Nov. 12, 2011
Memphis notes vs. Belmont
Marketing & Promotions: Camper Reunion Game
All Melissa McFerrin Hoops School campers receive free admission when wearing their camp t-shirts.
Tigers vs. Belmont
- Belmont leads the overall series 4-1
- The Bruins have won three straight games in the overall series. The last Memphis victory was in 1976-77, a 69-50 win at home.
- Memphis is 1-1 vs. Belmont in games played in Memphis
- The last meeting between the two teams was in 2008-09 in Nashville. (Belmont 69-60) under former coach Tony Cross.
- The Bruins are in their second season under head coach Brittney Ezell. In Ezell's first season, the Bruins were a 55-foot heave away from the NCAA tournament as a three-quarters court shot from Stetson connected with under 1.7 seconds left in the championship game of the Atlantic Sun Tournament.
- This is Belmont's final season in the A-Sun, they move to the Ohio Valley Conference next year.
Preseason Honors & Expectations -- Ready to March
The pressure is on the Tigers this season. The Conference USA coaches' poll was headlined by the Tigers in the No. 1 preseason pick slot and seniors Brittany Carter and Jasmine Lee each earned pre-season honors. Carter, a two-time first-team all-conference honoree was picked as the preseason Player of the Year, while Lee, the team's leading rebounder and second leading scorer, was picked as a pre-season all-conference honoree. The pair also picked up pre-season honors from the College Sports Madness blog. Carter was named a Preseason All-American Second Team and the C-USA Pre-season Player of the Year, while Lee was named to the C-USA Pre-season Second team.
The Tigers also return two-time C-USA All-Defensive team honoree Ramses Lonlack at the guard spot and will have junior forward Nicole Dickson, a 2009-10 all-freshman team honoree, back in the front court.
Back-to-Back Post Seasons
The Memphis women's basketball team has appeared in back-to-back post-season tournaments in the past two seasons. In McFerrin's second year at the helm of the program, the Tigers advanced all the way to the finals of the Women's Basketball Invitational (WBI) tournament in 2009-2010. The team then battled an injury-plagued 2010-11 season, managing to make it to the semifinals of the Conference USA tournament for the first time since 1997-98. The Tigers, the No. 6 seed in the tournament, upended No. 3 seeded Rice in the quarterfinals, getting Memphis to the 21 win mark and helping the team qualify for a WNIT at-large berth.
Memphis' appearance in the 2010-11 WNIT was its first since the 2003-04 season and the back-to-back post-season berths were the first for the program since it made three straight WNIT tournaments (1999-2001).
Tigers Sign Six for 2012-13
With a five-player senior class, the Memphis coaching staff had some work to do in preparation for next year. The staff's hard work paid off with six signed NLIs on the first day of the early signing period. The class was already called the No. 2 recruiting class by what ESPN.com's Hoopgurlz classifies as Mid-Major programs, and that did not count the addition of junior college signee Devin Mack.
University of Memphis Early Signees
Asia Fuqua-Bey, 6-2, Center, Chicago, Ill./Marist HS
Ariel Hearn, 5-7, Guard, Memphis, Tenn./Arlington HS
Jaymie Jackson, 5-10, Guard, Toledo, Ohio/Start HS
Devin Mack, 5-10 Forward, Rockford, Ill./Boylan Catholic/Kishwaukee College
Courtney Powell, 6-1, Forward, Youngstown, Ohio/Ursuline HS
Mooriah Rowser, 5-8, Guard, Rockville, Md./St. Johns College HS
Tigers' Associate Head Coach Honored Online
The Tigers' entire staff recruits, scouts and coaches a position at the University of Memphis. The cumulative effort of the coaches resulted in back-to-back 20-win seasons and post-season berths, but Associate Head Coach Danielle O'Banion was recognized by www.collegeinsider.com as one of the top 25 high major assistant coaches in the country.
