Dec. 10, 2011
Tigers On TV/Radio/Web
Television: Comcast Sports Southeast (CSS)/Comcast digital channel 22 (Greg Gaston, play-by-play; Brian Oliver, color analyst)
Radio: WREC 600 AM (Dave Woloshin, play-by-play; Matt Dillon, color analyst; Forrest Goodman, studio host)
Web: Fans in certain states can watch the Memphis vs. Austin Peay game live in All-Access. Please note that video is not available for streaming in the CSS broadcast territory states (AR, KY, WV, NC, VA, TN, SC, GA, FL, AL, MS, LA and TX) due to television broadcast restrictions.
SETTING THE SCENE
Memphis (5-2) returns home to the friendly confines of FedExForum Sunday, Dec. 11 to host Murray State (9-0) in a non-conference clash. The game, to be televised on Comcast Sports Southeast (CSS), is slated for a 5 p.m. (CT) start.
The Tigers are ranked No. 21 in the Associated Press (AP) and No. 20 in the ESPN/USA Today coaches polls, which were released Dec. 5. Murray State is in the Also Receiving Votes category of both polls (No. 40 AP/No. 34 coaches).
After competing in the 2011 EA Sports Maui Invitational on the Island (1-2 record), the Tigers returned to the mainland with three-straight victories over Jackson State (70-45) Nov. 28, Austin Peay (91-60) Dec. 3 and Miami, Fla. (71-54) Dec. 6.
Memphis returns all five starters and 10 letterwinners from last year's squad.
Among the Racers' nine wins to open the 2011-12 season are road victories at Morgan State, UAB and Western Kentucky and a home win over Dayton. Murray State also won the Great Alaska Shootout.
Murray State returns two starters and seven letterwinners from last year's team that posted a 23-9 overall record and earned a National Invitation Tournament (NIT) bid.
WHAT'S UP NEXT...
After a week off for final exams, Memphis returns to action Saturday, Dec. 17 at Louisville.
Murray State returns home to host Lipscomb on Thursday, Dec. 15.
WHAT THE TIGERS DID A YEAR AGO
Memphis finished 2011-12 with a 25-10 overall record and a 10-6 Conference USA mark.
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 THE RACERS DID LAST YEAR
Murray State posted a 23-9 overall record and a 14-4 Ohio Valley Conference (OVC) mark.
The Racers won the 2010-11 OVC regular season title.
Murray State fell to Tennessee Tech 64-59 in the OVC Tournament semifinals.
The Racers received a National Invitation Tournament (NIT) bid, but lost in the first round to Missouri State.
SCOUTING THE RACERS
Murray State brings a perfect 9-0 record into Sunday's match-up and is one of 14 NCAA Division I unbeatens.
The Racers won the Great Alaska Shootout crown with wins over Alaska Anchorage, San Francisco and Southern Miss.
The trio of Isaiah Canaan (20.3 ppg), Donte Poole (13.0 ppg) and Ivan Aska (12.7 ppg) leads the Racers offense.
Aska is the team's top rebounder at 5.8 rpg.
Jewuan Long leads the squad with 34 assists (3.8 apg), while Poole is tops on the team with 20 steals.
Murray State is shooting 46.6 percent from the field, 43.1 percent from the arc and 79.5 percent from the free throw line.
Steve Prohm is in his first season as the Racers head coach. Prohm's 9-0 start is tied for the best in Murray State history (tied with Tevester Anderson's 9-0 start in 1998-99).
MEMPHIS VS. THE OVC
Memphis has an all-time record of 104-62 against members of the Ohio Valley Conference (OVC).
The Tigers have played Austin Peay (17-4), Eastern Kentucky (3-0), Jacksonville State (1-1), Morehead State (0-2), Murray State (34-26), Southeast Missouri State (2-2), Tennessee Martin (12-3), Tennessee State (8-0) and Tennessee Tech (27-24).
The Tigers have never played Eastern Illinois and SIU-Edwardsville.
The last time Memphis played an OVC foe was last weekend when the Tigers hosted Austin Peay at FedExForum. Memphis defeated the Governors 91-60 on Dec. 3.
