Memphis/Conference USA Tournament Notes
Go Tigers!
Go Tigers!

Go Tigers!

March 8, 2011

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Tigers On TV/Radio/Web
Television: CBS College Sports/Comcast digital channel 222 (Roger Twibell, play-by-play; Wally Szczerbiak, color analyst)
Radio: WREC 600 AM (Dave Woloshin, play-by-play; Matt Dillon, color analyst; Forrest Goodman, studio host)
Web: None

The University of Memphis squad (22-9, 10-6 C-USA) opens play in the 2011 Conference USA Tournament on Thursday, Mar. 10 when it faces the Southern Miss-Tulane winner in the quarterfinal round. Game time for the Thursday quarterfinal match-up is is 2:30 p.m. (CT).

The Memphis-Southern Miss/Tulane C-USA Tournament quarterfinal encounter is slated to air on CBS College Sports (Memphis Comcast digital channel 222).

Memphis finished the regular season with a 2-2 mark in its last four outings with home victories over Houston 69-58 Feb. 22 and Tulane 66-61 Mar. 5 and road setbacks at UTEP 74-47 Feb. 26 and East Carolina 68-57 Mar. 2.

After dropping its February opener to Tulsa 68-65 at FedExForum on Feb. 2, Memphis bounced back with four-consecutive, single-digit victories over Gonzaga 62-58 Feb. 5, UCF 63-62 Feb. 9, Southern Miss 67-61 Feb. 12 and UAB 62-58 Feb. 16. The Tigers' win streak came to an end at Rice Feb. 19 with a 67-52 loss to the Owls.

The Gonzaga and UCF victories came on the road. The home loss to Tulsa was only the second C-USA setback for the Tigers at home since 2005-06 (45-2 record; .957 winning percentage).

Southern Miss closed the regular season with three-straight, single-digit losses, including two at the buzzer. The Golden Eagles dropped decisions to UCF 65-64, UAB 67-66 and Tulsa 78-70. Southern Miss' last victory was a non-league win over Loyola (New Orleans) 78-67 on Feb. 22.

Tulane closed the 2010-11 regular season with 13 losses in its last 14 games. The lone victory in that stretch was an 80-77 win over Houston Mar. 2. Of those 13 setbacks, nine were by single digits, including the regular season finale 66-61 loss at Memphis Mar. 5. The Green Wave opened Conference USA play with back-to-back wins over Rice and SMU in early January.

Southern Miss enters the C-USA Tournament with a 21-9 overall record. The Golden Eagles claimed the tourney's No. 5 seed with a 9-7 league mark. Southern Miss closed the regular season with three-straight, single-digit losses, including two at the buzzer. The Golden Eagles dropped decisions to UCF 65-64, UAB 67-66 and Tulsa 78-70. Southern Miss' last victory was a non-league win over Loyola (New Orleans) 78-67 on Feb. 22.

The senior tandem of Gary Flowers and R.L. Horton paces the Golden Eagles' offense. Flowers leads the team with a 19.0 scoring average, followed by Horton at 12.5 ppg. Flowers, Conference USA's third-leading scorer, is Southern Miss' top rebounder at 7.8 rpg (sixth in C-USA), while freshman D.J. Newbill is second at 6.4 rpg.

Angelo Johnson (42.9 percent), Newbill (42.9 percent) and Flowers (41 percent) all shoot 40 percent or better from the arc. Johnson is tops on the team with 125 assists (4.2 apg) and 30 steals. Johnson is also the best in Conference USA in assist-to-turnover ratio at 3.2 (125 ast-39 TO).

The Golden Eagles are shooting 45.4 percent from the field, 36.9 percent from the arc and 73.3 percent from the free throw line. Southern Miss is leading Conference USA in rebound margin at +7.7 boards per game (38.5-30.8).

Tulane brings a 13-16 overall record into Conference USA Tournament play. The Green Wave are the tourney's No. 12 seed with a 3-13 league mark.

Tulane closed the 2010-11 regular season with 13 losses in its last 14 games. The lone victory in that stretch was an 80-77 win over Houston Mar. 2. Of those 13 setbacks, nine were by single digits, including the regular season finale 66-61 loss at Memphis Mar. 5. The Green Wave opened Conference USA play with back-to-back wins over Rice and SMU in early January.

