Radio: WREC 600 AM (Dave Woloshin, play-by-play; Matt Dillon, color analyst; Forrest Goodman, studio host)
Web:Game to be streamed live on the Memphis Tiger Network on the Memphis athletics web site at gotigersgo.com via All-Access (must register to view game)
SETTING THE SCENE
Memphis (18-3, 7-0 C-USA) opens a short two-game road trip Wednesday, Feb. 6 when it travels to Dallas, Texas, for a Conference USA showdown with SMU (12-11, 2-6, C-USA). The game is not televised, but can be viewed on the Memphis Tiger Network via All-Access on www.gotigersgo.com.
The Tigers appeared in the Also Receiving Votes category of both national polls this week. Memphis is No. 30 in the Associated Press poll and No. 32 in the ESPN/USA Today coaches poll.
The Tigers bounced back after their Dec. 15 setback to No. 6/6 Louisville with 12-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, Tulane 71-60 Jan. 22, Marshall 73-72 Jan. 26, East Carolina 75-68 Jan. 30 and Tulsa 94-64 Feb. 2.
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.
SMU has dropped four of its last five games, but all four were single-digit setbacks. The lone win was a 68-57 road victory at Marshall.
The Mustangs are 6-4 at Moody Coliseum this year.
SMU returns three starters from last year's 13-19 squad. The Mustangs welcome eight newcomers to this season's squad.
WHAT'S UP NEXT
The Tigers close their two-game road trip Saturday, Feb. 9 at Southern Miss. Game time is 3 p.m. (CT), and the contest is slated for a CBS Sports Network (CBS SN) telecast.
The Mustangs take to the road Saturday, Feb. 9 with a 7 p.m. (CT) game at Rice. The contest is scheduled for a TWC Sports telecast.
WHAT THE MUSTANGS DID A YEAR AGO
SMU posted a 13-19 overall record and a 4-12 Conference USA mark.
The Mustangs finished in 11th place in the C-USA regular-season standings.
SMU dropped its opening-round contest in the Conference USA Tournament to Marshall 74-56.
SCOUTING THE MUSTANGS
SMU brings a 12-11 overall record and a 2-6 C-USA mark into Wednesday's league match-up.
The Mustangs have dropped four of their last five, with the four setbacks coming by single digits. SMU's lone victory in the five-game stretch was a 68-57 road win at Marshall.
SMU is 6-4 at Moody Coliseum this season, including a 59-53 win over Tulane Jan. 12.
The Mustangs have a trio of double-figure scorers in Jalen Jones (15.3 ppg), Nick Russell (14.1 ppg) and Ryan Manuel (12.1 ppg).
Jones leads SMU on the glass with an 8.1 rebounding average. Cannen Cunningham (5.7 rpg) and Shawn Williams (5.2 rpg) both average over five boards per game.
Nick Russell is the Mustangs' top playmaker with 99 total assists (4.3 apg).
Williams is the team's top three-point threat at 43.5 percent from the arc.
SMU is shooting 44.4 percent from the floor, 36.7 percent from the three-point line and 75.8 percent from the charity stripe.
The Mustangs are out-rebounding their opponents by an average margin of +2.3 boards per game (33.3-31.0).
All five Mustangs starters average over 30 minutes per game, with Russell leading the way at 36.7 minutes per contest.
The Last Meeting
January 21, 2012
Black's 11-point, 13-Rebound Performance Leads Memphis Past SMU, 63-45
Memphis' defense took control of the game in the second half, holding SMU scoreless for nearly nine minutes, and the Tigers put away the Mustangs, 63-45. Will Barton led the Tigers with 24 points, the 10th time this season he scored 20 or more points, and Tarik Black posted the third double-double of his career with 11 points and a career-high 13 rebounds.
It's hard to believe that anyone is any "newer" to Conference USA than Memphis head coach Josh Pastner, but the fact is Pastner is the third-longest tenured coach in the league.
This season, Pastner meets three C-USA coaching newbies in SMU's Larry Brown, Tulsa's Danny Manning and UAB's Jarod Haase.
So far, Pastner is 2-0 against the 2012-13 C-USA coaching newbies with victories over UAB 69-53 and Tulsa 94-64.
There were no first-year head coaches at C-USA schools in 2011-12.
In 2010-11, Pastner faced five first-year C-USA head coaches -- East Carolina's Jeff Lebo (2-1), Marshall's Tom Herrion (1-1), Houston's James Dickey (1-0), Tulane's Ed Conroy (1-0) and UTEP's Tim Floyd (1-1) -- and posted a 6-3 record in those match-ups.
Overall, Pastner has an 8-3 record (.727 winning percentage) against C-USA coaching newbies.
BROWN NOT NEW TO FACING TIGERS
Although he is new to Conference USA, SMU head coach Larry Brown won't be a new face to Tigers fans.
Brown coached against Memphis three times in the 1980s and was 2-1 versus the Tigers.
All three Brown-versus-Memphis encounters were single-digit outcomes, and the following shows that:
New York, N.Y.
