The Memphis basketball team is 'hurt.' Even worse, though, the Tigers are hurting

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Memphis Tigers forward Josh Minott lays the ball up past Saint Louis Billikens forward Francis Okoro during their game at FedExForum on Tuesday, Nov. 16, 2021.
Memphis Tigers forward Josh Minott lays the ball up past Saint Louis Billikens forward Francis Okoro during their game at FedExForum on Tuesday, Nov. 16, 2021.

Welcome back to the Tigers Basketball newsletter. Today, Tigers beat writer Jason Munz:

Tadarius Jacobs, a freshman walk-on making just his third appearance in a game this season and his first in two months, laid it out perfectly.

"We're hurt," the former Memphis East and Bartlett standout said during a radio interview after Saturday's deflating 72-71 loss at East Carolina when describing the mood of the team's locker room.

The Tigers are hurt. For the third straight game and the fourth time in Memphis' last five outings, Penny Hardaway has not had DeAndre Williams – arguably his best player. The Tigers' leading scorer is out with a back injury. Earl Timberlake, who has missed time this season with a knee problem and a concussion, was back in the lineup Saturday. But his return coincided with more players going missing. Landers Nolley II and Jayden Hardaway did not play with troublesome knees. Neither Alex Lomax nor Chandler Lawson have played since the calendar turned to 2022.

Following the loss, Penny Hardaway told the team's radio broadcast team he doesn't know when the nightmarish carousel will finally stop spinning.

“I’ve got to wait to see what Darrell Turner, our trainer, says and see what happens,” he said.

As bad as the injury situation has become, however, what's worse is Memphis is hurting. The Tigers, after their seventh loss in 16 games and (for now) their second Quad 3 loss of the season, have some serious work to do if an NCAA Tournament appearance is in the cards.

With 12 games left on the schedule, it's not as bleak as it may feel for some. Memphis still has three Quad 1 opportunities for the time being (two games against Houston and a road contest with Cincinnati). The game at SMU could also become a Quad 1 matchup.

But the Tigers have left themselves with so little room for error, an at-large bid seems unlikely at best.

You can reach Commercial Appeal Tiger basketball beat writer Jason Munz via email at jason.munz@commercialappeal.com and follow him on Twitter: @munzly

This article originally appeared on Memphis Commercial Appeal: The Memphis basketball team is 'hurt.' Even worse, the Tigers are hurting

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