Dec. 15, 2011
Memphis vs. Louisiana Tech Notes
Where to See/Hear it: Fans in Memphis can listen to the game on WUMR, 91.7 FM. Fans with the full All-Access subscription (not the monthly subscription) can watch the game through St. John's streaming video. Fans with a monthly All-Access subscription can still listen to Jeff Brightwell's (@MemphisRadio) call of the game. The game will also be live-tweeted through @MemphisWBKB. We will also run a live chat for Saturday's game. You can participate in the free live chat by clicking here.
Tigers vs. Louisiana Tech
This is the 11th meeting between Memphis and Louisiana Tech. Louisiana Tech leads the overall series 8-2, including the last meeting between the two teams, 86-76, in Ruston on Dec. 22, 2009. The last Memphis win in the series was in 2008-09, a 67-60 victory that snapped a four game-losing streak to the Lady Techsters in the series history.
Of all the players who saw action in that game, only Brittany Carter, Ramses Lonlack and Nicole Dickson return for Memphis. For Louisiana Tech, Jasmine Bendolph, Kiara Young and Whitney Jones all played in that last contest in Ruston.
More C-USA Weekly Honors
Senior post Jasmine Lee earned the team's fourth weekly honor from Conference USA following the 81-66 win at UALR Saturday. Lee, who finished with 17 points and 16 rebounds in a road win at UALR is earning her second career weekly award from C-USA and helped the Tigers earn back-to-back Player of the Week honors for the first time since Melissa McFerrin took the program over. Brittany Carter was named the Player of the Week last week and freshman Ann Jones has twice been named the C-USA Freshman of the Week, including last week's award.
Looking for Strong Start Thru Ten
Memphis will be looking to improve to 9-1 Saturday. The Tigers have not been 9-1 thru the first 10 games of the season since 2003-04. That team finished 21-10 and advanced to the WNIT Second Round. Memphis has never started 10-0 and has only started 9-1 thru the first 10 games four total times (2003-04, 1998-99, 1976-77, 1972-73). None of those teams qualified for the NCAA tournament.
Memphis has started 8-2 five times (1986-87, 1984-85,1981-82, 1978-79, 1977-78). Three of those teams qualified for the NCAA field (1987, 1982, 1985).
A Win Outside of Memphis
It has been since 1998-1999 that Memphis has won a tournament outside the Bluff City. That Memphis team won the Georgia State tourney (vs. Georgia Southern & UNC Wilmington).
Abdul-Qaadir Eying School Mark in Consecutive Free-Throws
This hopefully does not jinx her, but sophomore point guard Bilqis Abdul-Qaadir is already eying a spot in the record book. Heading in to Saturday's match-up with Louisiana Tech, Abdul-Qaadir has hit 16 straight attempts from the free-throw line. Although she has just 19 tries from the line in the first nine games, Abdul-Qaadir's last miss from the stripe was the front end of a one-and-one with 2:24 remaining in the game in the win over Belmont in the Tigers' second game of the season. After having no free-throw tries at Illinois or against Arkansas-Pine Bluff, the sophomore has hit everything since, improving to 18-for-19 on the season from the stripe.
The school record for consecutive free-throws made is 24, held by Devin Necaise. Necaise hit 24 straight free-throws before a miss at UAB. She went on that same season to set a school record for free-throw percentage (90.9), that she broke a season later (96.6). For this season, Abdul-Qaadir is shooting 94.7 percent from the line.
Collier Returning to the Big Apple
Senior guard Danay Collier has been looking forward to this weekend's games since the schedule was announced. A 2008 graduate of John F. Kennedy High School, Collier, a Bronx native, will be returning home to play in front of her family and friends this weekend. This will be Memphis' first-ever trip to the Northeast since McFerrin was hired away from American University in Washington, D.C. prior to the 2008-09 season.
Collier has been asked to be a little bit of everything for the Tigers already this season. She made her first career start at guard in the absence of defensive stopper Ramses Lonlack when Lonlack had to miss the Arkansas-Pine Bluff game. She is backing up Springfield, Mass., native Bilqis Abdul-Qaadir at point guard with freshman Lauren McGraw and is Memphis' third-leading shooter from three-point range with nine makes so far this season from beyond the arc. Percentage-wise, Collier leads all Memphis players with more than one attempt per game from three-point range with a 36.0 percent shooting clip (which ranks 9th in Conference USA).
Carter on Pace for Career Top 10 in Scoring
Senior guard Brittany Carter will leave with her name all over the school record book, but the Covington, Georgia, native's most impressive mark may be breaking in to the career top 10 at Memphis despite playing just three seasons for the Tigers. Carter is already 16th in career scoring with 1,212 points (87 points shy of Victoria Crawford's mark of 15th). But spots 10-15 are pretty closely bunched. Carter needs just 317 points this season to break in to the career top 10. At her current clip of a little over 17 points per game, she would break in to the career top 10 in the first game of the Conference USA tournament. Carter (2009-present) and Lynn Enzweiler (1973-75) are the only players in the top 20 in career scoring at Memphis who have played less than four seasons in the blue and gray.