^Kansas' 1988 NCAA title season
#Memphis' 1985 NCAA Final Four season
PASTNER VERSUS CAROLINA COACHING TREE IN C-USA
Although he hasn't faced North Carolina on the court (he's tried to set up a home-and-home series), Tigers head coach Josh Pastner has faced four head coaches -- current and former -- with North Carolina ties in his tenure.
On Wednesday, Pastner faces his fifth C-USA coach with a Tar Heels tie in Mustangs mentor Larry Brown.
Pastner has an 11-4 record (.733 winning percentage) in these match-ups, and the following breaks it down:
IT'S AN NCAA RING THING
Both head coaches in Wednesday's Memphis-SMU match-up have NCAA title rings.
Memphis head coach Josh Pastner won his NCAA title as a player on the 1996-97 Arizona squad. Arizona defeated Rick Pitino's Kentucky team for the championship.
In the 1987-88 season, SMU head coach Larry Brown guided Kansas to the NCAA title with current Tulsa head coach Danny Manning leading the way.
A TIGER'S HOMECOMING
Senior D.J. Stephens is making his next-to-last, regular-season trip back to his home state of Texas when the Tigers play at SMU in Dallas Wednesday.
The 6-foot-5 forward is from Killeen, which is around 150 miles south of Dallas.
In his career, Stephens has a 5-3 record (.625 winning percentage) when he travels back to his home state, including winning the 2011 Conference USA Tournament title with the Tigers.
TIGERS LOVE DALLAS-FORT WORTH IN THE 2000S
Memphis sure loves its homecourt at FedExForum, and the home record of 158-18 (.898 winning percentage) proves it.
But, if the Tigers can claim a second "home" -- a place they enjoy playing -- they may want to consider the Dallas-Fort Worth area.
Since 2000-01, Memphis has a 9-2 record (.818 winning percentage) in games played in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, including two NCAA Tournament games in 2006. The following shows those results:
*2006 NCAA Tournament
TIGERS, BEWARE THE MOOD(Y)!
Don't think the 2012-13 Tigers need a reminder of how tough it can be to play in Moody Coliseum with their last two visits ending in losses -- 70-60 in 2009-10 and 64-58 in 2010-11.
However, prior to the last two setbacks, Memphis had some close calls versus SMU in Moody Coliseum. The Tigers' trips to SMU in March of 2007 and 2008 and February of 2009 all proved to be tough.
In the 2009 contest at SMU, Memphis led 34-29 at the break, but the Mustangs opened the second half with a 12-5 run to take a 41-39 lead at the 13:43 mark. The Tigers, though, regrouped and went on a 15-2 spurt over the next seven minutes to take a 54-43 lead and never looked back.
In the 2007-08 meeting in Dallas, Memphis had to fend off several Mustang charges before pulling away late for the 72-55 victory.
In 2006-07, the Tigers entered the game with a perfect 15-0 league record, but had to scrap and claw their way to a 64-61 win to preserve its first perfect conference season.
DE - FENSE! DE - FENSE!
Wednesday's game could get defensive, as Memphis and SMU both rank in the top half of Conference USA in four defensive statistical categories, and the following shows that:
FG Pct. Defense
NO SCHEDULING LOVE FROM C-USA; TIGERS PLAY THREE OF FOUR ON THE ROAD
The talk every year is that league offices feed the teams into a computer, and it spits out the schedules.
Well, that Conference USA scheduling computer has no love for the Tigers over this two-week stretch (four games) that began Jan. 30 and goes through Feb. 9.
Memphis is the only team in C-USA to play three of those four league contests on the road. The Tigers played at East Carolina Jan. 30 (75-68 Tigers win) and has road games at SMU Feb. 6 and Southern Miss Feb. 9.
Memphis' lone home contest in this four-game stretch was Feb. 2 versus Tulsa (94-64 win).
FEBRUARY FRIENDLY FOR TIGERS
The Tigers have enjoyed tremendous success in the month of January (93-21 record; .816 winning percentage) since 1999-2000, but February hasn't been too bad either.
Since 1999-2000, Memphis has a 77-23 record (.770 winning percentage) in February.
Last year, the Tigers posted a 7-2 record in February.
Memphis has won 48 of its last 56 games (.857 winning percentage) in the month of February.
MEMPHIS IN CONFERENCE USA
The Tigers have an all-time record of 206-65 (.760 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.
TIGERS ON THE ROAD IN C-USA SINCE 2005-06
Everyone knows how tough the Tigers are at home in Conference USA play since the league realigned in 2005-06.
Memphis is 71-3 (.959 winning percentage) in C-USA games at FedExForum since 2005-06, and the record includes both regular season and tournament games.
Well, the Tigers aren't too bad in their C-USA road games over that same period of time.
Memphis has a 52-11 C-USA road record (.825 winning percentage; includes regular season and tournament games) since 2005-06.
Of the 11 league road losses since 2005-06, four were single-digit setbacks.