Feb. 19, 2014
|| #22/24 Memphis (19-6, 8-4) vs Rutgers (10-16, 4-9)
||Thursday, February 20 - 6 p.m. CT | Rutgers Athletic Center/Piscataway, N.J.
|| How to Follow
Tigers On TV/Radio/Web
Television: CBS Sports Network (Dave Ryan, play-by-play; Pete Gillen, analyst; Jon Rothstein, sideline reporter)/Memphis Comcast channel 222 Radio: WREC 600 AM (Dave Woloshin, play-by-play; Matt Dillon, color analyst; Forrest Goodman, studio host) Web: None
The Last Meeting
February 4, 2014
No. 24 Memphis Rolls By Rutgers, 101-69
A season-high 12 three-pointers and six players in double figures lifted the No. 24 University of Memphis men's basketball team (17-5, 7-3 American) to a 101-69 victory over Rutgers (9-14, 3-7 American) on Tuesday night at FedExForum.
SETTING THE SCENE
Memphis (19-6, 8-4 The American) wraps up its short two-game road trip Feb. 20 when it travels to Piscataway, N.J., to face Rutgers (10-16, 4-9 The American).
CBS Sports Network is televising Thursday's 6 p.m. (CT) American Athletic Conference encounter from the Rutgers Athletic Center. The Memphis-Rutgers game is not available via the web.
The Tigers opened their two-game road swing with an 86-81 overtime setback at No. 24 Connecticut Feb. 15.
Prior to this road trip, Memphis wrapped up a three-game homestand with a perfect 3-0 record. Memphis posted wins over Rutgers 101-69 Feb. 4, No. 23 Gonzaga 60-54 Feb. 8 and UCF 76-70 Feb. 12 in the homestand.
The Tigers remained in the Associated Press (AP) poll released Feb. 17 in the No. 22 spot. Memphis has appeared in all 16 AP polls this season. For a second-straight week, Memphis also remained in the USA Today coaches poll at No. 24. Rutgers is not ranked.
Memphis enters Thursday's encounter having won seven of its last 10 games. The Tigers' three setbacks in their last 10 contests were to Connecticut twice and SMU.
The Tigers are 4-3 in true road games in 2013-14 and 7-4 in contests played away from FedExForum (road/neutral).
Memphis returns three starters, but only five letterwinners from last year's squad.
The Scarlet Knights are 9-8 in home games at the Rutgers Athletic Center this season (3-3 in conference home games).
Rutgers returns three starters and seven letterwinners from last season's squad.
WHAT THE SCARLET KNIGHTS DID A YEAR AGO
Rutgers posted a 15-16 overall record and a 5-13 BIG EAST Conference mark in 2012-13.
The Scarlet Knights finished 12th in the BIG EAST Conference regular-season standings.
Rutgers defeated DePaul 76-57 in the BIG EAST Conference Tournament opening round, before falling in the second round to Notre Dame 69-61.
SCOUTING THE SCARLET KNIGHTS
Rutgers enters Thursday's American Athletic Conference encounter with a 10-16 overall record and a 4-9 league mark.
The Scarlet Knights have dropped three of their last four games. The lone victory in the last four contests was a 79-69 win at USF Feb. 8.
Rutgers has a 9-8 home record at the Rutgers Athletic Center (3-3 home mark in conference).
Four of the Scarlet Knights' eight home losses were by single digits.
Rutgers was picked to finish 10th in the 2013-14 conference preseason coaches poll.
Myles Mack leads three Scarlet Knights averaging double figures at 15.6 ppg.
Kadeem Jack (14.2 ppg) and J.J. Moore (11.0 ppg) also average double digits for Rutgers.
Jack (6.8 rpg) and Wally Judge (6.1 rpg) lead the Scarlet Knights on the glass.
Mack (110 total assists; 4.2 apg) and Jerome Seagears (86 total assists; 3.6 apg) are Rutgers' top playmakers. Mack (seventh) and Seagears (10th) are ranked in the top-10 in assists in the American Athletic Conference.
Mack is tops on the team with 47 steals (1.8 spg; fifth in The American).
Seagears (41.5 percent) and Mack (34.9 percent) are the Scarlet Knights' top three-point threats.
Rutgers is shooting 43.5 percent from the field, 34.4 percent from the arc and 70.3 percent from the free throw line.
Opponents are out-rebounding the Scarlet Knights by a margin of +0.6 boards per game (35.5-36.1; eighth in The American).
Eddie Jordan is in his first season at Rutgers.
FIRST TIME SINCE ...
For the first time in 61 seasons, the Memphis Tigers basketball program makes a return trip to the state of New Jersey Thursday when it faces Rutgers in Piscataway.
The last time Memphis played a basketball contest in the state of New Jersey was the 1952-53 season.
On Jan. 22, 1953, the Tigers played at Seton Hall and dropped a 103-85 decision to the Pirates in East Orange, N.J.
An interesting tidbit on the 1953 Memphis-Seton Hall game is the Pirates were ranked No. 1 in the Associated Press poll when that contest was played.
It was the first time in Tigers basketball history that Memphis played a No. 1 team and only the second time it met a ranked program in history.
MEMPHIS VERSUS NEW JERSEY NCAA DIVISION I SCHOOLS
The Tigers meet only their third NCAA Division I school from the state of New Jersey when they play at Rutgers Thursday.
Memphis has a 5-1 record (.833 winning percentage) against NCAA Division I school from the state of New Jersey.
Memphis has played Princeton (1-0), Rutgers (1-0) and Seton Hall (3-1).
Prior to the Feb. 4 Memphis-Rutgers contest, the last time the Tigers played an NCAA Division I opponent from New Jersey was the 2008-09 season.
