Memphis Dispatches In-State Rival Tennessee, 69-51
Memphis defeated Tennessee, for the second time this season, by a final score of 69-51. Memphis (9-5) beat Tennessee (7-7) earlier this season in the Maui Invitational in double-overtime, 99-97. After being outrebounded, 49-34, during the first meeting, Memphis flipped the script on Tennessee, outrebounding the Vols, 36-26, the second time around.
Memphis (9-3) travels to Knoxville, Tenn., Friday, Jan. 4 for its first true road game of the season to meet in-state rival Tennessee (8-3). The game, to be televised on ESPN2, is scheduled for a 7 p.m. (CT) start.
The Tigers did not appear in either national poll this week.
The Tigers bounced back after their Dec. 15 setback to No. 6/6 Louisville with three-consecutive wins over Lipscomb 62-56 Dec. 20, Oral Roberts 72-57 Dec. 28 and Loyola, Md., 78-64 Dec. 30.
Prior to the Dec. 15 loss, Memphis had won four straight with victories over Northern Iowa 52-47 Nov. 24, UT Martin 93-65 Nov. 29, Ohio 84-58 Dec. 5 and Austin Peay 83-65 Dec. 8.
Tennessee is on a four-game win streak with victories over Wichita State, Presbyterian College, Western Carolina and Xavier.
Prior to the four-game win streak, the Volunteers dropped consecutive road games at Georgetown and Virginia.
Tennessee returns four starters and nine letterwinners from last year's team that went 19-15.
WHAT'S UP NEXT
The Tigers return to action with their Conference USA season/home opener Jan. 9 versus East Carolina at FedExForum. The game, which is set to air on SportSouth, is scheduled for a 7 p.m. (CT) tip.
The Volunteers also start league play next week with a Jan. 9 Southeastern Conference opener versus Ole Miss in Knoxville. The game is set for a 7 p.m. (CT) start.
WHAT THE VOLUNTEERS DID A YEAR AGO
Tennessee posted a 19-15 overall record and a 10-6 Southeastern Conference (SEC) mark.
The Volunteers finished in a second-place tie in the SEC regular-season standings.
Tennessee dropped their first game in the SEC Tournament, falling to Ole Mis 77-72 in the quarterfinal round.
The Volunteers received a National Invitation Tournament (NIT) bid and advanced to the second round, where they fell to Middle Tennessee 71-64 in Knoxville.
SCOUTING THE VOLUNTEERS
Tennessee brings an 8-3 record into Friday's in-state rivalry match-up.
The Volunteers have won four straight with victories over Wichita State, Presbyterian College, Western Carolina and Xavier.
Tennessee is a perfect 6-0 on its homecourt, Thompson-Boling Arena, this year.
Trae Golden (12.5 ppg), Jarnell Stokes (11.4 ppg) and Jordan McRae (10.3 ppg) all average double figures for Tennessee.
Stokes leads the Volunteers on the glass with a 7.4 rebounding average. Kenny Hall is the team's second-leading rebounder at 6.3 rpg.
Golden is the squad's top playmaker, averaging 4.5 assists per game (50 total assists).
Skylar McBee is Tennessee's top three-point threat, hitting 41.7 percent from the arc.
The Volunteers are shooting 42.2 percent from the floor, 28 percent from the arc and 67.8 percent from the free throw line.
Tennessee is out-rebounding its opponents by an average margin of +4.8 boards per game (37.2-32.4).
MEMPHIS VERSUS THE SEC
The Tigers have an all-time record of 103-77 (.572 winning percentage) against members of the Southeastern Conference (SEC).
Memphis has played Alabama (5-2), Arkansas (10-11), Auburn (0-1), Florida (0-1), Georgia (1-1), Kentucky (1-0), LSU (3-2), Ole Miss (26-12), Mississippi State (13-11), Missouri (7-5), South Carolina (18-5), Tennessee (10-14), Texas A&M (4-4) and Vanderbilt (5-8).
Memphis has won 12 of its last 18 contests against SEC opponents, and 17 of its last 24 games against the league.
The last time the Tigers faced an SEC opponent was last season. Memphis played Tennessee twice in 2011-12, defeating the Volunteers both times.
Memphis posted a 99-97 double-overtime victory over the Volunteers in the 2011 EA Sports Maui Invitational (Nov. 22, 2011) and then defeated Tennessee 69-51 in the rivals' "regular" regular-season match-up at FedExForum (Jan. 4, 2012).
The following shows the Tigers' recent success against SEC foes:
*vs. Tennessee (Maui)
*vs. LSU (Global Challente)
at Ole Miss (NIT)
*vs. Missouri (NCAA)
*vs. Texas A&M (NCAA)
at Ole Miss
at Alabama (Pre-NIT)
*South Carolina (NCAA)
at Ole Miss
*South Carolina (NIT title)
*neutral site game
RINGIN' IN THE NEW YEAR
Memphis has an 12-3 record (.800 winning percentage) in its first game of the New Year the past 15 seasons (since 1997-98).
The Tigers have won their last six "first-game-of-the-New-Year" contests.
Head coach Josh Pastner is 3-0 in "first-game-of-the-New-Year" contests.
Last year, the Tigers defeated Tennessee 69-51 Jan. 4, 2012, in their "first-game-of-the-New-Year" game.