Taking the Tigers' Message Overseas
The Tigers took their game overseas this summer, venturing to Italy for a 10-day tour. On the tour, the team visited Rome, Venice, Pisa and Como and played four games, going 4-0 on the trip against professional teams based in Germany and Italy. That 10-day tour in August meant this team got 10 days of practice early in August in order to prepare for the tour. The games were played with international rules, and an international three-point line, and gave the three freshmen a chance to get some early reps in the Memphis system. The coaching staff will now work to keep the team from burning out too early since they started workouts so much earlier, something to watch for in January and February when the conference slate starts.
The is the 40th season that women's basketball has been a varsity sport at Memphis. It's been a bitter sweet celebration, as Elma Roane, the women's athletic director who returned women's sports to varsity status at the university, passed away in September at the age of 93. The Tigers enter the 2011-12 season just 20 wins away from the 700th win in program history. The program's current record heading in to the Belmont game is 681-503.
In school history, 18 Tigers' teams have won 20 or more games. In the last 10 years, Memphis has just three 20-win seasons, but two of them are the back-to-back seasons under McFerrin.
Looking for a Grand
Senior guard Ramses Lonlack and junior forward Nicole Dickson are looking to be the next Tigers in to the 1,000 career point club. Lonlack enters the season with 877 total points (109 shy of 1,000), while Dickson enters with 620 points (380 shy). Teammate Brittany Carter became the 20th player in school history to hit the grand mark last year. Carter reached the 1,000 point mark in 60 career games, making her the third-fastest Tiger in school history to 1,000 points.
With the win Friday night over Saint Louis, the Tigers improved to 21-19 all-time in season openers, snapping a two-game losing streak in openers in FedExForum.
Host City for Conference USA Tournament
Memphis will host both the men's and women's Conference USA Championships in March. Both tournaments will run March 7-10th. The first two rounds of the women's tournament will be played in the Elma Roane Fieldhouse, before the semifinals and finals move down to FedExForum. This is the first time the women's C-USA Championships have been in Memphis since 2003.
Home Court is Busy in November
The Tigers have two home courts in Memphis, and will be busy on both of them to start the season, playing seven of their first eight games in the Bluff City in either the friendly confines of the Elma Roane Fieldhouse, where the team had an 18-game home winning streak before a loss to UTEP last year, or at FedExForum, where Memphis will open the season against Saint Louis. Memphis played four games at FedExForum last year, finishing with a 3-1 mark there following a season-opening stumble against Missouri.
Carter Named Candidate for Lowe's Senior CLASS Award
Senior guard Brittany Carter was named one of 30 candidates from across the country for the Lowe's Senior CLASS Award. The award, which is given to senior student-athletes who stay for their final year of eligibility, is based on excellence in the classroom, on the court, in the community and on strong character.
Carter has been a team captain at Memphis since her sophomore season and received her college diploma last December after just 2 1/2 years at Memphis after transferring from Georgia following her freshman season. After a possible professional basketball career, Carter wants to become an FBI agent. She participated in an FBI job-shadowing experience last year and last summer went to work for Morgan Keegan after learning that most FBI agents start their work at the desk doing research.
The senior guard had to battle some adversity last year. She suffered a stress fracture in her foot that eventually required her to miss five games. With Carter out of the line-up, Memphis fell from top quarter of the conference standings to sixth place by conference tournament time (1-4 in the five games she missed). Carter returned to the line-up at the conference tournament, scoring her 1,000th career point in her first game back, a win over Southern Miss, and then leading the team in scoring off the bench in the quarterfinal game to help Memphis to its first conference semifinals appearance since 1997-98.
Dickson Looking to Move Into Career Top 10 in Triples
In the final regular season home game last year, Tiger fans got to see now-graduated senior point guard Alex Winchell set the Memphis career record with five three-point field goals. But while Winchell was working on the top part of the career record list, then-sophomore forward Nicole Dickson is looking to start some work on the bottom half of the list.
Now a junior, Dickson, in 66 career games, has hit 59 career triples. She needs just six more threes to move into a tie for 10th with former Tiger Jessica Hall (2004-05, 2007-08).