Grizzlies Ja Morant out with knee injury; Tigers become bowl eligible

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Welcome to the Memphis Sports newsletter! It's Ray Padilla. Here's what you might have missed this weekend in Bluff City sports news.

As Ja Morant was sidelined by a sprained knee, the Grizzlies played more uptempo, getting on fast breaks, our Evan Barnes reports.

The mood was lighter than expected with Morant out, yet the team kept things fast and loose — acquiring its 128-101 win over the Sacramento Kings at FedExForum Sunday.

Morant left Friday’s game against the Atlanta Hawks in the first quarter with a left knee injury.

Even with the win against the Kings, one player can’t replace Morant. Rather, it will be a collective effort to fill the void of the rising superstar.

Memphis Grizzlies guard Ja Morant (12) goes up for a shot during their game at FedExForum on Friday, Nov. 26, 2021.
Memphis Grizzlies guard Ja Morant (12) goes up for a shot during their game at FedExForum on Friday, Nov. 26, 2021.

Evan reports what the schedule looks like and when we can expect Morant to possibly return to the court.

The Grizzlies play the Toronto Raptors again at 6:30 p.m. at the Scotiabank Arena in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

Not a subscriber? Consider local Memphis sports journalism with a digital subscription.

Memphis tight end Sean Dykes evades a defender in the Tigers' 33-28 win over Tulane
Memphis tight end Sean Dykes evades a defender in the Tigers' 33-28 win over Tulane
Memphis Grizzlies guard Ja Morant stands with a crutch during player introductions before an NBA basketball game against the Sacramento Kings Sunday, Nov. 28, 2021, in Memphis, Tenn. (AP Photo/Brandon Dill)
Memphis Grizzlies guard Ja Morant stands with a crutch during player introductions before an NBA basketball game against the Sacramento Kings Sunday, Nov. 28, 2021, in Memphis, Tenn. (AP Photo/Brandon Dill)

Tigers become bowl eligible after Tulane win

The Memphis Tigers (6-6, 3-5 AAC) will play in its eighth consecutive bowl game to extend a school record after the 33-28 win over Tulane Saturday night.

Memphis' season will finish in Honolulu, Hawaii, as the Tigers accepted a bid to play in the Hawaii Bowl, Evan Reports.

The win against Tulane earned Memphis straight A’s in offense, defense, special teams and coaching.

Winning and keeping Memphis’ bowl streak alive meant more to coach Ryan Silverfield than anyone else, our Mark Giannotto writes in his latest column.

Here’s an excerpt:

The onsides kick bounced safely into the arms of Memphis linebacker JJ Russell and Memphis coach Ryan Silverfield started doling out hugs. To anyone and everyone he could find.

To Russell for securing the Tigers’ 33-28 win over Tulane Saturday night.

To tailback Asa Martin for scoring the fourth-quarter touchdown that gave Memphis the lead back and then forcing the fumble on the ensuing kickoff to set up the game-deciding touchdown.

To quarterback Seth Henigan for becoming the first freshman in program history to throw for more than 3,000 yards and providing the kind of hope only a promising signal caller can.

So what does it mean when this program’s down season nonetheless ended with bowl eligibility? It meant a lot more to Silverfield than just about anyone else who watched Memphis (6-6, 3-5) eke out a victory.

Memphis coach Penny Hardaway argues with an official during the second half of the team's NCAA college basketball game against Iowa State in the NIT Season Tip-Off tournament Friday, Nov. 26, 2021, in New York. Iowa State won 78-59. (AP Photo/Adam Hunger)
Memphis coach Penny Hardaway argues with an official during the second half of the team's NCAA college basketball game against Iowa State in the NIT Season Tip-Off tournament Friday, Nov. 26, 2021, in New York. Iowa State won 78-59. (AP Photo/Adam Hunger)

Who does Penny Hardaway blame?

Memphis’ turnover-prone nature finally caught up to it Friday, our Jason Munz reports. The game started out sloppy and stayed that way.

Following the 78-59 loss Friday night against Iowa State in the championship game of the NIT Season Tip-Off, Penny Hardaway said there is a disconnect within his basketball program.

In his story for subscribers, Jason reports everything Hardaway had to say about their “good, old-fashioned butt-whoppin” at Barclays Center and where the fourth-year coach puts all the blame.

The Tigers will play the Georgia Bulldogs today at 6:15 p.m. at Stegeman Coliseum in Athens, Georgia.

901 FC forward Kyle Murphy celebrates his goal as they go up 2-0 during their match against Indy Eleven at AutoZone Park on Saturday, Oct. 30, 2021.
901 FC forward Kyle Murphy celebrates his goal as they go up 2-0 during their match against Indy Eleven at AutoZone Park on Saturday, Oct. 30, 2021.

901 FC forward, defender named USL Championship All-League Second Team

Memphis 901 FC's foward Kyle Murphy and defender Mark Segbers were named to the 2021 USL Championship All-League Second Team, the league announced last Monday.

Earlier this month, Murphy was voted USL Champion's Player of the Month for October — his second monthly award of the season.

The FC's hopes for a playoff run came to an end November 6 after a 3-1 loss to the Charlotte Independence in the first round, our Corinne Kennedy reports.

The Orange County SC won the USL Championship Playoffs Sunday night against the Tampa Bay Rowdies 1-3.

The Scoreboard

Memphis Grizzlies lose against Raptors (126-113)

Memphis Grizzlies lose to Hawks (132-100)

Memphis Grizzlies win to Kings (128-101)

Tigers Football win to Tulane (33-28)

Tigers Basketball win to Virginia Tech (69-61)

Tigers Basketball lose to Iowa State (78-59)

Memphis Tigers college football game vs. Tulane Green Wave on Saturday, Nov. 27, 2021.
Memphis Tigers college football game vs. Tulane Green Wave on Saturday, Nov. 27, 2021.

Mark your calendar

Grizzlies vs Toronto Raptors: Wednesday, Nov. 30, 6:30 p.m. at Scotiabank Arena

Grizzlies vs Oklahoma City Thunder: Thursday, Dec. 2, 7 p.m. at FedExForum

Grizzlies vs Dallas Mavericks: Saturday, Dec. 4, 7:30 p.m. at American Airlines Center

Grizzlies vs Miami Heat: Monday, Dec. 6, 6:30 p.m. at FTX Arena

Tigers Basketball vs Georgia Bulldogs: Wednesday, Dec. 1, 6:15 p.m. at Stegeman Coliseum

Tigers Basketball vs Ole Miss Rebels: Saturday, Dec. 4, 11 a.m. at Thee Pavilion

Today’s Memphis Sports newsletter was written by Ray Padilla, the digital producer for The Commercial Appeal, and features stories from Evan Barnes, Jason Munz and Mark Giannotto. Ray can be reached at raymond.padilla@commercialappeal.com or on Twitter @Ray_Padilla_.

This article originally appeared on Memphis Commercial Appeal: Grizzlies Ja Morant updates; Memphis Tigers have options for bowl game

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