Jan. 13, 2012
Memphis Game Notes vs. Houston
Tigers On TV/Radio/Web
Television: CBS Sports Network (CBSSN)/Comcast digital channel 228 (James Bates, play-by-play; Pete Gillen, color analyst)
Radio: WREC 600 AM (Dave Woloshin, play-by-play; Matt Dillon, color analyst; Forrest Goodman, studio host)
SETTING THE SCENE
Memphis (11-5, 2-0 C-USA) takes to the road again Saturday, Jan. 14 when it travels to Houston, Texas to face the Cougars (9-7, 1-2 C-USA) in a Conference USA match-up. The game, to be televised on CBS Sports Network (CBSSN), is slated for an 8 p.m. (CT) start.
The Tigers were not ranked or listed in the Also Receiving Votes category of both national polls, which were released Jan. 9. Houston is not ranked in either national poll.
Memphis enters Saturday's encounter with the Cougars after five-straight wins over Robert Morris 64-47 Dec. 29, Charlotte 67-58 Dec. 31, Tennessee 69-51 Jan. 4, UAB 62-59 Jan. 7 and Southern Miss 60-58 Jan. 11.
Houston comes into Saturday's contest having dropped its last two games in Conference USA play to UTEP 70-50 Jan. 7 and UCF 74-63 Jan. 11 (both on the road).
Prior to the last two setbacks, the Cougars had won five-straight contests, including their C-USA opener over Tulsa Jan. 4.
WHAT'S UP NEXT...
Memphis remains on the road in C-USA play on Wednesday, Jan. 18 when it travels to Orlando, Fla., to meet the UCF Knights at UCF Arena. Game time is 7 p.m. (CT).
Houston goes back out on the road Wednesday, Jan. 18, traveling to Dallas, Texas, to face SMU at Moody Coliseum. Game time is 7 p.m. (CT).
WHAT THE COUGARS DID LAST YEAR
Houston posted a 12-18 overall record and a 4-12 Conference USA mark.
The Cougars finished in 11th place in the C-USA regular season standings.
Houston dropped a 97-87 decision to Marshall in the C-USA Tournament first round.
The Cougars did not play in any of the postseason tournaments.
SCOUTING THE COUGARS
Houston enters Saturday's game with a 9-7 overall record and a 1-2 Conference USA mark.
The Cougars fell to UTEP and UCF in their last two outings (both on the road).
Prior to its current two-game skid, Houston had won five-straight contests, including its Conference USA opener over Tulsa 70-69 in overtime Jan. 4.
The Cougars have played nine single-digit outcome games (4-5 record).
Redshirt junior college transfer Jonathan Simmons leads four Cougars averaging double figures at 14.5 ppg.
Alandise Harris (13.6 ppg), Joseph Young (11.1 ppg) and TaShawn Thomas (10.8 ppg) also average double digits for Houston.
Thomas leads the Cougars on the glass with a 7.9 rebounding average, followed by Harris at 6.1 rpg.
Darian Thibodeaux is tops on the team with 47 assists (2.9 apg), while Thomas has a team-high 14 steals.
Houston has five players shooting over 38 percent from the three-point arc. Harris hits 53.1 percent of his trey attempts.
The Cougars are shooting 48.3 percent from the field, 39.2 percent from the arc and 72.3 percent from the free throw line.
Houston is out-rebounding its opponents by an average margin of +1.7 boards per game (36.8-35.1).
A PASTNER HOMECOMING SATURDAY
Saturday's game at Houston will be a homecoming for Memphis head coach Josh Pastner.
Pastner is a Kingwood, Texas, native, and Kingwood is a suburb of Houston. In fact, Pastner grew up around 20 miles from the University of Houston campus.
Pastner, who attended Kingwood High School, coached the Houston Hoops summer ball team during his high school and collegiate (Arizona) days.
Saturday's game is Pastner's only regular season game in his hometown area.
PASTNER RECORD IN HOUSTON
While he may enjoying seeing familiar faces when he returns home, the city of Houston has not been hospitable for Josh Pastner in his short tenure as head coach.
In his three trips to Houston, Pastner's Tigers have a 1-2 record.
Last season, Memphis lost at Rice. In 2009-10, the Tigers split their Houston trips, defeating Rice and losing to the Cougars.
PASTNER RECORD VS. HOUSTON TEAMS
In his two-plus seasons, Josh Pastner has faced three NCAA Division I schools from Houston.
The Tigers have played Houston, Houston Baptist and Rice.
Memphis has a combined record of 4-3 versus Houston schools under Pastner.
