March 6, 2012
Memphis Game Notes - C-USA Tournament
Tigers On TV/Radio/Web
Television: CBS Sports Network/Comcast digital channel 222 (Dave Ryan, play-by-play; Pete Gillen, color analyst)
Radio: WREC 600 AM (Dave Woloshin, play-by-play; Matt Dillon, color analyst; Forrest Goodman, studio host)
SETTING THE SCENE
Memphis (23-8, 13-3 C-USA) opens play in the 2012 Conference USA Tournament Thursday, Mar. 8 when it faces either Houston (15-14, 10-5 C-USA) or UTEP (14-16, 7-9 C-USA). The C-USA Tournament quarterfinal contest, to be televised on CBS Sports Network (Comcast digital channel 222), is slated for a 6:30 p.m. (CT) start.
The Tigers appeared in the Also Receiving Votes category of both national polls this week (No. 31 AP, No. 28 coaches). Houston and UTEP are not ranked in either national poll.
Memphis enters Thursday's C-USA Tournament quarterfinal encounter having won 17 of its last 20.
The Tigers closed the regular season with four-straight wins over East Carolina 70-47, Marshall 87-67, UCF 84-55 and Tulsa 78-66.
With its win over Tulsa Mar. 3, Memphis clinched the outright 2012 C-USA regular season crown. It is the program's fifth outright C-USA regular season title.
The Cougars enter the Conference USA Tournament as one of the league's hottest teams having won three straight and four of their last five.
The Miners are on a three-game skid entering the C-USA Tournament with setbacks to UCF, Rice and SMU. Prior to the three losses, UTEP had won three straight with victories over Tulane, Memphis and Southern Miss.
WHAT'S UP NEXT...
The winner of Thursday's C-USA Tournament quarterfinal game advances to the semifinal round Friday, Mar. 9 at 5:30 p.m. (CT).
SCOUTING THE MINERS
UTEP enters the Conference USA Tournament with a 14-16 overall record.
The Miners finished the C-USA regular season with a 7-9 mark and are the C-USA Tournament's No. 8 seed.
UTEP is 3-3 in its last six games and is on a three-game skid entering tourney play.
Freshman Julian Washburn leads four UTEP players averaging double figures at 11.5 ppg.
Gabriel McCulley (11.2 ppg), John Bohannon (11.2 ppg) and Michael Perez (11.0 ppg) also average double digits for the Miners.
Bohannon leads the Miners on the boards with a 7.3 rebounding average (eighth in C-USA). McCulley is second on the team with a 5.4 rebounding average.
Jacques Streeter leads the squad with 137 assists (4.6 apg; second in C-USA), while McCulley and Streeter each have 28 steals.
Streeter (45.5 percent) and Perez (38.1 percent) are the Miners' top three-point threats.
UTEP is shooting 46.2 percent from the field, 34.3 percent from the arc and 68.9 percent from the free throw line.
Opponents are out-rebounding the Miners by an average margin of +0.6 boards per game (31.4-32.0).
MEMPHIS CONNECTION TO UTEP'S 1966 NCAA TITLE TEAM
In 2005-06, the Miners celebrated the 40th anniversary of the school's 1966 NCAA title, along with the release of the movie "Glory Road" that chronicled the team's season. And, Memphis has a tie to that squad.
Former Tigers head coach Moe Iba served as an assistant coach on Don Haskins' staff in that NCAA championship year.
Following that season, Iba took over the Memphis program, and his first year at the helm was the 1966-67 campaign. Iba coached four years (1967-70) and had a 37-65 overall record.
DO YOU REMEMBER?
Well, since the significant event happened just two seasons ago, there is a great chance most of Tiger Nation remembers.
On Jan. 20, 2010, UTEP posted a 72-67 victory over Memphis at FedExForum.
The Miners' victory ended Memphis' Conference USA win streaks at 52-straight regular season games and 64-straight overall contests (includes postseason).
