Nov. 27, 2011
SETTING THE SCENE
Memphis (2-2) hosts Jackson State (1-6) in a non-conference match-up Monday, Nov. 28 at FedExForum. The game, to be televised on SportSouth, is slated for a 7 p.m. (CT) start.
The Tigers are ranked No. 8 in both the Associated Press (AP) and the ESPN/USA Today coaches polls, which were released Nov. 21. The most recent polls are to be released the afternoon of Nov. 28. Jackson State is unranked.
Memphis posted a 2-2 record in the 2011 EA Sports Maui Invitational. The Tigers defeated Belmont 97-81 and Tennessee 99-97 (2ot), but dropped decisions to No. 15 Michigan 73-61 and Georgetown 91-88 (ot). Memphis placed sixth in the EA Sports Maui Invitational.
Memphis returns all five starters and 10 letterwinners from last year's squad.
Jackson State opened the 2011-12 season playing seven games in 14 days. Of the seven contests, five were on the road. The Tigers' lone victory in their opening-season stretch was a 73-63 win over Concordia-Selma.
Jackson State returns only one starter but 12 letterwinners from its 2010-11 squad that posted a 17-15 overall record.
WHAT'S UP NEXT...
For Memphis, it hosts Austin Peay Dec. 3 at 7:30 p.m. (CT) at FedExForum. The game is a homecoming for Governors head coach Dave Loss, who played and served as an assistant at Memphis.
For Jackson State, it has a two-week break after playing eight games in 17 days (includes Nov. 28 game). The Tigers return to the court Dec. 11 with a game at California in Berkeley, Calif.
WHAT THE TIGERS DID A YEAR AGO
Memphis finished 2011-12 with a 25-10 overall record and a 10-6 Conference USA mark (4th place).
The Tigers won the 2011 Conference USA Tournament title with a thrilling 67-66 win over UTEP on the Miners' homecourt.
Joe Jackson was named the C-USA Tournament MVP.
With the C-USA Tournament title, Memphis earned the league's automatic berth to the NCAA Tournament, where the No. 12 seed Tigers dropped a narrow 77-75 decision to No. 5 seed Arizona in the second round.
WHAT JACKSON STATE DID LAST YEAR
The Tigers posted an overall record of 17-15 and a Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC) mark of 12-6.
Jackson State finished No. 2 in the SWAC regular season standings.
The Tigers won their SWAC Tournament opening round game over Prairie View 50-38, but lost to Grambling in the semifinal 81-75 (ot).
Jackson State did not receive a bid to any of college basketball's postseason tournaments.
SCOUTING THE TIGERS
Jackson State enters Monday's game with a 1-6 overall record.
Monday's contest is the Tigers' eighth game in 17 days to open the 2011-12 season.
Monday's game is also the Tigers' sixth road contest of the early season.
Jackson State is playing its fourth ranked team of 2011-12 when it faces Memphis Monday. The Tigers have already played Florida, Baylor and Ohio State, with all three games coming on the road.
The Tigers have three players averaging double figures in Kelsey Howard (14.7 ppg), Jenirro Bush (13.7 ppg) and Willie Readus (10.0 pgg).
Howard (4.7 rpg) and Sydney Coleman (4.6 rpg) are the team's top rebounders.
Christian Williams leads the squad with 20 assists, while Bush has a team-best 15 steals.
Head coach Tevester Anderson is in his ninth season at Jackson State. He has a 132-134 record at the school.
Anderson guided Jackson State to the 2007 SWAC Tournament crown and directed the Tigers to SWAC Tournament title game appearances in 2008 and 2009.
TIGERS VERSUS THE SWAC
The Tigers have an all-time record of 24-1 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 (13-1), Prairie View (1-0) and Texas Southern (3-0).
The Tigers have never met Alabama State, Mississippi Valley State and Southern.
The last time Memphis played a SWAC foe was the 2009-10 season opener. The Tigers defeated Jackson State 82-53 on Nov. 13, 2009.
