Tigers On TV/Radio/Web Television: Comcast Sports Southeast (CSS)/Comcast digital channel 22 (Greg Gaston, 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. UAB 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.
SETTING THE SCENE
Memphis (17-7, 7-2 C-USA) returns to the friendly confines of FedExForum Saturday, Feb. 11 when it hosts longtime rival UAB (10-13, 5-5 C-USA) in a Conference USA showdown. The game, to be televised on Comcast Sports Southeast, is slated for 7 p.m. (CT).
The Tigers were not ranked in the national polls, which were released Feb. 6. UAB was not ranked in either national poll.
Memphis enters Saturday's encounter having won 11 of its last 13.
The Tigers bounced back after a Feb. 1 loss at Southern Miss with consecutive wins over Xavier 72-68 Feb. 4 and East Carolina 70-59 Feb. 8.
Before that Feb. 1 loss, Memphis had won three straight with victories over SMU 63-45 Jan. 21, Rice 73-51 Jan. 25 and Marshall 83-76 Jan. 28.
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 Blazers bring a three-game win streak into Saturday's game with victories over Houston, UTEP and Southern Miss.
UAB's last loss was a 73-66 setback to East Carolina on Jan. 28.
WHAT'S UP NEXT...
Memphis goes on the road to New Orleans, La., to face the Tulane Green Wave on Wednesday, Feb. 15. Game time is 7 p.m. (CT).
UAB travels to Dallas, Texas, on Wednesday to play SMU in Moody Coliseum. Game time is 7 p.m. (CT).
WHAT THE BLAZERS DID LAST YEAR
UAB posted a 22-9 overall record and a 12-4 Conference USA mark.
The Blazers won the C-USA regular season championship outright, but lost in the C-USA Tournament quarterfinal round to East Carolina.
UAB received an NCAA Tournament bid and played in the First Four in Dayton, Ohio. The Blazers lost to Clemson 70-52 in the first round.
SCOUTING THE BLAZERS
UAB enters Saturday's contest with a 10-13 overall record and a 5-5 Conference USA mark.
The Blazers have won three straight and four of their last five, including victories over Marshall, UTEP and Southern Miss.
Cameron Moore, the C-USA preseason Player of the Year, and sophomore transfer Jordan Swing pace the Blazers offense with scoring averages of 16.4 and 11.7 points, respectively.
Moore also leads UAB on the glass with a 10.8 rebounding average (leads C-USA). Ovie Soko is second on the team in rebounding (7.2 rpg).
Quincy Taylor is tops on the team with 71 assists (3.1 apg) and 22 steals.
Jordan Swing is the Blazers' top threat from the arc, hitting 40.9 percent of his three-point attempts.
UAB is shooting 42.9 percent from the floor, 35.6 percent from the arc and 67.3 percent from the charity stripe.
The Blazers are out-rebounding their foes by an average margin of +2.8 boards per game (34.8-32.0).
RECENT CLOSE CALLS IN SERIES
Close encounters are the norm when you have a rivalry like Memphis-UAB, and that's been the case in recent contests.
The last seven games have been decided by a total of 49 points (7.0 average; all Memphis wins).
Of those seven games, the last four were single-digit outcomes.
The margin of victory in the last four games was 3.8 points (15 total points).
Memphis-UAB Recent Close Calls
2011-12 62-59, UM 2009-10 70-65, UM
2010-11 62-58, UM 85-75, UM
76-73, UM 2008-09 71-60, UM
TIGERS SENIORS LOOKING FOR WIN NO. 100
When Preston Laird and Wesley Witherspoon suit up Saturday for the Blue and Gray, they will be looking for win No. 100 as a four-year senior class (senior Charles Carmouche is a two-year senior for the Tigers).
The Tigers' current four-year senior class has a record of 99-24 (.805 winning percentage).
The following lists the top-five winningest four-year senior classes in school history:
Four-Year Class Wins
2005-06 to 2008-09 137
2006-07 to 2009-10 127
2004-05 to 2007-08 126
1983-84 to 1986-87 111
2002-03; 2004-05 to 2006-07 111
2008-09 to present 99
FINAL FOUR "FEEL" ON SATURDAY
Although it's a regular season Conference USA game Saturday, the Memphis-UAB match-up has an NCAA Final Four "feel" to it since both head coaches have participated on the "Big Dance's" largest stage.
Tigers head coach Josh Pastner was a part of two Arizona squads that advanced to the NCAA Final Four in 1997 and 2001.