The 52-straight regular season conference wins are an NCAA Division I record, while the 64-consecutive overall league victories tied the NCAA Division I mark (tied with Kentucky).
DID YOU KNOW?
UTEP is the only team in Conference USA to record two wins over the Tigers at FedExForum since the league realigned prior to the 2005-06 campaign.
The Miners defeated Memphis 72-67 in the 2009-10 season and 60-58 on Feb. 18 of this campaign.
SCOUTING THE COUGARS
Houston enters the Conference USA Tournament with a 15-14 overall record.
The Cougars finished the C-USA regular season with a 7-9 mark and are the C-USA Tournament's No. 9 seed.
Houston is on a three-game win streak coming into the C-USA Tournament with wins over SMU, Tulane and Rice.
Redshirt junior college transfer Jonathan Simmons leads four Cougars averaging double figures at 14.9 ppg.
Alandise Harris (12.9 ppg), Joseph Young (11.4 ppg) and TaShawn Thomas (10.6 ppg) also average double digits for Houston.
Thomas leads the Cougars on the glass with an 8.1 rebounding average (seventh in C-USA), followed by Harris at 6.2 rpg.
Darian Thibodeaux is tops on the team with 72 assists (2.5 apg), while Thomas and Young each have 23 steals.
Houston has three players shooting over 39 percent from the three-point arc. Harris hits 40.9 percent of his trey attempts.
The Cougars are shooting 46.7 percent from the field, 36.3 percent from the arc and 71.3 percent from the free throw line.
Houston is out-rebounding its opponents by an average margin of +2.2 boards per game (36.2-34.0).
PASTNER VS. THE HOMETOWN SCHOOL
Thursday's possible match-up with Houston would pit Tigers head coach Josh Pastner against one of his hometown area schools.
Pastner is a Kingwood, Texas, native, and Kingwood is a suburb of Houston. In fact, Pastner grew up around 20 miles from the University of Houston campus.
Pastner, who attended Kingwood High School, coached the Houston Hoops summer ball team during his high school and collegiate (Arizona) days.
Pastner has a 3-2 record versus the Cougars (0-1 in C-USA Tournament action).
Overall, Pastner has coached against three Houston area NCAA Division I programs (Houston, Houston Baptist, Rice) and has a 6-3 record in those match-ups.
A COWBOYS REUNION THURSDAY
Thursday's possible game between the Tigers and Cougars could also be a reunion of former Cowboys -- as in Oklahoma State Cowboys -- on the two benches.
Memphis assistant coach Jimmy Williams and Houston head coach James Dickey both were on Eddie Sutton's staff from 2004-07.
In their three seasons (2004-05, 2005-06, 2006-07) together on staff, Williams and Dickey helped Oklahoma State to a combined record of 65-36 and three postseason appearances (2005 NCAA, 2006 and 2007 NIT).
In the 2005 NCAA Tournament, Oklahoma State -- with Williams and Dickey on the Cowboys bench -- advanced to the Sweet Sixteen, where it dropped a 79-78 decision to Arizona. On the Wildcats staff that year were assistant coach Josh Pastner and video scout coordinator Jack Murphy.
GET YOUR TRACK SHOES ON
The Tigers and Cougars have several offensive similarities statistically and the following shows that (C-USA rank follows stat):
UofM/Rank Statistic UH/Rank
75.1/1st Score Offense 72.1/2nd
71.3/2nd FT Pct. 71.3/3rd
49.5/1st FG Pct. 46.7/2nd
37.1/2nd 3P FG Pct. 36.3/4th
14.5/2nd Assists 13.2/5th
Memphis/C-USA Tournament Notes
MEMPHIS IN C-USA TOURNEY
The Tigers have played in every Conference USA Tournament since 1996, and have a 22-11 record (.667 winning percentage) in the league's postseason classic.
This is the 11th time in the last 12 years that Memphis earned a first-round bye in the tournament. The 2005 tournament was the only time in the last 11 years that the Tigers had to play a first round game.
