Parks expects to return for Memphis for visit to No. 22 LSU
Memphis first-year coach Penny Hardaway's team gets an early season opportunity to gauge itself when it visits No. 22 LSU on Tuesday night in its first road game.
"When I see a team like LSU on the schedule in the second game of the year, it's an opportunity for us to go on the road and make some noise," Hardaway said. "I relish those opportunities."
The Hardaway era began with a 76-61 home victory against Tennessee Tech last week. Since then, Hardaway has done "a lot of film work," reviewing his team's performance as well as that of LSU in its two games -- home victories against Southeastern Louisiana and North Carolina-Greensboro.
"The thing that is constant with (LSU) is they are just going to crash the glass and be tough all night," Hardaway told Memphis' official website. "We just have to do the same thing. You can't go on the road and not fight. We have to fight."
Hardaway said he expects to have senior forward Mike Parks join the fight after Parks missed the opener because of injury. Parks started every game last season and averaged 8.1 points and 4.5 rebounds. He had eight points and four rebounds in a 71-61 home loss to LSU last season.
"Mike can definitely make a difference," Hardaway said. "I watched the game last year against LSU and he was very dominant against them on the glass. He had a really good game. What he does consistently is he hustles. He brings that energy every day."
Memphis will need all the help it can get on the boards against an LSU team that outscored UNCG in the paint, 38-24, and had a 34-18 rebounding edge in a 97-91 win last Friday.
LSU coach Will Wade said the rebounding and a big edge in free throws made the difference. LSU made 28-of-31 free throws and UNCG made 4-of-9.
"Those two things saved us," Wade said. "It's really tough to win when you give up 19 threes and you turn the ball over 17 times. Give our guys credit. It's hard to score 97 points when you turn it over like that.
"I thought our effort defensively was good. I just think our execution is what's lacking a little bit. We have to be able to execute better defensively."
Freshman forward Naz Reid leads LSU with a 23-point scoring average after scoring 29 on 11 of 14 shooting against UNCG. He too said there's room for improvement on the defensive end.
"We just need to get more stops," Reid said. "That is something we will work on more and being able to value the ball more from all of us."
Tremont Waters had 18 points and eight assists and Skylar Mays scored 14 points in last year's meeting. Kyvon Davenport had 17 points and 11 rebounds and Jeremiah Martin scored 13 for Memphis, which was 21-13 last season.
"This game gives us a test," Martin said. "It will let us know who we are."
Updated November 13, 2018