Sophomore Kendall Timmons leads a trio of Green Wave double-figure scorers with a 17.0 average (sixth in C-USA). Sophomore Jordan Callahan (13.9 ppg) and senior Kris Richard (11.2 ppg) are also averaging double digits in the scoring column for Tulane. Timmons leads the squad on the glass with an 8.5 rebounding average (fourth in C-USA), while Richard is second at 6.1 rpg (12th in C-USA).

Callahan is tops on the team with 120 assists (4.1 apg), and Timmons leads the Green Wave with 58 steals (2.0 spg; second in C-USA). Richard is second on the team and fourth in C-USA with 50 steals (1.7 spg). Johnny Mayhane (42.5 percent), Timmons (40 percent) and Callahan (37.7 percent) all shoot over 35 percent from the three-point line.

Tulane is shooting 43.3 percent from the field, 36.6 percent from the arc and 69.3 percent from the free throw line. Opponents are out-rebounding the Green Wave by an average margin of +1.1 boards per game (32.1-33.2).

Memphis-Southern Miss Notes

The scoreboard operator better have his fingers ready to go on Thursday if Memphis meets Southern Miss in the Conference USA Tournament quarterfinal round. The Tigers and Golden Eagles are two of Conference USA's top-three scoring offenses. Southern Miss leads the league with a 74.8 scoring average, while the Tigers are third in C-USA with a 72.3 average.

In the two regular season encounters, Memphis averaged 71.5 points and Southern Miss averaged 68.0 points (76-75 UofM win in Hattiesburg; 67-61 UofM win in Memphis).

Hopefully, the Tigers learned their lesson from the 2009-10 season if they play one of Conference USA's leading scorers in Southern Miss' Gary Flowers on Thursday. Flowers is C-USA's third-leading scorer at 19.0 ppg.

Last year, Memphis didn't fare so well in its three meetings against C-USA's leading scorer, Houston's Aubrey Coleman. The Tigers dropped two of the three games to the Cougars, and Coleman averaged 29.0 points in the three contests.

In the two regular season Memphis-Southern Miss match-ups, Flowers averaged 17.5 points. He scored 21 points in the game in Hattiesburg and netted 14 in the contest in Memphis. Flowers was limited by foul trouble in the encounter at FedExForum.

The Tigers have faced some battles on the glass in 2010-11, and their C-USA rival, Southern Miss, has provided two of the toughest rebounding tests this year. And if Memphis and Southern Miss meet Thursday, the battle on the boards will be a key.

The Golden Eagles lead Conference USA in rebound margin at +7.7. Memphis is seventh in C-USA in rebound margin at +0.7.

However, the Tigers hung with the Golden Eagles on the glass in the two regular season encounters. Southern Miss entered the Jan. 19 game with an +8.1 rebounding margin, but Memphis was narrowly out-done on the glass 32-30. In the Feb. 12 meeting, the Golden Eagles brought an +8.2 rebounding margin into the contest, but only posted a one-rebound edge over the Tigers, 37-36.

That is the question to be answered if the Tigers and Golden Eagles meet Thursday. The Tigers are Conference USA's second-best squad in forcing turnovers, as their opponents average 15.1 turnovers per game. However, Southern Miss is C-USA's best squad at taking care of the ball. The Golden Eagles average only 11.9 turnovers per contest.

It was a split decision in the two regular season meetings. Memphis forced 14 Southern Miss turnovers in the Jan. 19 game in Hattiesburg. But, in the Feb. 12 contest in Memphis, the Golden Eagles took care of the ball with only seven miscues.

Memphis-Tulane Notes

Both teams are on high alert Thursday to protect the ball if the Tigers and Green Wave meet in a Conference USA Tournament quarterfinal contest. Memphis and Tulane are No. 1 and 2, respectively, in Conference USA in steals and No. 2 and 1, respectively, in turnovers forced.

