Memphis Basketball Notes
Go Tigers!
Go Tigers!

Go Tigers!

Jan. 18, 2011

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Tigers On TV/Radio/Web
Television: Comcast Sports South (CSS)/Memphis Comcast channel 6 and digital channel 6 (Richard Cross, play-by-play; Brian Oliver, color analyst)
Radio: WREC 600 AM (Dave Woloshin, play-by-play; Matt Dillon, color analyst; Forrest Goodman, studio host)
Web: Fans in certain states can watch the Memphis vs. Southern Miss game live in All-Access. Please note that video is not available for streaming in the CSS broadcast territory states (AR, KY, WV, NC, VA, TN, SC, GA, FL, AL, MS, LA and TX) due to television broadcast restrictions.

The University of Memphis squad (13-4, 2-1 C-USA) begins a two-game Conference USA road trip on Wednesday, Jan. 19 when the Tigers travel to Hattiesburg, Miss., for a league encounter versus Southern Miss (14-3, 3-1 C-USA). Game time is 6 p.m. (CT), and the contest is set to air on Comcast Sports South (CSS; Memphis Comcast channel 6 and digital channel 6).

Memphis is still ranked in the Also Receiving Votes category of the ESPN/USA Today coaches poll (#44). The Golden Eagles are in the Also Receiving Votes category of both national polls (#41 AP; #41 coaches).

Memphis started C-USA play with a 2-1 record. The Tigers posted home wins over East Carolina 61-58 Jan. 8 and Marshall 77-61 Jan. 15, but dropped a 64-58 decision in their lone road contest at SMU Jan. 12.

After closing a five-game homestand over the holidays, Memphis played its first road game of the season Jan. 5 at Tennessee. The Tigers fell to the Volunteers 104-84. In the five-game homestand, Memphis posted a 4-1 record with wins over Austin Peay Dec. 16, Texas A&M-Corpus Christi Dec. 20, Lipscomb Dec. 30 and Tennessee State Jan. 2 and a loss to No. 10/9 Georgetown Dec. 23.

Southern Miss is 14-3 overall and 3-1 in the league. The Golden Eagles enter Wednesday's C-USA showdown having won five of their last six with wins over Mississippi Valley State, Savannah State, Houston, Rice and UCF.

Southern Miss is 14-3 overall and 3-1 in the league. The Golden Eagles enter Wednesday's C-USA showdown having won five of their last six with wins over Mississippi Valley State, Savannah State, Houston, Rice and UCF.

The senior duo of Gary Flowers and R.L. Horton paces the Golden Eagle offense. Flowers leads Southern Miss and Conference USA with a 21.1 scoring average, while Horton is second on the squad in scoring at 12.4 ppg. Flowers also leads the Golden Eagles on the glass with a 7.8 rebounding average (seventh in C-USA). Freshman D.J. Newbill is second on the team at 6.3 rpg.

Redshirt junior Angelo Johnson tops the team with 74 assists (4.4 apg) and has only 21 turnovers. He leads C-USA with a 3.5 assist-to-turnover ratio. Flowers is Southern Miss' top threat from the arc at 44.1 percent (sixth in C-USA).

The Golden Eagles are shooting 45.8 percent from the floor, 35.9 percent from the three-point line and 73.9 percent from the charity stripe. Southern Miss out-rebounds its foes by a C-USA-leading margin of +8.1 boards per game (40.5-32.4). The Golden Eagles also take care of the ball, as they average a Conference USA-low 12.6 turnovers per game.

Head coach Josh Pastner's first Conference USA foe was Southern Miss last year. Pastner's Tigers opened their C-USA schedule in Hattiesburg, Miss., on Jan. 9, 2010, and Memphis pulled out a hard-fought 59-57 victory. With the win, Pastner became the first Memphis head coach since Tic Price in 1997-98 to win his Conference USA debut.

As in Reed Green Coliseum. In its last 21 trips to Hattiesburg (since 1987-88), Memphis has won 10 times (10-11 record; .476 winning percentage). Of those 10 wins, five were by single digits, and the average margin of victory in those five Tiger single-digit victories was 6.8 points.

To take it further, Southern Miss is tied for the site of the most Tiger Conference USA road losses since 2000-01. Memphis has lost three times at Reed Green Coliseum since 2000-01, and is tied with UAB's Bartow Arena, where Memphis has also dropped three games in that same time period.

Well, it's been awhile, but the Tigers are going to see what Hattiesburg, Miss., is like during the middle of the week. For the first time since the 2001-02 season, Memphis plays a non-Saturday game at Southern Miss on Wednesday.

The past eight years (2002-03 through 2009-10), Memphis played at Southern Miss on a Saturday, and the Tigers were 6-2 in those games (.750 winning percentage). In fact, Memphis won the last six meetings in Hattiesburg and all six were Saturday contests.

The last time Memphis played in Hattiesburg, and it wasn't a Saturday was in 2001-02. The Tigers posted a narrow 73-64 win over the Golden Eagles on Jan. 18, 2002, which was a Friday night.

The last time the two longtime rivals played on a non-weekend day was in the 2000-01 campaign. That year, the encounter was on Feb. 28 -- a Wednesday -- and Southern Miss dominated Memphis 74-55.

Wednesday's Memphis-Southern Miss game is the 84th meeting between the two longtime rivals, but the series is still a little short of the longest in Tigers hoops history.

The longest series in Memphis history is the one versus Louisville. That series is 85 games.

The Tigers-Golden Eagles match-up in Memphis on Feb. 12 will tie the longest series in school history. A possible 2011 C-USA Tournament meeting between the two programs would make it the longest series in Memphis history.

