After Coach John Calipari left Memphis, the Tigers weren't considered to be anything in Conference USA.
However, there was a back-up plan. Josh Pastner was hired and he did exceptionally well from what I thought he could do last year, and the upcoming season will only be better.
With one of the better 2010 recruiting classes, that highlights some of the top guards in the country; Memphis will rise back into the nation’s spotlight.
Not to mention, starters Will Coleman and Wesley Witherspoon return to Memphis to accompany the eight freshmen coming in.
But can the Tigers make a run in the tournament? It's not surprising to see a young team making a run in the NCAA tournament. However, it is very rare for them to get to the big game--unless you're Carmelo Anthony.
The Memphis Tigers only have two starters from last year's team and eight freshmen.
Something similar to what Kentucky did last year. Differently from Kentucky, Memphis has a talented core of guards versus the all-around threat of Kentucky.
Jackson and Jelan Kendrick were the McDonald's All-Americans of the recruiting list. It's no question that they will be used a lot. They're big time playmakers will the ability to carry a team to victory.
With their contributions plus the leadership from returning players, Memphis does have a chance to make a run in the tournament. However, for the Tigers to do so, Roburt Sallie will need to step up big-time playing on the wing.
But, with so many solid recruits in the backcourt, mixed with a lot of frontcourt depth, the Tigers will need more from the wing position.
This season, the toughness of Pierre Henderson-Niles will be missed tremendously. The Tigers lack toughness inside but took on a different approach in the frontcourt. The last few years with the Tigers, it has been size in the frontcourt.
This year it will be athleticism. They have versatile and athletic forwards that will create match-up problems down-low.
There backcourt is set with talented guards, now it's up to the frontcourt. If they can step up and make plays with the guards, there is no doubt in my mind that Memphis will not be dancing for a while in the NCAA tournament.