Jan. 24, 2012
Memphis Game Notes vs Rice
NOTE: At Wednesday's men's basketball game against Rice, student-athletes who have earned a 3.0 GPA or better last fall will be introduced at halftime. The U of M had a school-record 217 student-athletes achieve a 3.0 or better, including 27 student-athletes who posted a 4.0 GPA. Two teams will be recognized for excellence in the classroom as the men's cross country and women's golf programs both posted team GPAs of 3.8.
Tigers On TV/Radio/Web
Television: SportSouth/Comcast digital channel 52 (Greg Gaston, play-by-play; Hank McDowell, color analyst)
Radio: WREC 600 AM (Dave Woloshin, play-by-play; Matt Dillon, color analyst; Forrest Goodman, studio host)
SETTING THE SCENE
Memphis (13-6, 4-1 C-USA) continues its three-game homestand Wednesday, Jan. 25 when it hosts the Rice Owls (11-9, 2-3 C-USA) in a Conference USA contest at FedExForum. The game, to be televised on SportSouth, is slated for a 7 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. 23. Rice is not ranked in either national poll.
Memphis enters Wednesday's encounter having won seven of its last eight.
The Tigers bounced back after its Jan. 18 loss at UCF with a 63-45 victory over SMU Jan. 21.
Prior to the Jan. 18 setback to UCF, the Tigers had won six straight with victories over Robert Morris 64-47 Dec. 29, Charlotte 67-58 Dec. 31, Tennessee 69-51 Jan. 4, UAB 62-59 Jan. 7, Southern Miss 60-58 Jan. 11 and Houston 89-55 Jan. 14.
The Owls enter Wednesday's contest on a two-game skid with losses to UAB and Tulsa.
Prior to the two losses, the Owls had won two-straight league games on the road at SMU and Tulane.
Rice has a 4-2 record in road games this year.
WHAT'S UP NEXT...
Memphis closes its three-game homestand Saturday, Jan. 28 when it hosts Marshall at FedExForum. Game time is 8 p.m. (CT).
Rice returns home to Tudor Fieldhouse Saturday to host Tulane. Game time is 7 p.m. (CT).
WHAT THE OWLS DID LAST YEAR
Rice posted a 14-18 overall record and a 5-11 Conference USA mark.
The Owls placed 10th in the C-USA regular season standings.
Rice defeated SMU 58-57 in the C-USA Tournament first round, before falling to Tulsa 81-72 in a quarterfinal contest.
The Owls did not play in any of college basketball's postseason tournaments.
SCOUTING THE OWLS
Rice enters Wednesday's contest with an 11-9 overall record and a 2-3 Conference USA mark.
The Owls have a 2-4 record since the new year, with both victories coming on the road at C-USA foes SMU and Tulane.
Rice has a 4-2 record in road games in 2011-12.
Junior forward Arsalan Kazemi, who leads the Owls in scoring (13.9 ppg) and rebounding (11.7 rpg), suffered a knee injury in recent weeks and missed Rice's last game against Tulsa Jan. 21.
Tamir Jackson is Rice's only other double-figure scorer at 11.5 ppg.
Dylan Ennis is the team's second-leading rebounder at 4.3 rpg.
Ennis (71 assists) and Jackson (55 assists) lead the Owls in assists, while Ennis has 28 steals (second to Kazemi's 38 steals).
Connor Frizzelle is the squad's top threat from the arc, hitting 37.7 percent of his trey attempts.
Rice is shooting 44.3 percent from the floor, 32.4 percent from the three-point line and 67.2 percent from the charity stripe.
The Owls are out-rebounding their opponents by an average margin of +3.9 boards per game (38.2-34.3).
Rice is second in C-USA in steals per game (8.2) and third in assists per game (14.2).
BARTON NAMED A WOODEN AWARD MID-SEASON CANDIDATE
On Jan. 17, Will Barton was named one of the 25 mid-season candidates for the John R. Wooden Award, which recognizes college basketball's Player of the Year.
Barton was the only player from Conference USA to be named among the 25 mid-season candidates.
The 6-foot-6 sophomore leads C-USA in scoring and is also ranked in the top-10 in rebounding.
Barton has nine double-doubles to date this year, the 20th-most in the nation.
His nine double-doubles are the fifth-most by a Tigers player since 2000-01.
PASTNER VS. HOMETOWN SCHOOL
When Memphis hosts Rice Wednesday, Tigers head coach Josh Pastner faces another school from his hometown area.
Pastner grew up outside Houston -- where Rice is located -- in Kingwood, Texas. In fact, Pastner grew up fewer than 25 miles from the Rice University campus.
Pastner, who attended Kingwood High School, coached the Houston Hoops summer ball team during his high school and collegiate (Arizona) days.
In his three seasons, Pastner has a 5-3 record against Houston area NCAA Division 1 programs (Houston, Houston Baptist, Rice).
When playing Houston area NCAA Division 1 programs at FedExForum, Pastner is 3-0 coaching in those contests.
