points. He tied a program record by scoring 27 points in the second half.

First-year coach Amir Abdur-Rahim, who led Kennesaw State to its first NCAA Tournament berth last season before taking the USF job, praised his team’s willingness to stick with the process through early-season struggles.

“What we’ve done, and what they’ve allowed us to do, is coach them through those hard times,” Abdur-Rahim said. “I’m really proud of these guys — the whole group.”

Chris Youngblood leads the Bulls at 14.9 points per game. Selton Miguel is second at 14.6 and is shooting 47.1 percent shooting from beyond the arc. Pryor’s outburst against Rice upped his scoring average to 10.5; he also leads the team in rebounding at 6.5.

South Florida has made just 43 percent of its shots but has kept turnovers low, averaging fewer than 11 per game. And it has held opponents to 42.9 percent shooting.

–Field Level Media

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