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Tigers Basketball Insider: More point guards, more problems
 
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University of Memphis guard Alex Lomax (2) brought the ball up court during a December 2020 game against the University of Central Arkansas. Lomax leads Memphis in assist-to-turnover ratio and assists per game. (Patrick Lantrip/Daily Memphian file)
 

University of Memphis guard Alex Lomax (2) brought the ball up court during a December 2020 game against the University of Central Arkansas. Lomax leads Memphis in assist-to-turnover ratio and assists per game. (Patrick Lantrip/Daily Memphian file)

Hello, and welcome back to the Tigers Basketball Insider. Below, you’ll find the latest news and analysis from The Daily Memphian’s Danielle Lerner and Geoff Calkins. 

Eleven games into the season, Memphis’ point guard issues are no secret. In fact, they seem to be getting more pronounced. 

Alex Lomax and Damion Baugh took turns at point guard for most of the nonconference schedule. Lester Quinones assumed the starting role for two games in December before handing the reins back to Lomax in Sunday’s loss at Tulsa. Jayden Hardaway even started at point guard for one game, and he and Boogie Ellis have both played the 1 spot off the bench. 

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The constant switches are symptomatic of a larger problem: The Memphis offense suffers without a clear No. 1 choice at point guard.

In the latest loss to Tulsa, the Tigers had just nine assists with 21 turnovers. Baugh sat out due to concussion protocol; Lomax, Ellis, Quinones and Hardaway each spent time at point guard and combined for four assists, five turnovers and two steals. Hardaway (five points, one assist and zero turnovers in 14 minutes) was the only one with a net positive plus-minus rating. 

Lomax leads Memphis in assist-to-turnover ratio (2.18) and assists per game (3.7) and is the only Tiger to even crack the top 100 nationally in either category, ranked 99th and 198th respectively. As a team, Memphis ranks 177th and 79th in those categories. 

Lack of a dominant point guard has prevented the Tigers from developing a clear identity or rhythm on offense. Poor ball movement and turnovers go hand-in-hand, as shown when the Tigers resorted to dribbling through traffic multiple times against Tulsa. 

Coach Penny Hardaway has had time to weigh his point guard options. For the sake of consistency, it might be time to pick one and just go ride-or-die. 

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