DID YOU KNOW?/PART 1
Since the 1999-2000 season, Memphis is a perfect 10-0 in its first game after playing in a regular-season tournament/exempt event (three or more games).
The following shows the Tigers' results in the games after regular-season tournaments since 1999-2000:
Year Tournament Next Game
2011-12 Maui Invitational Jackson St., --
2010-11 Global Challenge Ark. St., 78-71 W
2009-10 HOF Showcase Ark. St., 74-55 W
2008-09 Puerto Rico Tip-Off Marist, 100-61 W
2007-08 2k Sports Classic Ark. St., 84-63 W
2006-07 Maui Invitational Ark. St., 86-60 W
2005-06 NIT Tip-Off Lamar, 108-83 W
2004-05 Coaches vs. Cancer Ark. St., 79-75 W
2003-04 DNP --
2002-03 DNP --
2001-02 Guardians Classic SE La., 65-46 W
2000-01 Puerto Rico Shootout UT Martin, 81-49 W
1999-2000 Maui Invitational Ala. A&M, 97-66 W
DID YOU KNOW?/PART 2
Josh Pastner's first win as a head coach came when Memphis played Jackson State in the 2009-10 season opener.
Memphis defeated Jackson State 82-53 on Nov. 13, 2009.
PASTNER ALMOST A JACKSON STATE RIVAL
In the spring of 2002, Josh Pastner, then the video and recruiting coordinator at Arizona, applied for the head coach position at Prairie View.
Pastner, who was in 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.
CITY PRIDE ON THE LINE MONDAY
Monday's game is not only one with the Tigers versus the Tigers, but also one between the cities of Memphis and Jackson.
Both team rosters have players on them from the home areas of Memphis and Jackson.
For Jackson State, it has two players that call Jackson, Miss., home, and they are junior guards Tim Hendricks and Jonathan Lewis. The Tigers also have two players from nearby Morton, Miss., which is around 34 miles outside Jackson. Those players from Morton are Derrell Taylor and Willie Readus.
On the home Tigers' side, eight players hail from the Memphis area. Drew Barham, Tarik Black, Chris Crawford, Trey Draper, Ferrakohn Hall, Joe Jackson, Preston Laird and Adonis Thomas all are from Memphis.
The 2011-12 season opener wasn't a squeaker for Josh Pastner and his Tigers, but his squads have a history of winning the close games.
Last season, Memphis had a 16-3 record in games decided by single digits, including a 13-2 mark in contests decided by five or fewer points.
In 2011-12, Memphis is 1-1 in single-digit outcome games, with both being overtime contests in the 2011 EA Sports Maui Invitational.
This season, the Tigers are also 1-1 in games decided by five or fewer points.
Overall, Pastner's teams (2009-10, 2010-11, 2011-12) have a 24-11 record in games decided by single digits.
THE VALUE OF THE ASSIST
This group of Tigers was unselfish as freshmen, and that trend continued in the 2011-12 season opener versus Belmont Nov. 15.
Memphis had 20 assists on 34 made baskets (58.8 percent) in its Nov. 15 victory over Belmont.
Last year, the Tigers had 16 games in which they earned assists on over half of their field goals made (min. 25 made FG in the game). Memphis had a 13-3 record in those games.
However, in the Maui Invitational games on the Island, Memphis averaged 11 assists per contest (33 in three games) and went 1-2.
In the loss to Michigan, the Tigers had only six assists on 19 baskets (31.6 percent). In the setback to Georgetown, Memphis managed 14 assists on 31 made baskets (45.2 percent), but it was below the 50 percent mark.
In the Tennessee game, the Tigers got the double-overtime, two-point win 99-97, but had only 13 assists on 36 made baskets (36.1 percent).
Last year, Memphis was 9-7 when it recorded 13 or fewer assists in a game. All nine wins were single-digit victories.