Memphis Basketball Notes
Nov. 13, 2009
Tigers On TV/Radio/Web
TIGERS TO HOST JACKSON STATE IN 2009-10 SEASON OPENER FRIDAY
Memphis swept its two exhibition games with victories over LeMoyne-Owen College 98-68 and Christian Brothers 66-45.
Memphis, picked to finish between second and fourth in Conference USA in most preseason polls, returns only one starter and six letterwinners from last year's squad that won 33 games (33-4 record) and advanced to the NCAA Tournament West Region semifinal (Sweet Sixteen). En route to the Sweet Sixteen, the Tigers swept the Conference USA regular season and tournament crowns.
Jackson State, who is also playing its 2009-10 season opener Friday, returns two starters and eight letterwinners from last year's squad. The Tigers went 18-15 overall and 15-3 in the Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC) in 2008-09.
SCOUTING JACKSON STATE
This year, Jackson State is the preseason favorite to win the SWAC regular season crown, taking home seven first-place votes in the league's preseason poll. Tiger senior forward Grant Maxey was picked as the SWAC's preseason Player of the Year. Maxey was joined on the preseason All-SWAC first team by teammate Rod Melvin. Garrison Johnson was named to the league's preseason second team.
Maxey is the Tigers' leading returning scorer and rebounder at 16.4 ppg and 6.7 rpg, respectively. Last year, Maxey shot 45.5 percent from the floor and 78 percent from the free throw line. Jackson State also returns another double-figure scorer in Johnson, who averaged 10.7 ppg a year ago. Melvin is the team's top returning playmaker, dishing out 111 assists (3.4 apg) in 2008-09. Maxey also had a team-best 52 steals last year.
Tevester Anderson is in his seventh season at the helm of the Tigers' program. He has a 95-100 record at Jackson State, and has directed the Tigers to three-straight appearances in the SWAC Tournament title game and one NCAA Tournament bid in 2007. Anderson, who previously coached five years at Murray State, has an overall collegiate coaching record of 198-152.
PASTNER IN FIRST YEAR AT HELM OF TIGER PROGRAM
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.
TIGERS TO TIP-OFF 89TH YEAR OF HOOPS ON FRIDAY
MEMPHIS IN SEASON, HOME OPENERS
The Tigers have a 60-28 record in season openers for a 68.2 winning percentage. Memphis has a 7-3 record in its last 10 season openers.
In home openers, Memphis is even more impressive with a 67-21 mark for a 76.1 winning percentage. The Tigers are 8-2 in their last 10 home openers.
Memphis won its 2008-09 opener (season and home) with a 90-63 victory over Fairfield.
WHEN THEY ARE ONE IN THE SAME
Memphis is 52-13 (.800 winning percentage) when its season opener is also its home opener. The last time the Tigers played a season/home opener was last year when they defeated Fairfield 90-63 in the opening round of the O'Reilly Auto Parts Puerto Rico Rip-Off.
The Tigers have a 9-1 record in years when their season and home openers were one in the same, dating back to the 1994-95 campaign. The lone setback in the last 10 season/home openers came in the 2000-01 season when Memphis dropped a 67-62 decision to Temple at The Pyramid.
DO YOU REMEMBER?
Henderson-Niles and Mack both played double-digit minutes off the bench. Henderson-Niles posted four points, four boards, three steals, one assist and one blocked shot in 14 minutes, while Mack scored 14 points and added three assists, two rebounds, one block and one steal in 21 minutes.
Tyrone Hanson, a 6-foot-7 forward from Brooklyn, N.Y., played against Memphis when Nevada met the Tigers in the second round of the 2007 NCAA Tournament. Hanson saw three minutes of action and grabbed one board in the game. Memphis won the contest 78-62 and advanced to the NCAA South Region semifinal in San Antonio, Texas, with the victory.
BAD OR GOOD OMEN?
However, in the modern era of college basketball (since World War II), Memphis has thought of playing on Friday the 13th as a good sign. And why not? The Tigers are a perfect 4-0 in Friday the 13th games since World War II, and the following are those results:
Memphis' Friday The 13th Results
PASTNER ALMOST A JACKSON STATE RIVAL
According to then Prairie View Director of Athletics Charles McClelland, Pastner was one of five finalists for the position. If it had worked out, Pastner could have already been matching wits against fellow Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC) member Jackson State.
TIGER COACHING SUCCESS IN FIRST OUTING
On Friday, Josh Pastner makes his debut as the Tigers' head coach and looks to add another win to that first-game victory column. Memphis head coaches in their first game directing the Tiger program have a 12-4 overall record (.750 winning percentage).
The following shows the results of the Memphis head coaches in their first games:
Head Coach/Yr. Opponent Result
MEMPHIS VERSUS THE SWAC
The Tigers have never met Alabama State, Mississippi Valley State and Southern.
IT'S FOR CITY PRIDE
When Memphis meets Jackson State Friday, it is a battle for city pride as both rosters have several players from their home areas.
Memphis has six players that hail from the Bluff City and surrounding area. Pierre Henderson-Niles, James Harvey Jr., Elliot Williams and Preston Laird are from Memphis, while Drew Barham is from Cordova and Aaron Jacques from Bartlett.
On the other side, Jackson State has five players from the Jackson, Miss., area. Cason Burk, Joanthan Lewis and Kyle Swanier all call Jackson home, while Oliver Jefferson is from Terry, Miss., and Rod Melvin from Brandon, Miss. -- both suburbs of Jackson.
TIGER SUCCESS AT FEDEXFORUM
Since the 2005 Conference USA Tournament, Memphis has won 83 of its last 87 home games (.954 winning percentage). Furthermore, the 2009-10 seniors -- Pierre Henderson-Niles, Willie Kemp and Doneal Mack -- are 58-2 (.967 winning percentage) at home in FedExForum.
TIGERS IN NOVEMBER
One reason for the 14 early setbacks is the rugged national schedule the Tigers have played. Of the 14 November losses, nine were to nationally-ranked teams.
The Tigers were 23-5 in November the past five seasons, with four of the five setbacks coming to ranked opponents.
In 2008-09, Memphis had a 17-4 record against non-conference opponents (including postseason).