Memphis Basketball Notes
Feb. 22, 2008
NO. 1 TIGERS TO HOST NO. 2 TENNESSEE IN IN-STATE RIVAL GAME SATURDAY
It is the first ever No. 1-2 match-up of NCAA Division I schools in the state of Tennessee basketball history.
The Tigers return home after a two-game road trip at UAB Feb. 16 and Tulane Feb. 20. Memphis won both contests, posting a 79-78 win over UAB and a 97-71 victory over Tulane. Prior to its road trip, Memphis wrapped a four-game homestand from Feb. 2-13 with victories over UTEP 70-64, SMU 77-48, UCF 85-64 and Houston 68-59.
The Volunteers enter Saturday's game having won their last eight games. Tennessee posted an 89-70 win over Auburn in its last outing. The Volunteers suffered their last setback over a month ago with a 72-66 loss at Kentucky on Jan. 22.
SCOUTING THE VOLUNTEERS
The trio of All-America candidate Chris Lofton (15.4 ppg), JaJuan Smith (14.3 ppg) and Tyler Smith (13.4 ppg) paces the Tennessee offense. Tyler Smith leads the Volunteers on the glass with a 6.5 rebounding average, while Wayne Chism is second at 6.0 rpg. Tyler Smith also leads Tennessee in assists with 96 (3.7 apg), and Ramar Smith is second with 83 dimes (3.2 apg). Lofton (39.4 percent) and JaJuan Smith (37.2 percent) are the team's top threats from the arc.
Tennessee is shooting 46 percent from the field, 36.2 percent from the arc and 64.4 percent from the charity stripe. The Volunteers hold a narrow rebound margin of +0.4 (38.2-37.8) over its opponents. Tennessee forces 19.8 turnovers per contest.
CALIPARI GETS WIN NO. 400
CALIPARI SECOND-FASTEST TO 400
Coach No. of Yr. Roy Williams 15 John Calipari 16 Jerry Tarkanian/Jim Boeheim/ Denny Crum/Nolan Richardson 17
CALIPARI'S TEAMS TOUGH AT THE TOP
But, while some top-ranked teams fall easily, Calipari squads have done quite well, and in turn, have had staying power near the top of the polls. Calipari's UMass and Memphis teams have an impressive combined record of 91-7 when ranked in the top four of the national polls (.929 winning percentage).
At Memphis, Calipari's teams are 46-3 (.939 winning percentage) when ranked in the top four. During his time at UMass, the Minutemen went 45-4 (.918 winning percentage) when ranked in the top four.
IT'S NO. 1 VERSUS NO. 2
No. 1 teams are 20-17 versus No. 2 teams all-time
HOW ABOUT TWICE IN ONE SEASON!
Well, Tiger Nation gets to see a second top-five match-up this season when No. 1/1 Memphis hosts No. 2/2 Tennessee Saturday.
In the 2005-06 campaign, the Tigers hosted Gonzaga in the first top-10 encounter played in Memphis in 20 years (last time was the 1985-86 campaign). In that 2005-06 game, Memphis was ranked No. 4 at the time, while the Bulldogs were No. 8. Memphis won that game 83-72 at FedExForum.
SATURDAY TO BE HIGHEST-RANKED MATCH-UP IN TIGER HISTORY
The previous highest-ranked match-up for the Tigers came in the 1995-96 campaign. That season, the No. 3 Tigers traveled to Worcester, Mass., to battle the No. 1 UMass Minutemen, who were coached by John Calipari at the time. Memphis dropped a narrow 64-61 decision to UMass.
FORMER TEAMMATES, NOW FOES
The duo helped lead Bolivar Central to a two-year (2004-05, 2005-06) mark of 58-16 and the 2005 Tennessee Class AA crown. In 2006, Bolivar Central reached the Class AA quarterfinals. Kemp won the 2006 Tennessee Class AA Mr. Basketball award, while Chism was a finalist for the honor.
MEMPHIS VS. THE SEC
CAL VS. THE SEC
IF THERE IS AN ADVANTAGE...
For Tennessee, the advantages come at the arc and forcing turnovers. The Volunteers shoot 36.2 percent from the three-point line, while Memphis hits 33.8 percent from the arc. Tennessee forces 19.8 turnovers per game, and the Tigers only force 16.6 turnovers per contest.
For more notes on the Memphis-Tennessee game, click on pdf link at top of the page.