A COWBOYS REUNION SATURDAY
Saturday's game is between the Tigers and Cougars, but there will be a reunion of former Cowboys -- as in Oklahoma State Cowboys -- on the two benches.
Memphis assistant coach Jimmy Williams and Houston head coach James Dickey both were on Eddie Sutton's staff from 2004-07.
In their three seasons (2004-05, 2005-06, 2006-07) together on staff, Williams and Dickey helped Oklahoma State to a combined record of 65-36 and three postseason appearances (2005 NCAA, 2006 and 2007 NIT).
In the 2005 NCAA Tournament, Oklahoma State -- with Williams and Dickey on the Cowboys bench -- advanced to the Sweet Sixteen, where it dropped a 79-78 decision to Arizona. On the Wildcats staff that year were assistant coach Josh Pastner and video scout coordinator Jack Murphy.
FOND HOUSTON MEMORIES FOR TIGERS
No matter the outcome of Saturday's game or future encounters Memphis plays in Space City USA, the city of Houston will always hold a special place in the hearts of Tiger Nation.
That fondness for Houston comes from the 2008 NCAA Tournament when the Tigers won the South Region at Reliant Stadium.
Memphis started its run to the NCAA title game in Little Rock, Ark., with the tournament's first two rounds. Then, the Tigers moved on to Houston, where they defeated Michigan State and Texas en route to the Final Four.
MORE HOUSTON MEMORIES
The 2010 trip to Houston provided more great memories for Tigers fans, as the 80-68 win over Rice put Memphis in the NCAA record books.
The victory over the Owls gave the Tigers the NCAA Division I record for the most-consecutive regular season wins in league play at 52 straight.
The victory also tied the NCAA Division I mark for most-consecutive overall league wins (including postseason tournament) at 64 straight. Memphis shares that record with Kentucky.
CITY PRIDE ON THE LINE SATURDAY
Saturday's game is not only a Conference USA game, it's also a contest for city pride as the teams have several players on their rosters from the respective cities.
On the Tigers' side, eight players hail from the Bluff City. Drew Barham, Tarik Black, Chris Crawford, Trey Draper, Ferrakohn Hall, Joe Jackson, Preston Laird and Adonis Thomas all are from Memphis.
Five Cougars call Houston home, and they are Donald Brooks, Mikhail McLean, Jonathan Simmons, Rakim Stevenson and Joseph Young.
The Tigers and Cougars have several similarities statistically -- especially on the offensive end -- and the following shows that (C-USA rank follows stat):
UofM/Rank Statistic UH/Rank
75.1/2nd Score Offense 76.6/1st
70.9/3rd FT Pct. 72.3/2nd
48.1/2nd FG Pct. 48.3/1st
38.7/2nd 3P FG Pct. 39.2/1st
13.9/5th Assists 14.5/4th
PASTNER FOURTH-FASTEST TO 60 WINS
With the Tigers 60-58 win over Southern Miss Jan. 11, Josh Pastner reached the 60-victory milestone the fourth-quickest of any Memphis head coach.
The following lists the Memphis head coaches quickest to 60 wins:
Head Coach/Years Game # for 60th Win
Gene Bartow/1971-73 78 (60-18)
Bob Vanatta/1957-60 80 (60-20)
Wayne Yates/1975-77 82 (60-22)
Josh Pastner/2010-12 85 (60-25)
Larry Finch/1987-89 86 (60-26)
John Calipari/2001-03 89 (60-29)
Dana Kirk/1980-83 95 (60-35)
Eugene Lambert/1952-55 96 (60-36)
In 2011-12, Memphis is 4-3 in single-digit outcome games, with two contests going to overtime in the 2011 EA Sports Maui Invitational.
This season, the Tigers are also 3-2 in games decided by five or fewer points.
Last season, Memphis had a 16-3 record in games decided by single digits, including a 13-2 mark in contests decided by five or fewer points.
Overall, Josh Pastner's teams (2009-10, 2010-11, 2011-12) have a 27-13 record in games decided by single digits.
Pastner's Close Calls Record
5 Pts or Fewer Single Digits
2011-12 3-2 4-3
2010-11 13-2 16-3
2009-10 4-4 7-7
Total 20-8 27-13
Pct. .714 .675
THAT TOUGH TIGERS "D"
Memphis has held nine opponents to under 40 percent shooting from the field, and the Tigers are a perfect 9-0 in those games.
In the nine contests, Tigers' foes are shooting 32.7 percent from the floor (177-of-542).
Memphis is also holding opponents to 28.3 percent from the arc (47-of-166) in the nine games.
Overall, the Tigers are ranked No. 22 in the nation in field goal percentage defense at 38.1 percent (NCAA stats as of Jan. 9).