Memphis vs Michigan Pick & Prediction for Wednesday
Photo by Tyler Schank/NCAA Photos via Getty Images. Pictured: Penny Hardaway (Memphis)
Memphis vs Michigan Pick & Prediction
The Battle 4 Atlantis is regularly one of the best Feast Week events — outside of the Maui Invitational. The field in Nassau, Bahamas, provides no shortage of firepower, and that starts with Michigan vs. Memphis on Wednesday.
Below, we have a Memphis vs. Michigan pick and prediction for Wednesday, Nov. 22.
Memphis fans probably aren't accustomed to seeing truly elite offenses in the Penny Hardaway era. That’s the one area where Memphis disappoints in the biggest moments.
In a small sample this season, though, Memphis looks lethal on offense.
In three games, Memphis sits 33rd in Offensive Efficiency, per KenPom, and 38th in Defensive Efficiency. While efficiency numbers aren't the end-all-be-all, those numbers display a level of consistency from Memphis on both ends.
Moreover, Coach Hardaway's portal mindset was to bring in offensively-skilled, experienced players. So far, it’s worked out. Memphis is 3-0 with three double-digit point margins in all three games.
The Tigers' biggest challenge came against Missouri. Mizzou had Memphis on the ropes in the first 20 minutes, until Memphis' offense found its footing and changed the game.
The trio of David Jones, Jahvon Quinerly and Jaykwon Walton is carrying the Tigers' potent offense. That trio accounts for 43 of Memphis’ 85 total points.
The aspect that makes the Tigers so dangerous? All three are capable shot-creators but also can score in offensive flow. It’s not always coming in hero-ball spots.
Michigan looked terrific over the season’s first three games, with convincing wins over UNC Asheville, Youngstown State and St. John’s.
But the Michigan excitement came to a pause when Long Beach State stunned the Wolverines in Ann Arbor on Friday. The defense allowed the Beach to score 94 points in the loss.
Still, head coach Juwan Howard is out while recovering for surgery over the offseason. In Howard’s absence, Phil Martelli is holding down the fort in the best way imaginable.
Guard Dug McDaniel’s ascent into college basketball stardom is one of the sport’s biggest headlines. McDaniel is the straw that stirs the drink for the Wolverines' offense, averaging over 20 points and six assists per game.
Between McDaniel and forward Olivier Nkamhoua, Michigan offers plenty of offensive pop. It’s always good when a team can beat you inside and out, and that’s what Michigan does.
I also have no clue where Michigan scores aside from McDaniel and Nkamhoua. You don't "need" another scoring threat like McDaniel and Nkamhoua, but which of Nimari Burnett, Terrance Williams II and Will Tschetter step up in big moments?
Burnett did against St John's, and Williams did so against Asheville. Which will be the third guy against Memphis? That's my only Michigan offensive issue.
The biggest concern, though, is defense. Simply accounting for losing Hunter Dickinson improves the offense a bit, but allowing 94 points to Long Beach is discouraging.
Michigan’s defense faces a difficult test against the strong offense of Memphis.
As the Wolverines' defense struggles, it’s a tough time to play Memphis. The Tigers' length and shooting ability could completely dominate the Wolverines' defense, which already struggles to stop dribble penetration.
Both teams boast plenty of wing and perimeter length, so neither team has an advantage there. The only noted difference is Memphis is significantly more skilled and athletic in the wing spots than Michigan.
Sorry to reference the Long Beach loss again, Michigan fans, but this must be said: Long Beach hunted out Williams' defense, which clearly worked.
So, I think Memphis may look to follow a similar blueprint. That skill differential becomes notable.
Pick: Memphis -1
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