Tigers On TV/Radio/Web Television: FOX Sports Net (SportSouth in Memphis)/Comcast digital channel 52 (Ron Thulin, play-by-play; Mike Gminski, color analyst; Jenn Hildreth, sideline reporter)
Radio: WREC 600 AM (Dave Woloshin, play-by-play; Matt Dillon, color analyst; Forrest Goodman, studio host)
SETTING THE SCENE
Memphis (15-3, 4-0 C-USA) closes its three-game homestand Saturday, Jan. 26 when it hosts Marshall (9-10, 2-2 C-USA) in a Conference USA showdown at FedExForum. The game, to be televised on FOX Sports Net (SportSouth in Memphis and the Mid-South), is scheduled for a 1 p.m. (CT) start.
The Tigers appeared in the Also Receiving Votes category of this week's Associated Press poll (No. 33).
The Tigers bounced back after their Dec. 15 setback to No. 6/6 Louisville with nine-consecutive wins over Lipscomb 62-56 Dec. 20, Oral Roberts 72-57 Dec. 28, Loyola, Md., 78-64 Dec. 30, Tennessee 85-80 Jan. 4, East Carolina 67-54 Jan. 9, UAB 69-53 Jan. 12, Rice 77-51 Jan. 16, Harvard 60-50 Jan. 19 and Tulane 71-60 Jan. 22.
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.
Marshall split its last four outings with home wins over Tulsa and East Carolina and road setbacks at UTEP and Southern Miss.
Marshall returns three starters and nine letterwinners from last year's 21-14 squad.
WHAT'S UP NEXT
The Tigers take to the road for the first time in two weeks Wednesday, Jan. 30 when they play East Carolina in a C-USA contest in Greenville, N.C. The game, which starts at 6 p.m. (CT), is not televised.
The Thundering Herd returns to Huntington, W.Va., for a 6 p.m. (CT) contest against C-USA foe SMU Wednesday, Jan. 30.
WHAT THE HERD DID A YEAR AGO
Marshall posted a 21-14 overall record and a 9-7 Conference USA mark. It was the Thundering Herd's third-straight 20-win campaign.
The Thundering Herd finished in fifth place in the C-USA regular-season standings.
Marshall defeated SMU, Tulsa (3ot) and Southern Miss en route to the C-USA Tournament championship game. The Thundering Herd fell to host Memphis 83-57 in the title contest.
The Thundering Herd received a National Invitation Tournament (NIT) bid, but dropped an 86-78 decision at Middle Tennessee in the first round.
SCOUTING THE THUNDERING HERD
Marshall brings a 9-10 overall record and a 2-2 Conference USA mark into Saturday's league match-up.
The Thundering Herd have split their last four games with home wins over Tulsa and East Carolina and road setbacks at UTEP and Southern Miss.
Marshall has a 0-6 record in road games this season.
Four of Marshall's five starters are averaging double figures with Elijah Pittman leading the way at 14.8 ppg. DeAndre Kane (14.5 ppg), D.D. Scarver (13.3 ppg) and Dennis Tinnon (10.5 ppg) also average double digits in scoring.
The tandem of Tinnon (8.8 rpg) and Nigel Spikes (8.2 rpg) leads the Thundering Herd on the glass. Tinnon (No. 5) and Spikes (No. 8) are ranked among C-USA's top-10 rebounding leaders.
Kane is Marshall's and C-USA's top playmaker with 109 assists (7.3 apg).
Pittman is the Thundering Herd's top three-point threat, hitting 39.2 percent from the arc.
Marshall is shooting 41.9 percent from the floor, 32.8 percent from the three-point line and 56.8 percent from the charity stripe.
The Thundering Herd are out-rebounding their opponents by an average margin of +3.6 boards per game (39.7-36.1).
Marshall is last in the league in turnovers per game (16.5) and turnover margin (-3.2).
While Memphis head coach Josh Pastner grew up in Houston, Texas, and calls that city home, he was born in the state of West Virginia.
Pastner's birthplace is Glendale, W.Va., which is approximately 150 miles northeast of Huntington (2.5 hour drive).
TIGERS STAFF TO PARTICIPATE IN COACHES VS. CANCER WEEKEND
The Memphis coaching staff will be dressed a little differently Saturday.
Instead of the normal dress shoes with their suits, the coaches and staff will wear sneakers.
The wearing of sneakers is for the 10th-annual Coaches vs. Cancer® Suits and Sneakers awareness weekend Jan. 25-27 in demonstrating support for the American Cancer Society.
Fans may support this cause by texting COACH to 20222 from any wireless phone to make a $5 donation toward Coaches vs. Cancer®. For more information, visit the Coaches vs. Cancer® Facebook page at facebook.com/coachesvscancer.
BOARD BATTLE SET FOR SATURDAY
The winner of Saturday's Memphis-Marshall contest may be decided on the glass.
