Memphis Basketball/Conference USA Tournament Notes Supplement
Go Tigers! Joe Jackson and the Tigers meet East Carolina in the C-USA Tournament semifinal round Friday.
Go Tigers!
Joe Jackson and the Tigers meet East Carolina in the C-USA Tournament semifinal round Friday.
Go Tigers!

March 10, 2011

Memphis Conference USA Tournament Notes Supplement in PDF Format Get Acrobat Reader

The University of Memphis squad (23-9, 10-6 C-USA) continues play in the 2011 Conference USA Tournament on Friday, Mar. 11 when it faces East Carolina (18-14, 8-8 C-USA) in the semifinal round. Game time for the Friday quarterfinal match-up is 5:30 p.m. (CT).

The Memphis-East Carolina C-USA Tournament semifinal encounter is slated to air on CBS College Sports (Memphis Comcast digital channel 222).

The Tigers, the tournament's No. 4 seed, advanced to the C-USA Tournament semifinal round with a narrow 66-63 victory over longtime rival Southern Miss in a quarterfinal game Mar. 10. The Pirates, the tournament's No. 8 seed, reached Friday's semifinal with a 75-60 win over UCF in the first round Mar. 9 and a 75-70 overtime victory over UAB in a quarterfinal match-up Mar. 10.

Memphis leads the all-time series 9-1. All meetings between the two programs have come as Conference USA foes. The Tigers won the first nine encounters in the series, but East Carolina took the last meeting, a 68-57 victory in Greenville, N.C., on Mar. 2. Memphis split the 2010-11 regular season series with its 61-58 win over the Pirates at FedExForum on Jan. 8.

For the first time in the Memphis-East Carolina series, the two squads will play at a neutral site and in the Conference USA Tournament. The previous 10 encounters in the series were played on the teams' homecourts. Friday's game is the first time the two programs have played each other in the C-USA Tournament.

For the first time since the 1995-96 campaign, the Memphis men's and women's basketball teams both advanced to their respective Conference USA Tournament semifinals in the same postseason. The men's squad meets East Carolina in a semifinal game at 5:30 p.m. (CT) Friday, while the women's team faces UCF in a semifinal contest at 10 a.m. (CT) on the same day. Both the men's and women's C-USA Tournament semifinals (all four games) will be played in the Don Haskins Center. Memphis is the only school to have both its men's and women's teams advance to their respective C-USA Tournament semifinals this year.

In the 1996 C-USA Tournaments, the Memphis men's team lost to Marquette in the semifinal round, while the women's squad won its semifinal contest en route to winning the C-USA Tournament crown. The Memphis women's team defeated DePaul for the C-USA Tournament title.

On Friday, Memphis will play in its eighth Conference USA Tournament semifinal in the last 11 seasons (since 2001) and its sixth semifinal appearance in the last seven years (since 2005). In its overall C-USA Tournament history, Memphis has made nine semifinal appearances (including Friday's game). In their previous eight C-USA Tournament semifinal games, the Tigers have a 5-3 record (.625 winning percentage). Memphis has won its last five C-USA Tournament semifinal contests from 2005-09.

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.

Well, the Tigers dropped consecutive games at UTEP Feb. 26 and at East Carolina Mar. 2 and are currently halfway to repeating another four-game win streak to follow their two-game skid. Memphis posted wins over Tulane 66-61 (regular season home finale) Mar. 5 and Southern Miss (C-USA Tournament quarterfinal) Mar. 10. A victory on Friday would extend Memphis' current win streak to three straight.

Well, head coach Josh Pastner calls Houston, Texas, home. But, before the Mar. 10 C-USA Tournament quarterfinal game, his home state had shown no love for the Tigers in 2010-11. In its three trips to Texas prior to the Conference USA Tournament, Memphis was 0-3 with losses at SMU Jan. 12, Rice Feb. 19 and UTEP Feb. 26. The Tigers, though, received a little love from the Lone Star state with their 66-63 win over Southern Miss in the C-USA Tournament quarterfinal on Mar. 10.

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, what's on the horizon is that Pastner is close to becoming the winningest head coach in Tiger hoops history for the first two years. The following shows the head coaches' win totals for the first two seasons since World War II:

Head Coach First 2 Years Wins Total
John Calipari 2000-01, 2001-02 48
Josh Pastner 2009-10, 2010-11 47
Larry Finch 1986-87, 1987-88 46
Wayne Yates 1974-75, 1975-76 41
Gene Bartow 1970-71, 1971-72 39
Bob Vanatta 1956-57, 1957-58 39
Eugene Lambert 1951-52, 1952-53 35
Dean Ehlers 1962-63, 1963-64 33
Tic Price 1997-98, 1998-99 30
Dana Kirk 1979-80, 1980-81 26
Moe Iba 1966-67, 1967-68 25
McCoy Tarry 1948-49, 1949-50 23

The Tigers played another nail-biter in their 66-63 Conference USA Tournament quarterfinal win over Southern Miss Mar. 10, 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 30 single-digit outcome games, and have a 22-8 record (.733 winning percentage) in those contests.

In games decided by four or fewer points, Memphis is 12-3, winning 12 of its last 13. This season, the Tigers have a 15-2 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 17 single-digit outcome games this year and has a 15-2 record in those contests.

However, the 17 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 Outcome Games Wins
1. 20 (1986-87)^ 1. 15 (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. 17 (2010-11)
# Made NCAA Tournament
@ 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 63.7 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 65.3 1,377
Memphis 63.7 1,468
Kentucky 62.6 1,443



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