The last time Memphis dropped a "first-game-of-the-New-Year" contest was in the 2005-06 campaign. The Tigers lost to Texas 69-58 on Jan. 2, 2006, at FedExForum.
ON THE ROAD FOR THE FIRST TIME; FRIDAY GAME TIED FOR SECOND-LATEST ROAD OPENER IN SCHOOL HISTORY
Unlike the famous Willie Nelson song, "On The Road Again," the Tigers are taking their act on the road for the first time in the 2012-13 campaign this Friday.
Friday's contest at Tennessee is the first "true" road game for Memphis, as its other three games played away from FedExForum were neutral-site contests at Battle 4 Atlantis in The Bahamas.
Since 1975-76, Friday's game is tied for the second-latest road opener. The following lists the top-five latest Memphis road openers since 1975-76:
at Virginia Tech*
TENNESSEE A REGULAR ROAD OPENER FOE FOR THE TIGERS
In the Memphis-Tennessee series, the Volunteers have been a regular road opener for the Tigers.
Of the 12 games played in Knoxville (including Friday's match-up), seven were road openers for Memphis. The following shows the Tigers' road openers at Tennessee and those results:
The city of Memphis will be well represented in Friday's in-state rivalry contest between the Tigers and Volunteers.
The squads combine to have eight players from Memphis area on the two rosters.
Tennessee has one player -- Jarnell Stokes (Southwind High School) -- that calls Memphis home.
Memphis has an all-time 131-75 record (.636 winning percentage) against current in-state NCAA Division I basketball programs (12 total including Memphis).
The Tigers are playing four in-state NCAA Division I opponents this year in UT Martin Nov. 29, Austin Peay Dec. 8, Lipscomb Dec. 20 and Tennessee Jan. 4.
Under head coach Josh Pastner, Memphis has a 13-2 record (.867 winning percentage) against in-state NCAA Division I foes. Pastner has coached against seven of the other 11 in-state NCAA Division I basketball schools.
TEAM USA U18 REUNION FRIDAY
Friday's Memphis-Tennessee contest features a 2012 Team USA U18 reunion.
Tigers freshman Shaq Goodwin and Volunteers sophomore Jarnell Stokes were teammates on the United States U18 squad this past June.
The tandem helped the U.S. post a 5-0 record and win the gold medal at the FIBA Americas U18 Championship in Sao Sebastiáo do Paraiso, Brazil.
Goodwin averaged 12.4 points (third on team) and 4.8 rebounds (fourth on team), while Stokes was second on the squad in both scoring (14.0 ppg) and rebounding (5.6 rpg).
MORE ON GOODWIN'S GOLDEN SUMMER OF 2012
Freshman Shaq Goodwin played for Team USA at the 2012 FIBA Americas U18 Championship in Sao Sebastiáo do Paraiso, Brazil, this past summer.
In the opening-game win over the U.S. Virgin Islands, Goodwin netted 30 points on 12-of-12 field goals and 6-of-6 free throws.
His 30-point performance was the third-highest, single-game scoring effort in USA Basketball U18 history.
Goodwin led the squad in field goal percentage (80 percent) and free throw percentage (77.8 percent).
His 12-of-12 shooting performance from the floor set a U.S. mark for highest field goal percentage in a U18 game.
TIGERS AMONG ELITE GROUP
Memphis is among the winningest NCAA Division I programs since 2000-01 and 2005-06, but it doesn't end there.
The Tigers are a part of another elite group at the NCAA Division I level.
Memphis is one of nine programs that has won 20 or more games each of the last 10 seasons.
The following lists the nine NCAA Division I programs that have 20 or more wins the each of the last 10 years (2002-03 to 2011-12):
HIDE YOUR EYES!
Friday's contest may not be a pretty sight in terms of shooting from long distance.
Memphis and Tennessee both are near the bottom of their respective leagues in three-point shooting percentage.
The Tigers are ninth in Conference USA in three-point shooting percentage (33.0), while the Volunteers are 13th in the Southeastern Conference in trey percentage (28.0).
THERE'S NO PLACE LIKE HOME
Junior Joe Jackson is a firm believer in that, as he's played rather well in the Tigers' seven-game homestand that just wrapped up.
In those seven contests, the 6-foot-1 guard averaged 15.4 points, 5.4 assists and 2.4 rebounds.
Jackson netted double figures in all seven contests.
However, it's his shooting percentages that are even better. Jackson is hitting 57.1 percent from the field, 50 percent from the arc and 72.2 percent from the free throw line.
The Memphis, Tenn., native also dished out 38 assists compared to 20 turnovers for a near 2:1 assist-to-turnover ratio.
The following breaks down Jackson's last seven games:
TIGERS `BOUNDING THE BOARDS IN 2012-13
A lot of talk in head coach Josh Pastner's first three seasons centered about rebounding and the Tigers' frustration in that area.
Well, it looks as if that's been corrected early on in the 2012-13 campaign.
Memphis is out-rebounding its opponents by an average margin of +4.6 boards per game (36.2-31.6), which ranks third in Conference USA.
The Tigers have won the board battle in eight of their 12 contests this season, including games with Minnesota, Ohio and Louisville.
The following shows how the Tigers have done on the glass in Pastner's tenure (first 12 games of each season only):