Memphis is this year's C-USA Tournament No. 1 seed, and it is the fifth time the Tigers are the tournament's top seed. The previous four times Memphis was a No. 1 seed was from 2006-09 (12-0 record).
Memphis has also been the No. 1, No. 2, No. 3, No. 4, No. 7, No. 8 and No. 11 seed in past C-USA Tournaments.
In Conference USA Tournaments held in Memphis (1996, 2000, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009), the Tigers have a 17-3 mark (.850 winning percentage).
The Tigers won the championship in 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2009, and reached the semifinals in 1996, the second round in 2000 and the championship game in 2005.
The following shows the Tigers' seed and record in the C-USA Tournament year-by-year:
Year Seed Record
2012 1 --
2011# 4 3-0
2010 2 0-1
2009# 1 3-0
2008# 1 3-0
2007# 1 3-0
2006# 1 3-0
2005^ 7 3-1
2004 2 0-1
2003* 2 1-1
2002 3 0-1
2001* 4 1-1
2000 11 1-1
1999 8 0-1
1998 3 0-1
1997 4 0-1
1996* 2 1-1
Record in Memphis 17-3
Record outside Memphis 5-8
# C-USA champion
* Advanced to the C-USA semifinals
^ Advanced to the C-USA Championship Game
TIGERS' CONFERENCE POSTSEASON IN THE BLUFF CITY
The Tigers have an all-time record of 28-8 (.778 winning percentage) in conference postseason tournament games played in the Bluff City.
Memphis has won five league tournaments on its home floor.
The following shows the Tigers' record in conference tournaments hosted in Memphis:
Conference Record Inside No. of
C-USA 17-3 4
Great Midwest 1-1 0
Metro 7-3 1
Mississippi Valley 3-1 0
Total 28-8 5
"DRIVE FOR FIVE" COMPLETE
With its season-ending win over Tulsa Mar. 3, Memphis claimed its fifth outright Conference USA regular season crown.
The Tigers won four-straight outright C-USA regular season titles from 2006-09.
The five outright C-USA regular season championships ties Memphis with Cincinnati for the most in league history. The Bearcats won their outright C-USA crowns from 1997-2000 and 2002.
Memphis also shared two C-USA regular season titles in the 1995-96 and 2003-04 seasons, giving the program a total of seven.
The following lists the C-USA outright and shared regular season championships:
Team Outright Shared Total
Cincinnati 5 3 8
Memphis 5 2 7
UAB 1 1 2
Louisville 1 0 1
Marquette 1 0 1
Charlotte 0 1 1
DePaul 0 1 1
Southern Miss 0 1 1
MEMPHIS SETS CONFERENCE USA CLOSE-CALL HISTORY
If there is such a category in the Conference USA record book, the Tigers have it now.
Memphis' three C-USA losses all were fewer than five points (68-67 at UCF; 75-72 at Southern Miss; 60-58 home loss to UTEP).
Memphis is the first C-USA regular season champ (outright or shared) with multiple losses (two or more) to have all its setbacks by five or fewer points.
C-USA Regular Season Champion
(Two or more losses)
Champ/C-USA Rec./Yr. Fewer 5 Total
Memphis/13-3/2011-12 3 6
Memphis/12-4/2003-04 2 22
Marquette/14-2/2002-03 1 10
Cincinnati/11-5/2000-01 3 26
Cincinnati/12-4/1998-99 3 15
Cincinnati/14-2/1997-98 1 10
Cincinnati/11-3/1995-96 2 10
Fewer 5 -- losses by five or fewer points
Total -- combined margin (total points) in all losses
MOST WINS FIRST THREE 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 bottom line is Pastner is the winningest head coach in Tigers hoops history for the first three years.
He became the winningest head coach for the first three seasons with the Tigers' regular-season finale victory at Tulsa Mar. 3.
