Tiger Hoops Announces Non-Conference Portion Of 2010-11 Schedule
July 16, 2010
MEMPHIS, Tenn. - Tiger Nation can begin to write in game dates for the 2010-11 basketball season, as Memphis released the non-conference portion of its schedule on Friday. Eleven home contests at FedExForum, including those versus Miami and Georgetown, and road games at Gonzaga and Tennessee highlight the non-league slate.
The non-Conference USA schedule also includes two neutral-site encounters against Southeastern Conference foe LSU in Tupelo, Miss., on Nov. 21 and versus Kansas in New York, N.Y., on Dec. 7.
"This is a challenging schedule for this year's team," said head coach Josh Pastner. "We have a talented group of players, but we are also very young. Like I've said many times, this is only our second year, and it takes time to build the program and that includes scheduling.
"We have an attractive non-conference schedule with LSU and Tennessee from the SEC, Kansas from the Big 12, Georgetown from the Big East, Miami from the ACC and national power Gonzaga. Western Kentucky, who nearly made the NCAA Sweet 16 in 2009, will be another tough test for us.
"This schedule is an exciting one and will help prepare us for a much-improved Conference USA that we'll face in the second half of the regular season. Our staff and players are ready to get started, and we want Tiger Nation to pack FedExForum for every home game this year."
The battle between the Tigers - Memphis and LSU - is scheduled for the BancorpSouth Center in Tupelo, and is the first meeting between the two hoops programs since the 1992 Maui Invitational. Memphis won that encounter with a 70-66 victory over LSU in the third-place game of the tournament. The LSU game is part of a four-game exempt event in which Memphis also plays Centenary (Nov. 12), Northwestern State (Nov. 17) and Tennessee Martin (Nov. 23) all at FedExForum.
For the second-straight season and the third time in the last four years, Memphis and Kansas meet on a neutral court when the two schools play in the 2010 Jimmy V Classic at Madison Square Garden in New York City. Last year, No. 1 nationally-ranked Kansas held off Memphis 57-55 in St. Louis at the Hall of Fame Showcase. In 2008, the Jayhawks defeated Memphis 75-68 in overtime to claim the NCAA title.
In addition to the exempt-event games, the Tigers host Miami (Fla.) Nov. 15 and Georgetown Dec. 23 at FedExForum. The Memphis-Miami meeting is the first since the 2000-01 season (66-57 Hurricane win), while the Tigers and Hoyas resume their four-game series after a year off in 2009-10. Memphis and Georgetown split the first two games of the series, with the Tigers winning 85-71 at FedExForum in 2007-08 and the Hoyas taking a 79-71 overtime decision in Washington, D.C., in 2008-09.
Three other non-league home games - in addition to Tennessee Martin - bring an in-state feel to FedExForum with Austin Peay (Dec. 16), Lipscomb (Dec. 30) and Tennessee State (Jan. 2) all coming to Memphis. The Austin Peay contest is a homecoming for Governors head coach Dave Loos, who played and served as an assistant coach at Memphis. The Lipscomb game features the NCAA's Division I leading returning scorer in Bison forward Adnan Hodzic. Last year, Hodzic averaged 22.7 points in helping Lipscomb claim a share of the Atlantic Sun regular season championship.
Other non-conference home games include Arkansas State Dec. 1, Western Kentucky Dec. 4 and Texas A&M-Corpus Christi Dec. 16.
The Tigers' two true road contests come after the calendar changes to 2011 with games at Tennessee Jan. 5 and at Gonzaga Feb. 5. Last year, Memphis dropped narrow decisions to both the Volunteers (66-59) and Bulldogs (66-58) at FedExForum.
Before the Tigers open regular season play Nov. 12 against Centenary, Memphis plays two exhibition contests versus LeMoyne-Owen College Nov. 3 and Christian Brothers Nov. 8 or 9. The Christian Brothers game date confirmation is awaiting the release of the Grizzlies' NBA schedule.
Memphis' Conference USA schedule is expected for release in mid-to-late September. The C-USA slate takes on a different look in 2010-11, with the league's teams playing a divisional-type schedule but remaining in one-division format as in past years.
In the new C-USA schedule set-up, the Tigers face all East teams (East Carolina, Marshall, Southern Miss, UAB, UCF) twice in home-and-home series and meet each West squad (Houston, Rice, SMU, Tulane, Tulsa, UTEP) once. The Conference USA Tournament is set for the Don Haskins Center in El Paso, Texas, for Mar. 9-12.
The following is Memphis' non-conference and exhibition portions of the 2010-11 schedule (times to be announced at a later date):