What We Learned at Exhibition Wins CBU

DeAndre Williams, always lively, heart on his sleeve memphis basketball player, looked around in disbelief.

He had just missed consecutive shots under the basket in the mainly contested first half against Christian Brothers University in exhibition action on Sunday. Williams’ first shot and subsequent two attempts just didn’t go wrong, and Williams couldn’t believe it.

It was the on-court embodiment of what any observant person was probably feeling for most of the contest. A hard-playing CBU group did their best not to give the Tigers an inch, doing most of their damage from beyond the 3-point line (where they finished 8-for-20).

But Memphis emerged victorious, 69-60, in its first dress rehearsal of the season. Here are five takeaways from the game.

Kendric Davis

Memphis Tigers guard Kendric Davis (3) handles the ball against Christian Brothers guard Nmeso Nnebedum (2) during the first half at FedExForum on Sunday.

A familiar face, having spent the past three seasons wreaking havoc on the AAC as SMU’s elite point guard, Kendric Davis has lived up to his reputation as a difference maker.

The reigning AAC Player of the Year dropped 22 points to lead the Tigers. He focused on executing a mix of 3-point shooting and inside-the-paint damage. He had more success with the latter. Davis missed all five 3-point attempts but was particularly effective driving to the basket, making five of his seven field goal attempts inside the arc.

Davis also made the most of his penetration, regularly going to the free throw line and converting frequently (12 of 13).

First line

As usual, coach Penny Hardaway’s starting lineup was again a point of great curiosity in the build-up to Sunday’s game.

Hardaway chose to go with a mostly familiar look. Davis was the only newcomer to the field to start the game. The rest of the roster consisted of Alex Lomax, Jayden Hardaway, Williams and Malcolm Dandridge.

The Tigers mixed and matched strongly the rest of the way. Newcomer Keonte Kennedy scored nine points off the bench and Elijah McCadden (the reigning Sun Belt Sixth Man of the Year) led all players at plus-17 plus-minus odds.

Ty-Laur Johnson in the house

Two weeks after landing his first commitment of the class of 2023 (Ryan Forest), Hardaway got another promise on Sunday afternoon.

Four star guard Carl Cherchild announced his intention to sign with the Tigers shortly after halftime.

Also on the recruiting front, Memphis had four-star point guard Ty-Laur Johnson in the building. Johnson, a senior from St. Benedict’s Prep in Newark, NJ, sat behind the home team’s bench for the entire duration. He is expected to announce his engagement soon and choose between Memphis, NC State and Mississippi State.


Memphis Tigers forward Chandler Lawson (4) handles the ball against Christian Brothers guard Charlie Champagne (11) during the first half at FedExForum on Sunday.

While the Tigers took the win, one of the team’s main concerns throughout the offseason – away shooting – came up early and often against CBU.

Memphis has made just two of its 19 3-point attempts. Johnathan Lawson and Kennedy (one in each half) were the only Tigers with 3-pointers.

Memphis Basketball Score vs. Christian Brothers: Live Updates

Contact sportswriter Jason Munz at [email protected] or on Twitter @munzly.

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