Abdul-Qaadir in a Helping Mood
Sophomore point guard Bilqis Abdul-Qaadir was the one new starter for Memphis this season, stepping on the court with seniors Brittany Carter, Jasmine Lee and Ramses Lonlack and junior Nicole Dickson. That supporting cast has helped Abdul-Qaadir quickly assimilate to the Tigers' offense. Already this season, she has three more assists in the first nine games than she had in 34 games last year. And the Springfield, Mass., native is also keeping the mistakes down, which has her currently ranked 15th in the NCAA in assist-to-turnover ratio (2.69). In the six-game Memphis winning streak, she has handed out 34 assists against just nine turnovers (3.78 ratio). She has not had a single game this season where she had more turnovers than assists and was even just one time, in the season-opener against Saint Louis (2 assists, 2 turns), a game in which she hit the game-winning three with just five seconds left on the clock in a 63-60 win over Saint Louis.
Double-Double Dickson Stopped Short
Nicole Dickson's school-record double-double streak was stopped at seven straight games in the win at UALR Saturday. Dickson had just one point with four rebounds in the Tigers' season opener, but then reeled off seven straight double-doubles. She led the team in scoring in the win over UALR, finishing with 22 points, but finished with seven rebounds, three shy of her double-digit mark.
10 points, 10 rebounds vs. Belmont
10 points, 11 rebounds at Illinois
19 points, 10 rebounds vs. Arkansas-Pine Bluff
11 points,10 rebounds vs. Southeastern Louisiana
20 points, 11 rebounds vs Texas-Arlington
15 points, 2 rebounds vs Tennessee State
11 points, 10 rebounds vs UT Martin
Dickson currently is tied for third in the NCAA with seven double-doubles on the season.
Dickson's sixth straight games with double-digit rebounds (vs. Tenn. State) also broke the school record of five straight games with double-digit rebounds held by Tamika Whitmore (1/8/98-1/23/98), who played in the WNBA for the New York Liberty (1999-2003).
Dickson On the Move in Career Three-Point Shots
Junior forward Nicole Dickson has moved in to a tie with Lauren Jackson (1998-2002) for ninth in the career three-point field goals made category after she was 1-for-3 from three-point range in the win over UALR. Dickson, who now has 71 career threes, needs one more triple to take over eighth from Raven Rogers (2001-05), but will have some work to do to move any higher up on the list. The seventh place spot is currently held by Kelly Herron (1995-2001), who hit 131 career threes. Brittany Carter is coming up behind Dickson as well in the record book. Carter needs 12 more threes to move in to the career top 10 at Memphis.
A Bit More Northeast Flavor
In addition to Collier playing in front of a contingent of family and friends, the Tigers have two other players with some roots from the Northeast who may account for some blue shirts in the stands this weekend. Sophomore point guard Bilqis Abdul-Qaadir hails from Springfield, Mass., where she broke the state career scoring record (for either boys or girls basketball) previously held by Rebecca Lobo and finishing her prep career with 3,070 career points at New Leadership Charter School.
Senior guard Ramses Lonlack hails from Cameroon, but also has roots in Massachusetts. The two-time C-USA defensive all-conference honoree attended high school at Stoneleigh Burnham School in Greenfield, Mass. before coming to Memphis.
The Tiger coaching staff also has some background in the Northeast. Head coach Melissa McFerrin served as an assistant coach for the New York Liberty in the WNBA in the 1997 and 1998 seasons. Associate head coach Danielle O'Banion helped Boston College to two NCAA tournament appearances and served as an assistant coach at Harvard in 2002, helping the Crimson squad to their first NCAA appearance in four seasons. Assistant coach Michael Wholey rounds out the Tigers' Northeastern roots. Wholey is the son of high school coach Paul Wholey in Marshfield, Mass., and started his coaching career at Boston University. McFerrin brought Wholey on board her staff at American, in Washington, D.C., and he was her first hire at Memphis when she accepted the job in April of 2008.
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 entered the 2011-12 season just 20 wins away from the 700th win in program history. The program's current record heading in to the Louisiana Tech game is 689-504.
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.
Valuing the Basketball
Even as up-tempo as the Tigers like to play, Coach McFerrin will tell you we play up-tempo, but not out of control. The result is a team assist-to-turnover ratio of 1.12, which ranks 13th in the country. Point guard Bilqis Abdul-Qaadir ranks 15th in the country and 1st in Conference USA with a 2.7 assist-to-turnover ratio, while Ramses Lonlack (5th, 1.6) and Brittany Carter (9th, 114) also rank in the top 10 in Conference USA.