Pastner was a player on the 1997 Wildcat team that won the NCAA crown. He was also a member of Lute Olson's staff at Arizona in 2001 when the Wildcats advanced to the NCAA championship game.
On the other bench, UAB head coach Mike Davis directed his former team, Indiana, to the 2002 NCAA Final Four. Davis and his Hoosiers fell to Maryland in the title game.
In 2011-12, Memphis is 6-5 in single-digit outcome games, with two contests going to overtime in the 2011 EA Sports Maui Invitational.
This season, the Tigers are also 4-4 in games decided by five or fewer points.
Last season, Memphis had a 16-3 record in games decided by single digits, including a 13-2 mark in contests decided by five or fewer points.
Overall, Josh Pastner's teams have a 29-15 record in games decided by single digits.
Pastner's Close Calls Record
5 Pts or Fewer Single Digits
2011-12 4-4 6-5
2010-11 13-2 16-3
2009-10 4-4 7-7
Total 21-10 29-15
Pct. .677 .659
TIGERS SUCCESS AT FEDEXFORUM
The Tigers have a 139-16 overall record (.897 winning percentage) at FedExForum since moving into the arena for the 2004-05 campaign.
Since the 2005 Conference USA Tournament, Memphis has won 128 of its last 138 home games (.928 winning percentage).
BEST HOMECOURT ADVANTAGE
Since 2004-05, Memphis has won 139 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 Bryan McEldowney for compiling this list):
Most Home Wins Since 2004-05
1. Memphis 139
2. Ohio State 135
3. Kansas 130
5. Syracuse 129
TIGERS TOUGH AT HOME IN C-USA
Since moving to FedExForum in 2004-05, Memphis has turned its homecourt into one of toughest arenas for opponents to play, and that is seen in the Tigers' 139-16 overall record.
But, it is even tougher for Conference USA foes since conference realignment in 2005-06.
Memphis has an incredible 61-2 record (.968 winning percentage) at FedExForum versus C-USA opponents (regular season and conference tournament) since 2005-06.
The following shows the nation's top-10 conference homecourt records since 2005-06 (regular season and conference tournament; credit to Bryan McEldowney for compiling this list)):
Best Homecourt Records In
Conference Play Only (Reg. Season & Tourney)
1. Memphis 61-2 (.968)
2. Gonzaga 49-2 (.961)
3. Kansas 50-3 (.943)
4. Utah St. 49-4 (.925)
5. BYU 49-5 (.907)
6. Xavier 48-5 (.906)
7. Ohio State 52-6 (.897)
8. Butler 58-7 (.892)
9. Belmont 57-7 (.891)
10. Old Dominion 52-8 (.867)
The Tigers and Blazers are on (or near) opposite ends of several Conference USA team statistical categories and the following shows that (conference rank follows stat):
DOUBLE YOUR PLEASURE
The Tigers have recorded 11 double-doubles this season, with nine by Will Barton and one each by Tarik Black and Wesley Witherspoon.
Memphis' double-doubles during the 2011-12 season are/will be listed below:
Witherspoon/East Carolina 12-11
W. Barton/Houston 14-10
W. Barton/UAB 16-10
W. Barton/Charlotte 12-10
W. Barton/Robert Morris 27-13
W. Barton/Georgetown 12-11
W. Barton/Louisville 28-16
W. Barton/Miami, Fla. 27-14
W. Barton/Austin Peay 22-13
W. Barton/Tennessee 25-11
CRAWFORD LOVIN' THE C-USA ROAD
Most players love to play before the home crowd, but that's not the case with Chris Crawford in C-USA action.
C-USA Road Statistic C-USA Home
5 # of Games 4
16.0* Scoring 8.0
3.2 Rebounding 2.3
54.5 FG Pct. 40.6
57.1 3-pt. FG Pct. 9.1
14-10 Asst-TO 10-7
4-7 Blk-Stl 2-4
*scored career-high 23 points vs. Southern Miss Feb. 1
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 12-0 when it holds opponents to under 40 percent shooting from the field (5-7 when foes shoot 40 or better).
The Tigers are ranked nationally in field goal percentage defense (16th), three-point field goal percentage defense (69th) and blocks per game (8th)/NCAA stats as of Feb. 6.
Under 40 Defense Statistic Over 40
12-0 Record 5-7
33.2 FG Pct. Def. 44.1
26.7 3-pt. FG Pct. Def. 37.1
+2.5 Rebound Margin -0.5
7.5 Blocks 4.9
8.7 Steals 6.5