18. Memphis Tigers (33-4) - The losses were heavy – point guard Darius Washington, and small forwards Rodney Carney and Shawne Williams. Not only were they the heart of the team, but the three leading scorers.
Washington, the best point guard the program has seen since Penny Hardaway, will hurt most, but if freshman Willie Kemp is as good as advertised, perhaps the falloff isn’t too dramatic. There are shooters – Chris Douglas-Roberts and Antonio Anderson – and bangers insider – Joey Dorsey and Robert Dozier. So expect another waltz through Conference USA with, at most, three losses.
Will the Tigers thrive with more balance than stardom? Who emerges as the team leader? Mr. Clutch? Just how long until 23-year-old guard Jeremy Hunt gets booted from the team again for beating up women? (Cold comment, ed.)
PLAYER TO WATCH: Antonio Anderson
NEWCOMER TO WATCH: PG Willie Kemp.
BLIND GUESS AT MARCH PENETRATION: First round