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November 18, 2012

Atlantis Preview: Memphis

Over the next seven days, PowerMizzou.com will preview every team in the 2012 Battle for Atlantis. Missouri opens play in the tournament at noon Central time on Thanksgiving Day and we will have complete coverage of the Tigers throughout the three-day event.

Our previews continue today with the Memphis Tigers.

Coach: Josh Pastner
Last Year: 26-9, 13-3 CUSA (1st)
Postseason: NCAA 2nd Round
Returning Starters: 4

Strengths: Four starters return from last year and all are names familiar to Missouri fans. The Tigers recruiting Joe Jackson, Chris Crawford, Adonis Thomas and Tarik Black out of high school, but all signed with Memphis. Jackson is a speedy point guard whose size (6-foot-1) could give Mizzou some trouble up front. Memphis doesn't have any seven-footers, but Thomas (6.-foot-7, 252), Black (6-foot-9, 262), Ferrakohn Hall (6-foot-8, 220) and Shaq Goodwin (6-foot-8, 246) give the Tigers plenty of length and muscle up front. Pastner should have decent depth behind an experienced front line.

Weaknesses: The only starter Memphis lost is Will Barton who was only the CUSA player of the year last season at Memphis. At 6-foot-6, Barton scored 18 points per game and grabbed eight boards while shooting nearly 51% from the field. That production is not easy to replace. But the Tigers figure to take a committee approach to replacing him. There isn't a whole lot not to like about Pastner's squad.

Overview: Memphis is always one of the nation's more athletic teams and Pastner has recruited very well. Early season tournaments are always a bit of a wild card. Will Memphis be in mid-season form or will they take a while to round into shape? There is little doubt the Tigers feature the talent to win the whole tournament if they're playing well.

Other Atlantis Previews: Stanford, Northern Iowa, Louisville

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