Photo: flickr Writer: Eric Daniel
Even though they haven’t gotten off to as dominant of a start as they did a season ago, we’re still high on this Monmouth group and would be surprised if they didn’t make the NCAA tournament coming out of the MAAC this year. Monmouth hasn’t been winning many of their games in overwhelming fashion, but this group has been steady standing 8-2 overall coming into this road test. In their last outing Monmouth came through at home against Army beating the Black Knights by a final of 81-71 and on the year the Hawks rank 83rd in the nation in scoring and 165th in total defense. Veteran guard Justin Robinson has taken a step back this year, but he’s been picking things up now leading the team averaging 16.2 points per game.
The Memphis Tigers made a head coaching change this offseason bringing in Tubby Smith who’s had success at all his previous stops. Memphis has gotten off to a respectable start this year standing 7-2 overall with some of their better wins coming against Iowa and in their last outing against UAB at home by a final of 62-55. Memphis’ two defeats came in some of their tougher matchups against Providence and Ole Miss. The Tigers have actually been putting up some solid offensive numbers which is a little surprising for a Smith coached group as this squad ranks 40th in the nation in scoring compared to 172nd in total defense. Dedric Lawson has been great leading the offense averaging 20.7 points per contest.
This should be a really great test for both of these groups as we head into the final few weeks of the nonconference. Monmouth has been testing themselves on the road so far this season with some mixed results, but this team has a reputation to bring a high level of effort in their tougher matchups. We like the Hawks with the points in what should be a competitive affair.
Monmouth +3.5 -105