The Tigers and Thundering Herd enter the game in the top half of C-USA in rebound margin.
Memphis is second in C-USA in rebound margin at +5.6, while Marshall is sixth in the league at +3.6.
HIDE YOUR EYES
Memphis and Marshall both enter Saturday's encounter in the bottom half of Conference USA in both free throw percentage and three-point field goal percentage.
The Tigers are ninth in the league in free throw percentage (67.7), and the Thundering Herd are 12th (56.8).
Memphis is eighth in C-USA in three-point field goal percentage at 33.3 percent, while Marshall is ninth at 32.8 percent.
PROTECT THE BALL
Saturday's Memphis-Marshall game may come down to which team can protect the ball.
The Thundering Herd enters Saturday's contest as Conference USA's most turnover-proned squad at 16.5 miscues per game.
The Tigers aren't much better, averaging 15.0 turnovers per game. In Conference USA games only, Memphis is committing 15.5 miscues per outing.
The Tigers and Thundering Herd have played two common foes so far this season in Ohio and East Carolina.
Memphis is 2-0 in those common foe games, while Marshall is 1-1. The following shows those common foe results for both teams:
84-58, W (H)
57-94, L (A)
67-54, W (H)
77-56, W (H)
TIGERS SUCCESS AT FEDEXFORUM
The Tigers have a 156-18 overall record (.897 winning percentage) at FedExForum since moving to the arena for the 2004-05 campaign.
Since the 2005 Conference USA Tournament, Memphis has won 146 of its last 158 home games (.924 winning percentage).
Against Conference USA foes (regular season and tournament) at FedExForum since 2004-05, the Tigers have a 77-7 mark (.917 winning percentage).
Under head coach Josh Pastner, Memphis is 26-3 (.897 winning percentage) against C-USA opponents.
BEST HOMECOURT ADVANTAGE
Since 2004-05, Memphis has won 156 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 former Memphis Athletics Communications Assistant Bryan McEldowney for compiling this list; credit to Travis Chell for updates):
Most Home Wins Since 2004-05 (as of Jan. 25)
MEMPHIS IN CONFERENCE USA
The Tigers have an all-time record of 203-65 (.757 winning percentage) in C-USA play.
Memphis posted double-digit league wins in 14 of its previous 17 seasons in Conference USA, including a school-record and league-record tying 16 games in 2006-07, 2007-08 and 2008-09.
Last season, the Tigers won the Conference USA regular-season title with a 13-3 league mark.
Memphis won its first outright C-USA regular season title in 2005-06, and followed that with outright regular season crowns in 2006-07, 2007-08, 2008-09 and 2011-12.
Memphis also tied for the C-USA regular season crown in 2003-04 (12-4 record) and 1995-96 (11-3).
Memphis also won three National Division titles in 1997-98, 2001-02 and 2002-03, and captured two league White Division championships in 1995-96 and 1996-97.
DOUBLE YOUR PLEASURE
This double is not about double-doubles, but is referring to consecutive double-figure scoring games.
Junior Joe Jackson enters Saturday's game versus Marshall with a string of 14-straight double-figure scoring games.
The following shows the longest streaks of consecutive double-figure scoring games the past 10 years (2003-04 through 2012-13; streak is within same year and does not go from one year to the next):
Consecutive Double-Figure Scoring Games (Last 10 Years)
Darius Washington Jr./2004-05
Two players tied
CLOSING IN ON THE (1,000-PT) CLUB
With each of his recent double-figure performances, junior Joe Jackson is closing on the 1,000-point milestone for his career.
The 6-foot-1 guard enters Saturday's contest with 968 points, needing only 32 to become the 48th member of the Tigers 1,000-point club.
WE'LL BE JOINING YOU SOON
Marshall is ranked among the top-10 schools in the nation in 1,000-point scorers with 49 in its history. The Thundering Herd are tied for eighth on that list.
Well, Memphis can move on that top-10 list when Joe Jackson reaches 1,000 points this season.
When Jackson reaches that milestone, Memphis will tie West Virginia and Wake Forest with 48 1,000-point scorers and the following shows that:
Most 1,000-Points Scorers (NCAA Division I)
TIGERS TURNING UP THE "D"
Since the turn of the New Year, the Tigers' defense has turned up the pressure even more on its opposition, and that can be seen in Memphis' last five games.
In those last five games, the Tigers have held their opponents to an average of 53.6 points per game.
The following shows how the Tigers put the clamps on the opposition in the last five contests:
Opp. PPG/Conf. Rank Entering Game
Pts vs Tigers
IT'S A BLOCK PARTY
After leading C-USA in blocks a year ago at 5.6 bpg, Memphis began 2012-13 averaging only 3.9 blocks per contest in the first seven games (27 total blocks).
Well, the Tigers have picked up their intensity on the defensive end in the last 11 games with 83 total blocks (7.5 bpg).