Tigers motivated for season that’s less than two weeks away

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MEMPHIS — In less than two weeks…the day before Thanksgiving…the Tigers will tip off the college basketball season, opening the year in the Crossover Classic against Saint Mary’s from Sioux Falls, South Dakota where Penny Hardaway will have a motivated team with far fewer preseason expectations than a year ago.

Not only is the U of M ranked just outside the AP.’s Preseason Top 25 at number-27 but on Thursday, the coaches poll came out and the Tigers are even further back.

The Tigers garnering just 12 total votes.  That’s good for 35th in the country.

“We’re not in the Top 25 and we feel we’re a Top 25 team,” said Tigers forward D.J. Jeffries.   “When we go out to South Dakota, we’re going to go out there and prove it.  Show the world that we’re a legitimate runner for the National Championship.  We always play with an edge because it’s the Memphis way.”

“Especially coming from last year and my freshman year, us not being what we should have been,” said Tigers guard Alex Lomax.  “Being the Memphis Tigers and getting back to where we should be, to our prime.  Prime Time playing basketball.  I think this team is motivated more than ever.”

The Tigers also held a virtual Memphis Madness on Thursday night.

Lester Quinones won the 3-point contest.

Newcomer Ahmad Rand was the winner of the slam dunk contest.

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