In fact, six of Conference USA's top steals leaders could be in action Thursday. Tulane's Kendall Timmons is second in C-USA in steals at 2.0 spg, followed by teammates Kris Richard (fourth; 1.7 apg) and Jordan Callahan (ninth; 1.4 spg). For Memphis, Will Barton is seventh (1.6 spg) and Chris Crawford is seventh (1.6 spg), while Charles Carmouche is 14th (1.3 spg).

In the Mar. 5 match-up, Tulane won the steals battle with 10 swipes to only five by Memphis. Both squads did a solid job of protecting the ball, as the Tigers had only 13 turnovers and the Green Wave 10 miscues.

It's hard to believe that anyone is any "newer" to Conference USA than Memphis head coach Josh Pastner, but during the 2010-11 season, he faced five first-year head coaches in the league. And, if Tulane wins its C-USA Tournament first-round game Wednesday, Pastner and the Tigers would face a C-USA Tournament "newbie" in Tulane head coach Ed Conroy Thursday.

Conroy was hired during the 2010 off-season and is in his first year leading the Green Wave program after head coaching stints at The Citadel and Francis Marion. Conroy also served as an assistant at Tennessee from 2003-05.

During the regular season, Pastner had a 4-3 record in his C-USA "newbie" games versus East Carolina's Jeff Lebo (1-1), Marshall's Tom Herrion (1-1), Houston's James Dickey (1-0), UTEP's Tim Floyd (0-1) and Tulane's Conroy (1-0).

It will be a battle of wills at the three-point arc if Memphis meets Tulane in a Thursday Conference USA Tournament quarterfinal game. The Tigers are one of the league's top defensive teams at the arc, while the Green Wave are one of the best three-point shooting teams in the conference.

In overall games, Tulane averages nearly 7.0 treys made per game and shoots 36.6 percent from the arc (fifth in C-USA). On the other side, Memphis is sixth in three-point defense at 33 percent.

The contrast is more evident in Conference USA play only. Tulane leads the league in treys made per game (8.2) and is third in three-point field goal percentage at 37.6 percent. In C-USA games only, the Memphis defense is holding foes to 31.5 percent from the arc (fourth in C-USA).

If the Tigers meet Tulane Thursday, the game would be against a familiar opponent for one Tigers' assistant coach. In fact, the school resides in his hometown of New Orleans, La..

Memphis assistant coach Glynn Cyprien would face his hometown school for a third time in his short tenure at Memphis if the Tigers meet the Green Wave Thursday. In the first two encounters with Tulane, the Tigers pulled out a 77-64 win in New Orleans in 2009-10 and a 66-61 victory in Memphis on Mar. 5, 2011.

Cyprien played his collegiate years up the road in Baton Rouge, La., at Southern University from 1985-87. He helped lead the Jaguars to the 1987 NCAA Tournament.

Memphis assistant coach Glynn Cyprien isn't the only Tiger that could meet his hometown school Thursday in the Conference USA Tournament quarterfinal round. Junior Charles Carmouche also calls New Orleans, La., home and attended the University of New Orleans two years (2008-09, 2009-10) before transferring to Memphis.

In his two years at New Orleans, Carmouche played Tulane twice, and the Privateers won both encounters (49-39 in 2008-09; 51-50 in 2009-10). In the 2009-10 meeting, Carmouche had 11 points, six rebounds, three assists and two steals in 34 minutes. In fact, Carmouche gave his Privateers their first lead of the game at 49-48 with a free throw with 1:12 left.

In the Mar. 5 game versus the Green Wave, Carmouche did not score, but had a key assist in the Tigers' 15-3 second-half run to secure the win. With Memphis trailing 53-51 with six minutes left, Carmouche assisted on D.J. Stephens' dunk to tie the game at 53-all and give the Tigers momentum.

Memphis/Conference USA Tournament Notes

The Tigers have played in every Conference USA Tournament since 1996, and have a 19-11 record (.633 winning percentage) in the league's postseason classic. This is the 10th time in the last 11 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. 4 seed, and it is the third time the Tigers are the tournament's fourth seed. The previous two times Memphis was a No. 4 seed was in the 1997 and 2001 C-USA Tournaments (1-2 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.

