Memphis Basketball Notes
Jan. 23, 2009
TIGERS TO MEET IN-STATE FOE TENNESSEE ON SATURDAY IN KNOXVILLE
The Tigers go back on the road after a two-game homestand versus Conference USA opponents UAB and Rice. Memphis went 2-0 in the homestand with victories over UAB 81-68 on Jan. 17 and Rice 80-52 on Jan. 21. Prior to this homestand, Memphis posted a 2-0 record on a two-game road swing with victories over UCF (73-66) Jan. 10 and Tulsa (55-54) Jan. 13.
Before the Jan. 10 contest at UCF, Memphis' previous road contest was Dec. 13 at Georgetown. In between the two road games Dec. 13 and Jan. 10, the Tigers hosted a seven-game homestand at FedExForum and posted a 6-1 record in that stretch.
Memphis opened the seven-game homestand Dec. 17 with a 59-51 victory over Arkansas-Little Rock and followed with a 72-65 setback to No. 11/11 Syracuse Dec. 20. The Tigers bounced back with five-consecutive victories over Drexel (87-49) Dec. 22, Cincinnati (60-45) Dec. 29, Northeastern (80-48) Dec. 31, Lamar (108-75) Jan. 3 and Marshall (80-57) Jan. 7.
Tennessee enters Saturday's game having won three of its last four. The Volunteers defeated Georgia, South Carolina and Vanderbilt in that stretch, with the lone setback coming to Kentucky. Tennessee also posted solid non-league victories over Siena, Georgetown, Marquette and Belmont.
SCOUTING THE VOLUNTEERS
The trio of Tyler Smith (17.9 ppg), Wayne Chism (12.5 ppg) and J.P. Prince (10.1 ppg) paces the Tennessee offense. Chism leads the Volunteers on the glass with an 8.9 rebounding average, while Brian Williams is second at 6.5 rpg. Smith is tops on the squad with 67 assists (3.9 apg). Scotty Hopson (38 percent) and Cameron Tatum (33.7 percent) are Tennessee's top threats from the arc.
The Volunteers are shooting 45.9 percent from the floor, 30.3 percent from the arc and 69.8 percent from the charity stripe. Tennessee is out-rebounding its opponents by an average margin of +6.8 (41.5-34.7), which is third-best in the SEC.
FORMER TEAMMATES, NOW FOES
The duo helped lead Bolivar Central to a two-year (2004-05, 2005-06) mark of 58-16 and the 2005 Tennessee Class AA crown. In 2006, Bolivar Central reached the Class AA quarterfinals. Kemp won the 2006 Tennessee Class AA Mr. Basketball award, while Chism was a finalist for the honor.
A MCDONALD'S ALL-AMERICA GAME, JORDAN BRAND CLASSIC REUNION SATURDAY
Evans was selected the game's MVP and had 21 points and 10 boards in helping lead the East team to a 107-102 victory. He also had four assists in 23 minutes of action. Hopson had 10 points (4-of-5 FG, 2-of-4 FT), two rebounds and one steal in 13 minutes of action.
Evans and Hopson also played in the 2008 Jordan Brand Classic in Madison Square Garden on Apr. 19, 2008. Hopson scored a team-best 21 points (8-of-13 FG, 2-of-3 treys, 3-of-5 FT) in helping lead the Blue team to a 124-114 win over the White squad. Hopson also had four boards, one block and two steals. Evans, the White team MVP, had a 23 points (game-high), seven rebounds, four assists and three steals.
Joining Hopson on the Blue team was Memphis' Wesley Witherspoon. The 6-foot-8 Tiger freshman had 13 points, four rebounds and three steals in the Blue team win.
ALSO A NIKE HOOPS SUMMIT REUNION
Evans had 11 points, eight boards, four assists and three steals, and Hopson added 15 points, five rebounds, two assists and two steals.
On the other side, Tennessee's Emmanuel Negedu and Memphis' Angel Garcia played for the World Select Team. Negedu had three points and three boards in 11 minutes, while Garcia -- who recently was cleared to practice, but not yet play -- scored four points and grabbed four boards.
