Memphis basketball: Why Emoni Bates, Tigers' leading scorer, is not starting at Ole Miss

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OXFORD, Mississippi — Coming off back-to-back losses, Memphis basketball coach Penny Hardaway is shaking things up.

Superstar freshman Emoni Bates, who has started all seven games of the season, will come off the bench at Ole Miss Saturday, Hardaway said during his pregame radio interview with Dave Woloshin. Taking his spot in the starting lineup is Miami transfer Earl Timberlake, a sophomore guard making his first start in a Tiger uniform.

Joining Timberlake in the starting lineup when the game against the Rebels tips off at 11 a.m. will be regular starters Landers Nolley II, Jalen Duren, DeAndre Williams and Lester Quinones.

Bates is averaging a team-best 12.1 points and three rebounds per game for the 19th-ranked Tigers (5-2). Hardaway said he made the move at Bates’ request.

"Emoni came to me after the (Georgia) game. He was very frustrated," Hardaway told Woloshin. "He felt like he'd be better mentally coming off the bench and he feels like he has a better chemistry with the guys coming off the bench. Alex (Lomax) is like a calming spirit for Emoni. With that second group, he looked a lot better and more comfortable in (Friday's) practice."

Timberlake is scoring 4.7 points a game and is pulling down 3.1 boards per contest.

Memphis lost last week to Iowa State at the NIT Season Tip-Off, then fell at Georgia Wednesday.

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Reach sports writer Jason Munz at jason.munz@commercialappeal.com or on Twitter @munzly.

This article originally appeared on Memphis Commercial Appeal: Memphis basketball: Emoni Bates will not start at Ole Miss

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