It's not a surprise that head coach Josh Pastner has had to juggle his starting lineup in 2010-11 with injuries, additions and subtraction of players and the overall youth of the squad. According recent research by USC Upstate SID Alex Edwards, the Tigers are second in the nation in using different starting lineups, and the following shows that (top five teams listed below):

Team	No. of Different Lineups
Pepperdine 13
Memphis 11
USC Upstate 9
Radford 8
Tennessee Tech 8

No one wants to hear how young the 2010-11 Memphis team is anymore with half the season gone by. However, entering the campaign, the Tigers had the seventh-youngest squad out of 346 NCAA Division I programs, according to

Memphis is one of only four teams to be ranked in the top-25 national polls at some time this season with a top-50 youngest team. Connecticut (12th), Kentucky (36th) and North Carolina (40th) are the other three schools with a top-50 young team that was also ranked in the top-25 of the national polls at some point during 2010-11.

The next youngest team in Conference USA is UCF at 102. The Tigers' foe on Wednesday, Southern Miss, is the country's 289th youngest team (or the 57th-most experienced team). The following lists the top-10 youngest teams and where the C-USA schools fall on the list:

	Top-10 Youngest	C-USA on Youngest List
1. Nevada 7. Memphis
2. Stetson 102. UCF
3. Toledo 116. Tulsa
4. Georgia Southern 128. UAB
5. Savannah State 198. East Carolina
6. North Dakota 223. Rice
7. Memphis 234. Marshall
8. St. Louis 256. Tulane
9. Michigan 273. Houston
10. Robert Morris 289. Southern Miss
297. SMU
330. UTEP

The Tigers have the most newcomers on the team for the first time since the 1972-73 season. Memphis has eight newcomers on its roster (seven freshmen, one transfer) in 2010-11. The 1972-73 Tigers had 10 newcomers on their roster, and many of those were available because 1972-73 was the first year of freshmen eligibility.

That 1972-73 Memphis squad advanced to the NCAA national title game.

The scoreboard operator better have his fingers ready to go on Wednesday as Memphis and Southern Miss are Conference USA's top two scoring offenses. Southern Miss leads the league with a 78.6 scoring average, while the Tigers are second in C-USA with a 78.3 average.

Hopefully, the Tigers learned their lesson from the 2009-10 season when playing Conference USA's leading scorer, Southern Miss' Gary Flowers, on Wednesday. Flowers leads the league with a 21.1 scoring average.

Last year, Memphis didn't fare so well in its three meetings against C-USA's leading scorer, Houston's Aubrey Coleman. The Tigers dropped two of the three games to the Cougars, and Coleman averaged 29.0 points in the three contests.

The Tigers' toughest battle on the glass is Wednesday's foe, Southern Miss. The Golden Eagles lead Conference USA and rank 12th in the nation in rebound margin at +8.1.

Memphis is seventh in C-USA and ranks 117th in rebound margin at +2.1. However, the Tigers are out-rebounding their opponents by a margin of +6.5 in their last eight games.

That is the question to be answered in Wednesday's Memphis-Southern Miss match-up. The Tigers are Conference USA's top squad in forcing turnovers. Memphis' opponents average 16.9 turnovers per game.

However, Southern Miss is C-USA's best squad at taking care of the ball. The Golden Eagles average only 12.6 turnovers per contest. In eight home games at Reed Green Coliseum, Southern Miss is averaging only 11 turnovers per game.

Head coach Josh Pastner announced Jan. 13 that junior Wesley Witherspoon has been suspended indefinitely for an internal matter. He did not play in the Jan. 15 game versus Marshall.

Pastner gave an update on his Jan. 17 radio show that he expects to reinstate Witherspoon on Jan. 20, but the suspension was still "day-to-day." The 6-foot-9 forward is Memphis' second-leading scorer (11.5 ppg) and leading rebounder (4.9 rpg).

For the fourth time this season, a Memphis player recorded a double-double. The latest was senior forward Will Coleman's 19-point, 11-rebound performance in the Tigers' 77-61 win over Marshall Jan. 15. The following tracks the Tigers' double-doubles throughout the 2010-11 campaign:

Player/Opponent	Dbl-Dbl
Coleman/Marshall 19-11
Witherspoon/Lipscomb 28-14
Stephens/Western Kentucky 13-11
Witherspoon/NW State 24-12

While Memphis has had a lot of success in December since 1999-2000, January has proven to be a better month for the Tigers. Since 1999-2000, the Tigers have an impressive 75-19 record (.798 winning percentage) in the month of January. Memphis has won 43 of its last 48 January games (.896 winning percentage).

After he signed with Memphis and leading up to the 2010-11 season, head coach Josh Pastner said Will Barton was the best rebounding guard of the 2010 signing class. The Tigers' 6-foot-6 guard started off the season slowly on the glass, but is proving his head coach right with his recent play on the boards, and the following shows that:

Games	Total Rebounds	Avg.
1-7 26 3.7
8-17 53 5.3

Although the holiday season has passed, the Tigers are still in the sharing mood. In its Jan. 15 outing, Memphis recorded 20 assists on 29 made baskets versus Marshall.

The Tigers have had five games with 20 or more assists and won all five (Centenary, Tennessee Martin, Lipscomb, Tennessee State, Marshall). This season, Memphis leads C-USA and ranked 26th in the country in assists per game (16.2).

For more notes on the Memphis-Southern Miss game, click on pdf or issuu versions at the top of the page.



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