In C-USA Tournament games played outside Memphis, the Tigers have a 2-8 record (.200 winning percentage). The following shows the Tigers' seed and record in the C-USA Tournament year-by-year:

Year Seed Record
2011 4 --
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
Totals 19-11
Record in Memphis 17-3
Record outside Memphis 2-8
# C-USA champion
* Advanced to the C-USA semifinals
^ Advanced to the C-USA Championship Game

If Memphis can win the 2011 C-USA Tournament crown, it would be the Tigers' fifth tournament title. The five tourney titles would set the Conference USA record for most postseason crowns.

In 2009, Memphis tied Cincinnati for the most C-USA Tournament titles with four. The Tigers won the C-USA postseason classic from 2006-09, while the Bearcats won the 1996, 1998, 2002 and 2004 C-USA Tournaments. Memphis is the only C-USA program to have won four-straight league tournament championships.

The Tigers have an all-time record of 34-24 (.586 winning percentage) in conference postseason tournament games played outside the Bluff City. Memphis has won four league tournaments away from its home floor.

The following shows the Tigers' record in conference tournaments hosted outside Memphis:

Conference Record Outside No. of
Memphis Titles
C-USA 2-8 0
Great Midwest 4-3 0
Metro 20-9 3
Mississippi Valley 8-4 1
Total 34-24 4

Memphis Notes

Josh Pastner (Arizona, 1998) is in his second season as the head coach of the University of Memphis basketball program. The Kingwood, Texas, native was hired Apr. 7, 2009, after serving the 2008-09 season as an assistant on the Tiger staff.

With the Tigers' 22 wins in 2010-11, Pastner now has an overall record of 46-19 (.708 winning percentage).

In his first season in 2009-10, Pastner guided the Tigers to a 24-10 overall record and a 13-3 Conference USA mark. Memphis earned a National Invitation Tournament (NIT) berth and advanced to the postseason classic's second round.

Prior to joining the Memphis basketball family for the 2008-09 season, Pastner spent the previous 12 years of his college basketball life at Arizona as a player, staff member and assistant coach. While in Tucson, Pastner was a member of Wildcat squads that made 12-straight NCAA Tournament appearances and posted a 290-103 record (1997-2008). Pastner was a player on the 1996-97 Arizona team that won the NCAA title.

Well, no head coach will say that a two-game losing streak is a good omen. However, it may be for this Tigers' team.

After it dropped back-to-back games earlier this season to Marshall Jan. 29 and Tulsa Feb. 2, Memphis responded with four-consecutive clutch wins over Gonzaga, UCF, Southern Miss and UAB.

If the same happens following recent two-game skid (Feb. 26 to UTEP, Mar. 2 to East Carolina), the Tigers would close with a regular season home finale win over Tulane and then win three Conference USA Tournament games. Memphis started what it hopes is another winning streak with a Mar. 5 win over Tulane (66-61).

Well, head coach Josh Pastner calls Houston, Texas, home, but his home state has shown no love for the Tigers in 2010-11. In its previous three trips to Texas this season, Memphis is 0-3 with losses at SMU Jan. 12, Rice Feb. 19 and UTEP Feb. 26.

With their 66-61 win over Tulane Mar. 5, the Tigers added another double-digit winning league campaign to its history. It is Memphis' 13th year of double-digit wins in Conference USA, and the program's sixth-consecutive year with double-digit wins in C-USA action.

In 2007-08, Memphis posted its 10th season of double-digit league wins, which set the C-USA record. Before the shift in C-USA prior to the 2005-06 campaign, the Tigers were tied for the second-most, double-digit conference win seasons with seven.

The following lists the top-five teams in C-USA history with double-digit conference win seasons:

No. of C-USA Seasons
With Double-Digit League Wins
1. Memphis 12
2. UAB 10
3. Cincinnati 9
4. Charlotte 7
5. Louisville 4

The month of March is what all college basketball teams play for, so squads want to be playing their best at that time. The Tigers have had a long history of success in March, and they hope to continue that this season.

Since 1999-2000, Memphis have an impressive 62-23 record (.729 winning percentage) when playing in March. The Tigers' record is even better in March the last seven seasons, as they went 43-12 (.782 winning percentage) since 2004-05.