RACERS ARE TIGERS MOST COMMON OVC FOE
Although the two programs haven't met since the 2002-03 campaign, Memphis has played Murray State the most times of any Ohio Valley Conference opponent.
Sunday's contest is the 61st overall encounter between the two programs.
The Tigers' second-most common OVC foe is Tennessee Tech, which has played Memphis 51 times.
Murray State is the second of four teams that make their first trips to FedExForum in `11-12.
When the Racers last played Memphis in the Bluff City, the teams faced off in The Pyramid (2002-03 season).
The two other visiting programs that will play for the first time in FedExForum later this season are Robert Morris Dec. 29 and Xavier Feb. 4.
Memphis defeated its first FedExForum newbie this year when the Tigers posted a 97-81 win over Belmont in the season opener Nov. 15.
1,400 VERSUS 1,400
Memphis and Murray State both have storied traditions of winning basketball and the win totals prove it.
Both programs enter Sunday's match-up with over 1,400 victories in their histories.
Memphis has 1,436 all-time wins, while Murray State has 1,456 victories.
THREES COULD BE FLYING SUNDAY...
Memphis and Murray State both enter Sunday's game shooting over 40 percent from the three-point arc.
The Tigers are hitting 40.2 percent from the arc, while the Racers are shooting 43.1 percent from long distance.
Memphis and Murray State lead their respective conferences in three-point field goal percentage.
...OR HARD TO COME BY
Memphis and Murray State both enter Sunday's game holding opponents to 30 percent or less from the arc.
The Tigers hold their foes to 30.2 percent from the arc (6th in C-USA), while the Racers defend the arc even better at 25 percent (1st in OVC).
TIGERS SUCCESS AT FEDEXFORUM
The Tigers have a 130-15 overall record (.897 winning percentage) at FedExForum since moving into the arena for the 2004-05 campaign.
Since the 2005 Conference USA Tournament, Memphis has won 119 of its last 128 home games (.930 winning percentage).
BEST HOMECOURT ADVANTAGE
Since 2004-05, Memphis has won 129 games at FedExForum, the most home wins in the country over that span of time.
The following are the top three programs with the most home wins since 2004-05 (credit to Texas A&M SID for compiling this list):
Most Home Wins Since 2004-05
1. Memphis 130
2. Kansas 122
3. Texas A&M 118
TIGERS NON-CONFERENCE SUCCESS
Since 1999-2000, the Tigers have a non-conference record (including postseason) of 166-57 for a 74.4 winning percentage.
In 2010-11, Memphis had a 15-4 record against non-conference foes (including postseason).
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.
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.
Overall, Josh Pastner's teams (2009-10, 2010-11, 2011-12) have a 24-11 record in games decided by single digits.
DOUBLE YOUR PLEASURE
The Tigers have recorded three double-doubles this season, all by Will Barton.
Memphis' double-doubles during the 2011-12 season are/will be listed below:
W. Barton/Miami, Fla. 27-14
W. Barton/Austin Peay 22-13
W. Barton/Tennessee 25-11
THRICE IS NICE
For the third time in the early portion of the season, Will Barton set career highs for points and rebounds.
The 6-foot-6 guard's latest career bests came in the Tigers' Dec. 6 win at Miami, Fla., with 27 points and 14 boards.
The following tracks his career high changes this season:
Opponent Pts Rebs
Miami, Fla. 27 14
Austin Peay -- 13
Tennessee 25 11
Belmont 23 --
Highs Entering 2011-12 22 8
CRAWFORD STARTS = BETTER FG PCT, MORE ASSISTS
Since inserted in the starting lineup Nov. 28, Chris Crawford has been more productive.
In the three starts (all wins), Crawford is shooting 59.1 percent from the floor (13-of-22) and averaging 5.0 assists.
In first four games in which he was a reserve, Crawford shot 27.8 percent (5-of-18) and averaged 2.3 assists.
The Tigers, as a team, have a better shooting percentage and average more assists when Crawford starts.
In Crawford's three starts, Memphis shot 55.5 percent and averaged 16.0 assists. In his reserve role games, the Tigers shot 48.4 percent and averaged 13.3 assists.