HEY, DON'T WE KNOW YOU?
Volunteer junior guard Bobby Maze last saw the Tigers in the 2006 Maui Invitational as a member of Jeff Capel's Sooner team. Although Maze was injured and did not play in the contest, he did travel with the Sooners to Maui. The Tigers won that Maui Invitational first-round game 77-65.
A PRINCE TIE TO THE TIGERS
During his time as an assistant at Memphis, the Tigers posted a 62-33 overall record and made two NCAA Tournament trips and one NIT appearance. The 1994-95 Tiger squad advanced to the NCAA Tournament Sweet 16, and the 1995-96 team tied for the first Conference USA regular season crown.
MEMPHIS VS. THE SEC
Memphis has won seven of its last nine contests against SEC opponents, and 12 of its last 15 games against the league. The last time the Tigers faced an SEC opponent was in the second round of the 2008 NCAA Tournament. Memphis defeated Mississippi State 77-74 in North Little Rock, Ark.
CAL VS. THE SEC
Calipari has won 12 of his last 15 games against SEC opponents.
TIGER SUCCESS IN JANUARY
The Tigers have won their last 31 January games, with their last January setback coming to Texas on Jan. 2, 2006 (69-58 loss).
In 2007-08, Memphis had a 22-2 record against non-conference opponents (including postseason). This season, the Tigers are 10-3 against non-C-USA foes.
ANOTHER GLASS-CLASH ON SATURDAY In four recent encounters when the Tigers had to step up to the challenge on the glass, they passed three of the tests with flying colors in wins over Drexel, Cincinnati and Marshall. Memphis did not do so well in its board battle at Tulsa Jan. 13, but was fortunate to come away with a victory.
Well, Memphis faces another boards test when its meets in-state foe Tennessee on Saturday. While the Tigers are second in C-USA in rebound margin at +4.5, the Volunteers are third in the SEC in rebound margin at +6.8.
Last year, Tennessee out-rebounded the Tigers 50-34. It was the largest rebounding deficit for Memphis in the 2007-08 season.
The following shows what the Tigers have been up against on the boards in recent games and the outcome of the glass battle in each contest:
Opp./Date Opp. Reb. Margin Reb. Result
WHERE HAVE THE THREES GONE?
Memphis Year/Stat Tennessee
A BATTLE OF (SCORING) WILLS ON SATURDAY
Tennessee, however, may present the Tiger defense its toughest test of 2008-09. The Volunteers average 82.9 points per game, which leads the SEC.
2008-09 TIGER SENIORS NEARING SCHOOL WINS RECORD
With its 15 victories so far in 2008-09, the senior class has 119 career wins, which is the second-most in school history. The school record for wins over a four-year period is 126 set by the 2007-08 class (Joey Dorsey).
The following shows the winningest four-year classes in Tiger history:
2008-09 TIGER SENIORS ALSO CLIMBING NCAA WINS LIST
The 2007-08 Tiger senior class is tied for the 10th spot on that NCAA Division I wins list with 126 victories. The following is an abbreviated list of the most wins in a four-year span in NCAA Division I history:
Team Year Wins
COUNTDOWN TO A SECOND 500
Just two games ago versus UAB on Jan. 17, the 6-foot-6 guard grabbed his 500th rebound and now has 505 career boards. Up next for Anderson is to reach the 500-assists mark.
The Lynn, Mass., native has 448 career assists (seventh on career assists list), and on his pace of 4.3 dishes per game this year, he would reach the mark. If he is successful in reaching 500 assists, Anderson would become the only player in Memphis history to have 1,000 points, 500 rebounds and 500 assists in a career.
Even more proof of his all-around game is that he has 190 career steals (fifth on career steals list).
EVANS RECEIVES MID-SEASON HONOR
This season, Evans has already received the C-USA Rookie of the Week honor five times.
For more notes on the Memphis-Tennessee game, click on pdf link at the top of the page.