Memphis posted an 84-70 victory over Seton Hall in the semifinal round of the 2008 O'Reilly Auto Parts Puerto Rico Tip-Off Nov. 21, 2008.
The other New Jersey NCAA Division I schools the Tigers have yet to play are Fairleigh Dickinson, Monmouth, NJIT, Rider and Saint Peter's.
HISTORY MADE LAST MEETING/ONE IN THE SAME
On Feb. 4, Memphis and Rutgers played for the first time on the hardwood.
That game also was the first time the two programs faced each other as conference foes.
Since World War II, Rutgers became only the fifth school in which it was both a first-time opponent and a first-time conference foe at the same time.
The following lists the five first-time foes that were also first-time conference opponents in the same meeting:
Opponent/Conference Date Result
Rutgers/American 2/4/2014 101-69, UM
East Carolina/C-USA 2/4/2003 73-49, UM
at Georgia Tech/Metro 1/17/1977 89-82, GT
Tulane/Metro 1/10/1977 78-64, UM
Cincinnati/MVC 1/22/1968 75-68, UC
IT'S AN NCAA FINAL FOUR THING
Both head coaches in Thursday's Memphis-Rutgers match-up have been members of NCAA Final Four teams.
Memphis head coach Josh Pastner was a player on the 1996-97 Arizona squad that advanced to the NCAA Final Four. The Wildcats won the 1997 national title.
Rutgers head coach Eddie Jordan took his alma mater to the 1976 NCAA Final Four. The Scarlet Knights placed fourth at the Final Four (NCAA played a third-place game at the time) and finished with a 31-2 record in 1975-76.
FOLLOWING A LOSS UNDER PASTNER
The Tigers dropped an 87-72 decision at SMU Feb. 1.
However, Memphis has proven to be quite resilient after a loss in the Josh Pastner era, and the Tigers bounced back Feb. 4 with a 101-69 win over Rutgers.
The Tigers now have a 35-4 record (.897 winning percentage) after a loss under Pastner.
The last time Memphis suffered back-to-back losses under Pastner was in 2011-12.
The Tigers dropped single-digit outcome decisions to Murray State 76-72 at FedExForum Dec. 11, 2011, and Louisville 95-87 at the KFC Yum! Center Dec. 17, 2011.
MOST WINS IN FIRST FIVE YEARS
Of course, head coach Josh Pastner will pass on credit to the current players, former players, current assistant coaches, former head coaches and, yes, even Tiger Nation.
But, the fact is Pastner is the winningest head coach in Tigers history for the first five years.
The following shows the head coaches' win totals for their first five seasons since 1949:
Head Coach First 5 Years Wins Total
Josh Pastner* 2010-14 125
John Calipari 2001-05 115
Larry Finch 1987-91 102
Dana Kirk 1980-84 99
Bob Vanatta 1957-61 94
Wayne Yates 1975-79 93
Eugene Lambert 1952-56 87
*Pastner's fifth season still in progress
PASTNER FASTEST TO 125 WINS
With the Tigers' 76-70 win over UCF Feb. 12, Josh Pastner reached the 125-victory milestone the quickest of any head coach in the program's history.
The following lists the Memphis head coaches quickest to 125 wins:
Head Coach/Years Game # for 125th Win
Josh Pastner/2010-14 164 (125-39)
Dana Kirk/1980-85 173 (125-48)
John Calipari/2001-06 180 (125-55)
Larry Finch/1987-92 192 (125-67)
Zach Curlin/1924-41 269 (125-144)
TIGERS GOING FOR 14TH 20-WIN SEASON
With their next victory, the Tigers will post a 14th-straight, 20-win season. Memphis enters Thursday's game with a 19-6 record.
Last season, the Tigers set the record for consecutive 20-win seasons with their 13th straight. The previous record of 12-consecutive, 20-win seasons was from 1982-93.
The 2013-14 Tigers also will attempt to add to the program's current school record of 13-straight postseason bids (9 NCAA, 4 NIT). Last season, Memphis advanced to the NCAA Tournament third round.
Prior to this current record run of 13-straight postseason berths, Memphis had two six-year stretches in which it reached the postseason.
The previous two six-year postseason spans were 1972-77 (2 NCAA, 4 NIT) and 1988-93 (4 NCAA, 2 NIT). The run from 1972-77 included the 1973 NCAA title game appearance. The 1988-93 postseason stretch included an NCAA Tournament Elite Eight appearance in 1992.
The following shows the top-five longest streaks of 20-win seasons in Tigers history:
Consec. 20-Win Seasons Yrs.
HOLD OUR SPOT!
Memphis is among the winningest NCAA Division I programs since 2000-01 and 2005-06, but it doesn't end there.
With their next victory, the Tigers would have a 20-win season and would stay a member of another elite group at the NCAA Division I level.
Entering 2013-14, Memphis was one of nine programs that had won 20 or more games each of the last 11 seasons.
The following lists the nine NCAA Division I programs that have 20 or more wins the each of the last 11 years (2002-03 to 2012-13; *indicates teams have won 20 games in 2013-14):
Kansas* Utah State
STILL ONLY TWO
Last season, Josh Pastner joined John Calipari as the only two head coaches in Memphis history to have 20-win campaigns in their first four seasons.
With the Tigers' next victory, Pastner also can join Calipari as the only two head coaches in Memphis history to have 20-win campaigns in their first five seasons. Memphis' 2013-14 record stands at 19-6.
The following shows Pastner's and Calipari's record in their first five seasons at Memphis:
Head Coach/1st 5 Years Records
Josh Pastner/2010-14 24-10, 25-10, 26-9, 31-5, 19-6
John Calipari/2001-05 21-15, 27-9, 23-7, 22-8, 22-16