PASTNER VS. BRAUN
Wednesday's game is the only the third meeting of Josh Pastner and Ben Braun (1-1 record in their C-USA match-ups) as head coaches, but the two have a history in their days in the Pac-10 Conference.
Braun served as the California Bears' head coach from 1996-2008, and during that same time, Pastner was an Arizona Wildcat (first as a player, then staff member and assistant coach).
In those 12 years in Pac-10 play, Braun's Bears and Pastner's Wildcats met a total of 26 times, and Arizona won 22 of those encounters (22-4 record).
In Pastner's time as an assistant coach at Arizona (2002-03 to 2007-08), the Wildcats were 11-2 against Braun and his California squads.
Ironically, Braun's first victory over Arizona in the 1996-97 season (79-77) was the Wildcats' final setback of that campaign. After that loss to California, the Wildcats won six-straight NCAA Tournament games to claim the national title.
HEY, WE REMEMBER YOU!
When the Rice Owls take the floor Wednesday, the team's four seniors will see a familiar face on the opposing bench.
That familiar face will be current Memphis assistant coach Damon Stoudamire.
In 2008-09, Stoudamire served as Rice's Director of Player Development for head coach Ben Braun.
Near the end of the 2008-09 season, Stoudamire left Rice to join the NBA Memphis Grizzlies staff as an assistant.
The four Rice seniors -- who were freshmen in 2008-09 -- are Connor Frizzelle, Emerson Herndon, Lucas Kuipers and Nate Schwarze.
TIGERS GOING FOR WIN NO. 200 SINCE `05-06
With its next victory, Memphis will be the second NCAA Division 1 program to have 200 wins since 2005-06.
The Tigers enter Wednesday game with 199 wins since 2005-06, second only to Kansas' 207 victories over that same period of time.
Since 2005-06, Memphis is averaging over 28 wins per season.
THOMAS OUT OF ACTION
Adonis Thomas suffered an ankle injury in a Jan. 13 practice and underwent surgery to repair a "loose flap" of cartilage Jan. 20. Head coach Josh Pastner said in his Jan. 21 postgame press conference that the surgery was successful.
The surgery is minor, but the normal recovery time is 2-3 months which would put Thomas returning in mid-March or later.
CARMOUCHE OUT OF ACTION
Charles Carmouche continues to suffer from tendonitis in his knees, and according to head coach Josh Pastner's media briefing Jan. 23, the 6-foot-3 senior may be out the remainder of the 2011-12 campaign.
Pastner said Carmouche will have to apply for a medical redshirt at the end of the season.
The New Orleans, La., native has played in seven games this season, averaging 6.3 points and 2.6 rebounds.
DE -FENSE, DE -FENSE
Defense may be the name of the game on Wednesday as both Memphis and Rice are ranked in the top-five in the following C-USA defensive categories:
UofM/Rank Statistic RU/Rank
37.8/1st FG Pct. Def. 40.1/3rd
6.7/1st Blocks 4.7/5th
7.5/3rd Steals 8.2/2nd
SANTA GIVING THE GIFT OF DEFENSE TO TIGERS
Since the Christmas break, the Tigers have played better team defense, and the following shows the improvement:
Before 12/25 Statistic After 12/25
41.0 FG Pct. Def. 33.0
33.3 3-pt. FG Pct. Def. 27.4
-1.9 Rebound Margin +5.7
6.2 Blocks 7.4
HOLD `EM UNDER 40 (PERCENT)
The key stat for the Tigers' season has emerged. and it's field goal percentage defense.
Memphis is a perfect 11-0 when it holds opponents to under 40 percent shooting from the field (2-6 when foes shoot 40 or better).
The Tigers are ranked nationally in field goal percentage defense (11th), three-point field goal percentage defense (51st) and blocks per game (5th)/NCAA stats as of Jan. 23.
Under 40 Defense Statistic Over 40
11-0 Record 2-6
32.8 FG Pct. Def. 44.5
25.9 3-pt. FG Pct. Def. 36.9
+3.0 Rebound Margin -1.0
7.6 Blocks 5.4
8.3 Steals 6.5
Memphis' "hold-'em-under-40" defense has also translated into a more efficient offense.
Under 40 Offense Statistic Over 40
50.4 FG Pct. 46.0
39.1 3-pt. FG Pct. 37.5
+3.0 Rebound Margin -1.0
14.5 Assists 13.3
TIGERS SUCCESS AT FEDEXFORUM
The Tigers have a 136-16 overall record (.895 winning percentage) at FedExForum since moving into the arena for the 2004-05 campaign.
Since the 2005 Conference USA Tournament, Memphis has won 125 of its last 135 home games (.926 winning percentage).
BEST HOMECOURT ADVANTAGE
Since 2004-05, Memphis has won 136 games at FedExForum, the most home wins in the country over that span of time.
The following are the top five programs with the most home wins since 2004-05 (credit to Memphis intern Bryan McEldowney for compiling this list):
Most Home Wins Since 2004-05
1. Memphis 136
2. Ohio State 132
3. Kansas 129
4. Louisville 127