It's not a surprise that head coach Josh Pastner has had to juggle his starting lineup in 2010-11 with injuries, additions and subtraction of players and the overall youth of the squad. According research by USC Upstate SID Alex Edwards, the Tigers are first in the nation in using different starting lineups this year, and the following shows that (top five teams listed below):

Team No. of Different Lineups
Memphis 17
Georgia State 16
Pepperdine 15
USC Upstate 15
Saint Louis 13

The Tigers played another nail-biter in their 66-61 Conference USA win over Tulane Mar. 5, but Memphis fans should be familiar with close-call contests. In just under two years in head coach Josh Pastner's tenure, the Tigers have played 29 single-digit outcome games, and have a 21-8 record (.724 winning percentage) in those contests.

In games decided by four or fewer points, Memphis is 11-3, winning 11 of its last 12. This season, the Tigers have a 14-2 record in single-digit outcome games.

Tiger Nation is enjoying the wins this season, but the victories by single-digit margins are causing most fans to remain on the edge of their seats. Memphis has played 16 single-digit outcome games this year and has a 14-2 record in those contests.

However, the 16 single-digit outcome games so far in 2010-11 are not even in the top-10 for most games of its kind since the 1970-71 season. The following lists the top-10 years with single-digit outcome games and the top-10 years with single-digit wins (since 1970-71; research by Matt Dillon):

Top-10 Since 1970-71
Most Single-Digit Most Single-Digit
Outcome Games Wins
1. 20 (1986-87)^ 1. 14 (2010-11)
2. 19 (2000-01) t. 14 (1984-85)@
t. 19 (1996-97) t. 13 (1986-87)^
t. 19 (1992-93)# t. 13 (1977-78)
t. 19 (1990-91) 5. 12 (1994-95)#
t. 19 (1977-78) t. 12 (1992-93)#
7. 18 (1991-92)# t. 12 (1991-92)#
t. 18 (1987-88)# 8. 11 (7 seasons)
t. 18 (1984-85)@
11. 16 (2010-11)%
# Made NCAA Tournament
% tied with six other teams
@ NCAA Final Four
^ Not eligible for postseason play

With Memphis starting three freshmen most games and playing five newbies a lot of minutes, it is expected that over 50 percent of the scoring is falling on their shoulders. Well, it is.

In research done by University of North Dakota men's hoops contact and former Memphis media relations graduate assistant Ryan Powell, Memphis is one of three schools in NCAA Division I to get over 60 percent of its scoring from freshmen. To be exact, the Tigers are getting 63.5 percent of their points from freshmen.

The following shows the three NCAA Division I schools getting over 60 percent of their scoring from freshmen and also the total points from freshmen:

School Pct. Freshman Total Pts
North Dakota 65.7 1,340
Memphis 63.5 1,422
Kentucky 62.6 1,443

No one wants to hear how young the 2010-11 Memphis team is anymore with the start of the postseason. However, entering the campaign, the Tigers had the seventh-youngest squad out of 346 NCAA Division I programs, according to

Memphis is one of only four teams to be ranked in the top-25 national polls at some time this season with a top-50 youngest team. Connecticut (12th), Kentucky (36th) and North Carolina (40th) are the other three schools with a top-50 young team that was also ranked in the top-25 of the national polls at some point during 2010-11.

The next youngest team in Conference USA is UCF at 102. Thursday's foe -- either Southern Miss or Tulane -- brings a more experienced squad to the floor. Tulane is the nation's 256th-youngest team (90th most-experienced), while Southern Miss is the country's 289th-youngest team (57th most-experienced). The following lists the top-10 youngest teams and where the C-USA schools fall on the list:

Top-10 Youngest C-USA on Youngest List
1. Nevada 7. Memphis
2. Stetson 102. UCF
3. Toledo 116. Tulsa
4. Georgia Southern 128. UAB
5. Savannah State 198. East Carolina
6. North Dakota 223. Rice
7. Memphis 234. Marshall
8. St. Louis 256. Tulane
9. Michigan 273. Houston
10. Robert Morris 289. Southern Miss
297. SMU
330. UTEP

For more notes on Memphis' Conference USA Tournament quarterfinal game, click on issuu and pdf links at the top of the page.



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