Memphis Basketball Notes
Go Tigers! Elliot Williams and the Tigers host Jackson State in their 2009-10 season opener Friday at FedExForum.
Go Tigers!
Elliot Williams and the Tigers host Jackson State in their 2009-10 season opener Friday at FedExForum.
Go Tigers!

Nov. 13, 2009

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Tigers On TV/Radio/Web
Television: None
Radio: WREC 600 AM (Dave Woloshin, play-by-play; Matt Dillon, color analyst; Forrest Goodman, studio host)
Web: Game to be streamed live on Memphis athletics web site at via All-Access (must register to view game)

The University of Memphis squad (0-0, 0-0 C-USA) opens its 2009-10 regular season Friday, Nov. 13 when the Tigers host Jackson State (0-0, 0-0 SWAC). Game time is 8 p.m. (CT) at FedExForum.

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.

The Tigers, who are also playing their 2009-10 season opener Friday, return two starters and eight letterwinners from last year's squad. Jackson State went 18-15 overall and 15-3 in the Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC) in 2008-09. The Tigers won 17 of their last 20 games last year and nearly earned the SWAC's automatic berth to the NCAA Tournament, but lost to Alabama State in the SWAC Tournament championship.

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.

Josh Pastner (Arizona, 1998) is in his first 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.

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.

The University of Memphis basketball program opens its 89th year of play Friday when the Tigers host Jackson State in the 2009-10 regular season opener for both schools at FedExForum. Memphis has an all-time record of 1383-810-1 (.631 winning percentage).

The Tigers host Jackson State in both their 2009-10 season and home opener Friday. In its history, Memphis has rather impressive marks in season and 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.

While the Tigers have stellar marks in season and home openers, the record is even better when the season and home openers are the same game.

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.

It may seem like a long time ago, but it's really only 104 games ago that the seniors Pierre Henderson-Niles, Willie Kemp and Doneal Mack made their collegiate debuts against Jackson State on Nov. 16, 2006 at FedExForum. Kemp, a Bolivar, Tenn., native, earned the start at point guard and had a solid performance with five points, five assists, two rebounds and one steal in 24 minutes of action.

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.

In addition to Grant Maxey and Garrison Johnson who both played against Memphis in the 2006-07 meeting, there is another player on the Jackson State roster that battled the Tigers later that same season.

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.

How about this to start your career as a college head coach? You coach your first regular season game on Friday the 13th. That's what Memphis head coach Josh Pastner is going to face this Friday, Nov. 13 when his Tigers host Jackson State at FedExForum.

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
(Since World War II)

Year/Date Opponent Result
2008-09/Mar. 13 Houston* 74-49, W
1998-99/Nov. 13 UNC-Wilmington# 79-75, W
1991-92/Mar. 13 DePaul^ 95-75, W
1960-61/Jan. 13 Loyola-New Orleans 54-45, W
* C-USA Tournament
# 1998-99 season opener
^ Great Midwest Conference Tournament

My, what could have been just seven years ago. It was the spring of 2002, and then video and recruiting coordinator Josh Pastner applied for the head coaching position at Prairie View. Pastner, in his early 20s at the time, nearly got the job.

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.

There's always that first game a coach faces after taking over a program. In Memphis basketball history, coaches have fared quite well in their first game leading the Tigers.

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
John Calipari/2000-01 Temple 62-67, L
Johnny Jones/1999-2000* Georgetown 55-71, L
Tic Price/1997-98 La.-Monroe# 75-74, W
Larry Finch/1986-87 Cleveland St.^ 70-65, W
Dana Kirk/1979-80 Arkansas St. 54-51, W
Wayne Yates/1974-75 Montclair St. 96-60, W
Gene Bartow/1970-71 UC Davis 99-79, W
Moe Iba/1966-67 Western Ky.% 44-52, L
Dean Ehlers/1962-63 McNeese St. 80-52, W
Bob Vanatta/1956-57 Arkansas St. 88-68, W
Eugene Lambert/1951-52 Bethel College 82-55, W
McCoy Tarry/1948-49 Union 51-50, W
Zach Curlin/1924-25 SW Presbyterian 32-22, W
Lester Barnhard/1922-23 Ole Miss 16-14, W
W.H. DePriest/1921-22 Tiptonville 5-6, L
Frederick Grantham/1920-21 Whitehaven 24-14, W
* interim head coach
# overtime
^ Cleveland State ranked No. 20 in nation
% Western Kentucky ranked No. 8 in nation

The Tigers have an all-time record of 23-1 against members of the Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC). Memphis has played Alabama A&M (1-0), Alcorn State (2-0), Arkansas-Pine Bluff (2-0), Grambling (2-0), Jackson State (12-1), Prairie View (1-0) and Texas Southern (3-0).

The Tigers have never met Alabama State, Mississippi Valley State and Southern.

Friday's contest features a battle between Memphis and Jackson. And, it's not just the Tigers versus the Tigers on the hardwood.

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.

After a rough first year at their new home in 2004-05, the Tigers have bounced back quite nicely and made FedExForum one of the toughest arenas for opponents to play in. The Tigers have a 93-10 overall record (.902 winning percentage) 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.

While all head coaches focus on March and their teams ready to make postseason runs, the Tigers have done quite well in the month of November. The last 10 seasons (since 1999-2000), Memphis has a 36-14 record (.720 winning percentage) 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.

Memphis has had a long history of success in non-league games, and that has continued in recent years. The past 10 years (since 1999-2000), the Tigers have a non-conference record (including postseason) of 135-45 for a 75.0 winning percentage.

In 2008-09, Memphis had a 17-4 record against non-conference opponents (including postseason).



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