BARTLETT, Tenn. (WREG) — It’s no doubt the Memphis Tigers men’s basketball team is gelling on and off the court.

“We got a lot of guys that’s just, you know, willing to learn, nobody’s cocky,” said Tigers forward Deandre Williams.

“I was kind of surprised how easily we bonded, like it seemed like we are all from Memphis,” Tigers forward Kaodirichi Akobundu-Ehiogu said. “You know, we have different guys from all over the place and we just kind of got along.”

Of course talent was important to Penny Hardaway when he hand picked this team, but he was more focused on the character of the player.

“I feel like the coaches did a great job with doing that,” said Tigers veteran guard Alex Lomax. “This is probably going to be one of the closest teams that we have from one through 15.”

Yes, that was Alex Lomax, who just announced his big decision to return for a fifth season.

Many wondered what the dynamic would be like between Lomax and the reigning AAC Player of the Year and new Tigers transfer Kendric Davis.

But according to them, it’s nothing but respect for one another.

“We both got crazy love for each,” Davis said. “The last three years it’s been crazy battles on the court. We talked crazy to each other. You know, being a point guard it starts with you, but we just know we’re going to be on the floor a lot together. [Lomax is] my brother on and off the court, whatever he needs I got him.”

Davis said Lomax was one of the first people he called when he made the decision to transfer to the U of M last April.

“To hear that he was interested in having me to come back and play, it meant a lot to me to show how selfless he is and how selfless he’s going to be all year long,” said Lomax.

Now that the Tigers don’t have to worry about chemistry and leaving egos at the door, they believe they can soar to greater heights.

“I feel like we can do better than what we did last year. If everything just clicks together and we play the right way. I know that’s something that’s going to happen.”

The Tigers open the 2022-23 season Oct. 23 against Christian Brothers University at FedEx Forum in an exhibition match up.