The following shows the head coaches' win totals for their first three seasons since 1949:
Head Coach First 3 Years Wins Total
Josh Pastner** 2010-12 72
John Calipari 2001-03 71
Larry Finch 1987-89 67
Gene Bartow 1971-73 63
Wayne Yates 1975-77 61
Bob Vanatta 1957-59 56
Dana Kirk 1980-82 50
Eugene Lambert 1952-54 50
Dean Ehlers 1963-65 43
McCoy Tarry 1949-51 40
Moe Iba 1967-69 31
**Pastner's third season still on-going
TIGERS SUCCESS AT FEDEXFORUM
The Tigers have a 142-17 overall record (.893 winning percentage) at FedExForum since moving into the arena for the 2004-05 campaign.
Since the 2005 Conference USA Tournament, Memphis has won 132 of its last 143 home games (.923 winning percentage).
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' 142-17 overall record.
But, it is even tougher for Conference USA foes since conference realignment in 2005-06.
Memphis has an incredible 64-3 record (.955 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. Gonzaga 51-2 (.962)
2. Memphis 64-3 (.955)
3. Kansas 54-3 (.947)
4. BYU 51-5 (.911)
Xavier 51-5 (.911)
6. Utah St. 50-5 (.909)
7. Butler 61-7 (.897)
8. Belmont 59-7 (.894)
9. Ohio State 53-8 (.869)
Wisconsin 53-8 (.869)
BEST HOMECOURT ADVANTAGE
Since 2004-05, Memphis has won 142 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 142
2. Ohio State 136
3. Kansas 134
4. Syracuse 132
5. Louisville 131
TWO TITLES FOR BARTON
Will Barton didn't only win a Conference USA regular season crown along with his teammates. He also won the C-USA scoring title.
Barton's 18.7 scoring average is over two points better than the No. 2 scorer in the league (Tulsa's Jordan Clarkson at 16.6 ppg).
Barton is the first player in Tigers hoops history to earn the C-USA scoring crown.
NO SOPHOMORE JINX
Tiger Nation is so happy Will Barton didn't suffer from a subpar season as a sophomore.
In fact, the 6-foot-6 guard has thrived in his second year, and his scoring numbers prove it.
The Baltimore, Md., native is the team's leading scorer at 18.7 ppg and is also Conference USA's leading scorer.
Barton moved into the top-five among top sophomore scorers in the program's history with his 18-point game versus UCF Feb. 28. The following lists the top-six sophomore scorers in Tigers history:
Player/Soph. Season Points
1. Elliot Perry/1988-89 620
2. Elliot Williams/2009-10 610
3. Anfernee Hardaway/1991-92 590
4. Keith Lee/1982-83 581
5. Will Barton/2011-12 580
6. Chris Douglas-Roberts/2006-07 538
JOE IN THE FLOW
Joe Jackson was re-inserted in the Tigers' starting lineup Feb. 22, and he more than made the most of it.
In the last four games, the 6-foot-1 guard averaged 14.8 points, 3.0 rebounds and 7.0 assists in 35.8 minutes of action.
Jackson shot 44.7 percent from the field and 85.7 percent from the free throw line.
The Memphis, Tenn., native also posted a 2.1 assist-to-turnover ratio in the last four games (28 assists/13 TO).
BACK IN BLACK
Tarik Black -- like his teammate Joe Jackson -- has played well in recent games.
But, Black's string of solid performances reaches back to the last six games.
In those six contests, the Tigers' 6-foot-8 forward averaged 15.7 points (scored double figures in four games) and 4.7 boards in 26.5 minutes of action.
The most impressive stat in Black's six-game stretch is his field goal percentage.
The Memphis, Tenn., native shot 77.8 percent (42-of-54) in his last five outings.
TIGERS ONE OF THREE IN TOP-20
Memphis is one of three teams in the nation to be ranked in the top-20 in both field goal percentage and field goal percentage defense (NCAA stats released Mar. 5).
Team FG Pct. Rank FG Pct. Def. Rank
Memphis 5 17
Kentucky 7 1
Kansas 15 7