Memphis/Conference USA Tournament Notes
March 11, 2009
NO. 4/3 TIGERS TO MEET EAST CAROLINA-TULANE WINNER IN C-USA TOURNEY QUARTERFINAL THURSDAY
The contest, to be televised by Comcast Sports Southeast (CSS; Memphis cable channel 6), is slated for a 6:00 p.m. (CT) start.
Memphis finished the 2008-09 C-USA regular season with a perfect 16-0 league mark. It was the Tigers' fourth-straight C-USA regular season title, and the third-consecutive year they posted an unblemished record in league play.
Memphis enters the C-USA Tournament on a 22-game win streak, which is currently the longest in the nation. The win streak began on Dec. 22 with an 87-49 victory over Drexel. The streak also includes wins over Cincinnati 60-45, Northeastern 80-48, Lamar 108-75, Marshall 80-57, UCF 73-66, Tulsa (away) 55-54, UAB (home) 81-68, Rice 80-52, Tennessee 54-52, East Carolina 85-64, Houston (home) 83-68, SMU (away) 79-66, No. 18/18 Gonzaga 68-50, Tulsa (home) 63-37, Southern Miss (away) 72-47, SMU (home) 90-47, UTEP 70-63, UAB (away) 71-60, Southern Miss (home) 58-42, Houston (away) 69-60 and Tulane 74-47.
Tulane has won three of its last four games entering the C-USA Tournament. The Green Wave won three straight with victories over Marshall, Southern Miss and UTEP from Feb. 21-28, before a regular-season finale setback to Memphis Mar. 7. East Carolina is on a five-game skid entering the Conference USA Tournament. The Pirates dropped a narrow 74-71 decision at UCF in their regular-season finale Mar. 7. East Carolina's last victory was a 91-88 overtime win over Rice Feb. 14.
SCOUTING THE PIRATES
The Pirates have a record of 0-5 in Conference USA Tournament play.
Four of East Carolina's five starters average double figures. Sam Hinnant leads the way with a 14.9 ppg, followed by James Legan at 12.1 ppg, Brock Young at 10.9 ppg and Jamar Abrams at 10.0 ppg. Darrius Morrow leads the squad with a 6.5 rebounding average, while Young is tops on the team with 221 assists (7.6 apg; leads C-USA). Four Pirates -- Abrams (43.8 percent), Legan (40.9 percent), Jontae Sherrod (39.5 percent) and Hinnant (36.4 percent) -- all shoot better than 35 percent from the three-point line.
East Carolina is shooting 44.3 percent from the field, 38.1 percent from the arc and 73.3 percent from the free throw line. Opponents are out-rebounding the Pirates by an average margin of +2.1 boards per game (34.0-36.1).
SCOUTING THE GREEN WAVE
Tulane has won three of its last four games entering the tournament. The Green Wave won three straight with victories over Marshall, Southern Miss and UTEP from Feb. 21-28, before a regular-season finale setback to Memphis Mar. 7.
The Green Wave have a 6-13 record in their history in the C-USA Tournament.
The trio of Kevin Sims, Kris Richard and Robinson Louisme paces the Green Wave offense. Sims leads the team with a 13.0 scoring average, while Richard (10.9 ppg) and Louisme (10.6 ppg) also average double figures in the scoring column. Louisme leads Tulane on the glass with a 6.9 rebounding average, and Sims is tops on the team with 115 assists (4.0 apg). Sims (39.7 percent) and Eric Vianney (36 percent) are the Green Wave's top three-point threats.
Tulane is shooting 42.5 percent from the floor, 32.6 percent from the arc and 67.6 percent from the free throw line. Opponents are out-rebounding the Green Wave by a narrow margin of +1.4 boards per contest (33.5-34.9).
CALIPARI IN NINTH YEAR AT HELM OF TIGER PROGRAM
The 2008-09 season is his 17th as a collegiate head coach. The Moon, Pa., native has an overall collegiate coaching record of 440-139 (.760 winning percentage). While at Memphis, Calipari has led the Tigers to nine-straight 20-win seasons and eight-consecutive postseason berths.
Memphis-East Carolina Notes
BATTLE AT THE (THREE-POINT) ARC
On the other side, the Tigers are second in three-point field goal percentage defense in C-USA at 30.4 percent.
East Carolina also defends the three-point line well, as its opponents are shooting only 32.2 percent from the arc (fifth in C-USA).
COULD BE AN OFFENSIVE SHOOTOUT, BUT...
However, East Carolina is facing the top scoring defense in C-USA. The Tigers are first in scoring defense in the league, holding the opposition to 58.2 ppg. On the other side, the Pirates are 12th in scoring defense in C-USA at 74.0 ppg.
IF THERE IS AN ADVANTAGE...
For the Pirates, their advantage comes at the charity stripe. East Carolina is third in the league from the free throw line at 73.3 percent, while Memphis is ninth at 69.3 percent.
TOUGH TO TURN OVER
However, the Tigers face a tough job on Thursday when they meet East Carolina. The Pirates only turn the ball over 12.2 times per contest, which is the fourth-lowest in C-USA.
NOT A CLOSE SERIES IN FEDEXFORUM
Last year, the Tigers posted a 41-point win over the Pirates (99-58).
LOPSIDED SERIES OF LATE
In the 2008-09 regular-season finale Mar. 7, Memphis posted a 74-47 win over Tulane.
Memphis Stat Tulane
...AND DEFENSIVE DIFFERENCES
Memphis Stat Tulane
Memphis/C-USA Tournament Notes
MEMPHIS IN C-USA TOURNEY
Memphis is this year's C-USA Tournament No. 1 seed, and it is the fourth-straight season the Tigers are the tournament's top seed. Memphis has 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), the Tigers have a 14-3 mark (.824 winning percentage). The Tigers won the championship in 2006, 2007 and 2008, and reached the semifinals in 1996, the second round in 2000 and the championship game in 2005.
Under head coach John Calipari, the Tigers have a 14-5 record (.737 winning percentage) in the C-USA Tournament. The following shows the Tigers' seed and record in the C-USA Tournament year-by-year:
Year Seed Record
MEMPHIS IN THE POSTSEASON IN THE BLUFF CITY
The Tigers have hosted one Mississippi Valley Conference Tournament (1930), five Metro Conference Tournaments (1977, 1979, 1982, 1984, 1988), one Great Midwest Conference Tournament (1993) and seven Conference USA Tournaments (1996, 2000, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009). Memphis won the 1982 and 1984 Metro Conference and the 2006, 2007 and 2008 Conference USA titles on its homecourt.
TIGERS GOING FOR C-USA TOURNEY TITLE TIE
The Bearcats won the 1996, 1998, 2002 and 2004 C-USA Tournaments. Memphis has the second-most C-USA Tournament titles with three (2006, 2007, 2008). The Tigers are the only C-USA program to have won three-straight league tournament championships.
THIRTY TIMES FOUR/PART I
Last season, Memphis became only the second school in NCAA Division I history to have three-straight 30-win campaigns. The Tigers joined Kentucky (1947-49; 1996-98) in that select group. Last year's UCLA squad also joined the club after Memphis did so.
THIRTY TIMES FOUR/PART II
Last year, Calipari became the second coach in NCAA Division I history to have three-straight 30-win seasons, joining Kentucky's Adolph Rupp (1947-49). UCLA's Ben Howland became the third coach to join the club.
Calipari led the Tigers to 33-4 records in 2005-06 and 2006-07 and an NCAA record 38-2 mark in 2007-08. Memphis enters the C-USA Tournament with a 28-3 mark.
For more Memphis/C-USA Tournament notes, click on pdf link at the top of the page.