Memphis Basketball Notes
Go Tigers! Joey Dorsey and the<br>Tigers face UConn for<br>2K Sports Classic<br>title on Friday.
Go Tigers!
Joey Dorsey and the
Tigers face UConn for
2K Sports Classic
title on Friday.

Go Tigers!

Nov. 16, 2007

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The University of Memphis squad (3-0, 0-0 C-USA), ranked No. 3 in the Associated Press poll and No. 3 in ESPN/USA Today poll, faces Connecticut (3-0, 0-0 Big East) in the 2K Sports College Hoops Classic Benefiting Coaches vs. Cancer championship game on Friday, Nov. 16. Game time is approximately 7:30 p.m. (CT) at Madison Square Garden. The consolation contest has Oklahoma meeting Gardner-Webb at 5:30 p.m. (CT).

Memphis, the 2007-08 preseason pick to win Conference USA, reached the 2K Sports College Hoops Classic championship with victories over Tennessee-Martin 102-71, Richmond 80-63 and Oklahoma 63-53. The Tigers return all five starters and 10 letterwinners from last year's team that posted a 33-4 overall record and a 16-0 C-USA mark. The squad advanced to the NCAA Tournament Elite and won both the Conference USA regular season and tournament titles.

The Huskies reached the 2K Sports Classic title contest with wins over Morgan State 69-65, Buffalo 82-57 and Gardner-Webb 78-66. Last year, Connecticut posted a 17-14 overall record and a 6-10 mark in the Big East Conference.

Connecticut has a 3-0 record in advancing to the 2K Sports College Hoops Classic title game. The Huskies defeated Morgan State, Buffalo and Gardner-Webb en route to the championship contest.

After starting the first two games, A.J. Price came off the bench versus Gardner-Webb and scored 18 points. Price is the Huskies' leading scorer at 15.7 ppg. Jerome Dyson (13.0 ppg) and Jeff Adrien (10.7 ppg) also are averaging double figures. Stanley Robinson (8.3 rpg) and Hasheem Thabeet (8.0 rpg) lead UConn on the glass.

The Huskies have been winning with defense. UConn averages over 12 blocks per game and has held its foes to 33.6 shooting from the field and 32.8 percent from the arc. The Huskies also out-rebounds its opponents by an average of over 11 boards per contest.

John Calipari (Clarion State, 1982) is in his eighth season at the helm of the Memphis Tiger basketball program. He has a 184-63 record (.745 winning percentage) at Memphis.

The 2007-08 season is his 16th as a collegiate head coach. The Moon, Pa., native has an overall collegiate coaching record of 377-134 (.738 winning percentage). While at Memphis, Calipari has led the Tigers to seven-straight 20-win seasons and seven-consecutive postseason berths.

It's been awhile -- more like 17 years -- but John Calipari and Jim Calhoun will face off on the basketball court. The two head coaches have pitted their teams against each other two previous times when Calipari was starting his coaching career at UMass in the late 1980s.

Calhoun's Huskies won both previous meetings. The first came in Calipari's 19th contest as a collegiate head coach (1988-89 season), and UConn posted a 104-75 victory over the Minutemen in Storrs on Jan. 30, 1989. The following season (1989-90) and a year to the date of the first encounter (Jan. 30, 1990), the Huskies won 94-75 in Amherst. (Note assistance by David Scott, writer and former UMass SID student asst.)

The Tigers are 121-136 all-time versus current members of the Big East Conference. Memphis has played Cincinnati (29-36), DePaul (14-12), Georgetown (1-6), Louisville (34-51), Marquette (14-12), Pittsburgh (1-1), Providence (2-3), St. John's (0-1), Seton Hall (2-1), Syracuse (1-1), USF (18-3), Villanova (4-8) and West Virginia (1-1).

After Friday's game versus Connecticut, Memphis will have played 14 of the 16 Big East schools, leaving Notre Dame and Rutgers as the only two the Tigers have not played. Memphis also plays Big East foe Georgetown in a litte over a month on Dec. 22 at FedExForum in Memphis.

Most of the contests versus Cincinnati, DePaul, Louisville, Marquette and USF were league games (Missouri Valley, Metro, Great Midwest, Conference USA). Last year, the Tigers defeated Big East foe Cincinnati 88-55 in Memphis on Jan. 4, 2007.

Memphis head coach John Calipari has an all-time record of 55-31 (.640 winning percentage) against current members of the Big East Conference. Calipari has coached against Cincinnati (3-7), Connecticut (0-2), DePaul (4-2), Georgetown (1-0), Louisville (6-5), Marquette (3-1), Pittsburgh (2-1), Providence (1-1), Rutgers (11-4), Syracuse (3-1), USF (9-1), Villanova (2-0) and West Virginia (10-6).

Memphis has had a long history of success in non-league games, and that has continued under head coach John Calipari. Since Calipari took over in 2000-01, the Tigers have a non-conference record (including postseason) of 91-32 for a 74.0 winning percentage.

In 2006-07, Memphis had a 17-4 record against non-conference opponents (included postseason). The Tigers are 3-0 against non-Conference USA foes this season.

Tiger Nation never enjoys losing, but if Memphis should suffer an early-season setback to the Huskies Friday, fans should not fret. First, as Tiger head coach John Calipari says, the season is not a sprint, it's a marathon.

Second, Tiger fans could take extra encouragement in the fact that Connecticut suffered an early-season loss at Madison Square Garden in the 2003-04 campaign, yet went on to win the 2004 NCAA title. The Huskies fell to Georgia Tech 77-61 in the 2003 NIT Season Tip-Off semifinals, but bounced back to defeat the Yellow Jackets in the national title game four months later.

Where did UConn defeat Georgia Tech in the NCAA title game? None other than San Antonio's Alamodome -- the site of the 2008 Final Four.

After missing the first two regular season games last week, Joey Dorsey hit the floor for his first regular season action in the Tigers' 63-53 victory over Oklahoma in the 2K Sports College Hoops Classic Nov. 15. And, boy, did Mr. Dorsey make an impact.

Dorsey grabbed a game-high 12 boards and added nine points and five blocked shots. The double-digit rebounding game was the 38th of his career.

The 6-foot-9 senior forward missed the first two regular season contests versus Tennessee-Martin Nov. 5 and Richmond Nov. 6 after suffering a right shoulder sprain in an Oct. 27 scrimmage. From Oct. 28-Nov. 6, Dorsey missed several practices.

Prior to the 2K Sports College Hoops Classic/Memphis Regional Nov. 5-6, the Baltimore, Md., native had seen action in 111 of 112 games in his career. Dorsey last game in which he did not play was his freshman season (2004-05) when the Tigers defeated USF 73-67 on Jan. 19, 2005 (coach's decision).

He started 72 of 74 games the past two seasons, including a string of 44-consecutive starts. Before the Nov. 5 missed game, Dorsey had a streak of 94-straight games played.

For more game notes, click on the pdf file link at the top of the page.



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