Tigers get another shot at Georgetown

The last time Georgetown and Memphis met, University of Memphis guard Joe Jackson turned the ball over with 42 seconds left in regulation and a 78-76 lead.

The last time Georgetown and Memphis met, University of Memphis guard Joe Jackson turned the ball over with 42 seconds left in regulation and a 78-76 lead.

Georgetown converted on the other end and sent the game into overtime, which the Hoyas ultimately won 91-88.

Seven games later, the two teams meet again at the Verizon Center in Washington, D.C., and the equilibrium of the Tigers has shifted almost entirely.

The Tigers are no longer ranked. Joe Jackson is no longer the point guard. Wesley Witherspoon, who played 31 minutes in the last meeting with Georgetown, played just three against Lipscomb on Monday.

In the second of two games against Georgetown this season, the Tigers will look quite different from their Maui showing last month.

"We made some different adjustments with personnel," Memphis coach Josh Pastner said. "In the end, everyone's gotta be ready. We just gotta have (sophomore guard) Will (Barton) continuing to play how he‘s played and drag two or three guys with him."

Oft-criticized last season for not having a true "go-to" scorer, the Tigers now have theirs in Barton, who leads the team with 20.7 points per game. Perhaps somewhat startling, he also leads the team in rebounding at 8.6 per game.

In Pastner's offense, it's important to have guards who can pull down rebounds and lead fast breaks. In the same light, however, sophomore forward Tarik Black is averaging just 4.1 boards per game, which has hampered the Tigers' defensive efforts.

The Tigers gave up 11 offensive rebounds to Georgetown in their Nov. 23 meeting which the Hoyas converted into 24 second chance points.

"We're better on rebounding, if you look at our stats," Pastner said. "It's just the amount of offensive rebounds that we're giving up."

Tonight's game stands to have a resonating impact on the Tigers' season; a win on the road against the Hoyas, and they're catapulted back into the national conversation. Taking another loss, however, would send the preseason Top 10 Tigers to a pedestrian 6-5 and Pastner to an 0-10 record against ranked opponents.

"We're 6-4. We're not 10-0," Pastner said. "Every game's important, whether we're playing Georgetown or whoever. We need as many wins as we can get. No ifs ands or buts about it."


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