Tigers in the National Rankings
Memphis ranks in the top 25 in six statistical categories in the latest NCAA statistics:
Category Rank Stat National Leader
Scoring Offense 18th 77.9 UNC, 87.5
Scoring Margin 18th 19.6 UConn, 41.7
Field Goal % 25th 44.5 Maryland, 50.9
Win/Loss % 17th 88.9 Multiple, 1.000
Assists/Game 21st 17.2 UConn, 21.2
Assist/TO Ratio 13th 1.12 UConn, 1.65
3-Pt FG Defense 10th 22.2 Wofford, 13.4
Lonlack Looking for 1,000 Points, 500 Rebounds, 250 Steals
Senior guard Ramses Lonlack is trying to become just the sixth player in Memphis women's basketball history to have over 1,000 career points, 500 rebounds and 250 steals. Lonlack already has the steals and rebounds marks passed (530 rebounds, 253 steals heading in to the Louisiana Tech game) and is now just 39 points shy of her 1,000th career point. Only five other players in Memphis' 39-year-history have had 1,000 points, 500 rebounds and 250 steals:
Betty Booker (1976-80): 2,835 points, 628 rebounds, 360 steals
Keeta Matthews (1992-96): 2,133 points, 926 rebounds, 282 steals
Linda McKinnie (1977-82): 2,000 points, 831 rebounds, 337 steals
Kim Duppins (1978-82): 1,835 points, 1,163 rebounds, 281 steals
Kitty Allen (1993-97): 1,823 points, 559 rebounds, 289 steals
Four Straight vs. 2011 NCAA Tournament Teams
The Tigers are 2-0 so far in a four-game stretch against teams from the 2011 NCAA tournament. Memphis picked up a home win over UT Martin, then won at the road at UALR. This weekend's tournament features three other teams who played in the 2011 NCAA tournament field. Memphis will play Louisiana Tech on the first day of the St. John's tournament. Depending on the Louisiana Tech result, Memphis will then face either host St. John's or Prairie View A&M on Sunday.
Carter Named to Women's Naismith Trophy Early Season Watch List
Senior guard Brittany Carter was the lone Conference USA player to be named to the Women's Naismith Trophy Early Season Watch List. Carter, one of 51 players on the list, becomes the first Tiger player under the guidance of Melissa McFerrin to earn a spot on the watch list. A two-time All-Conference USA first team honoree, Carter is also one of 30 candidates for the Lowe's Senior CLASS Award. The senior was also named to the CollegeChalkTalk.com Worthy 20 preseason Wooden players list from George Rodecker.
Three Televised Tigers Games This Year
Memphis will appear on television three times during the regular season. After the Tigers open their home stand against a tough Tulane squad, Memphis will fly to El Paso, Texas, for a televised game at currently-unbeaten UTEP on Jan. 8th. On Jan. 22nd, Memphis will play a road game at UAB that will also be televised. Memphis' lone televised regular season home game will be a Feb. 5th match-up with UCF at FedExForum. That game will be the back end of a double-header with the Tigers' men's basketball team. All three games will appear on Fox Sports Network. Check www.GoTigersGo.com for additional information as those dates get closer.
Double-Doubles Racking Up
Memphis has already had 11 double-doubles on the season in the first nine games. Nicole Dickson had just one career double-double heading in to this season (she now has eight) and Jasmine Lee, who has four double-doubles already this year, has added to her eight double-doubles from last year (improving to 12 for her career). The Tigers as a team had just 12 double-doubles all last year. Prior to her double-double against Belmont, Dickson had not had a double-double since her freshman season (the UMKC game in the WBI tournament).
Memphis has had two players with a double-double in three games so far this season (Belmont, at Illinois, vs. UT Martin).
Nicole Dickson vs. Belmont (11/13/11), 10 points, 10 rebounds
Jasmine Lee vs. Belmont (11/13/11), 19 points, 12 rebounds
Nicole Dickson at Illinois (11/15/11), 10 points, 11 rebounds
Jasmine Lee at Illinois (11/15/11), 13 points, 12 rebounds
Nicole Dickson vs. Arkansas-Pine Bluff (11/19/11), 19 points, 10 rebounds
Nicole Dickson vs. Southeastern Louisiana (11/22/11), 11 points, 10 rebounds
Nicole Dickson vs. UT Arlington (11/27/11), 20 points, 11 rebounds
Nicole Dickson vs. Tennessee State (12/1/11), 15 points, 12 rebounds
Nicole Dickson vs. UT Martin (12/4/11), 11 points, 10 rebounds
Jasmine Lee vs. UT Martin (12/4/11), 18 points, 10 rebounds
Jasmine Lee at UALR (12/10/11), 17 points, 16 rebounds
Lonlack Playing Extended Season Following National Team Stint
Senior guard Ramses Lonlack has always been a workhorse for head coach Melissa McFerrin, averaging 30.4 minutes per game in the previous 106 career games (she has started 101 games). All that playing time was extended in to the off-season in the summer of 2010 when Lonlack returned home to Cameroon for the first time since she was a high school sophomore to play for the Cameroon national team in the qualifying rounds for the 2011 Afrobasket tournament. Lonlack helped Cameroon qualify for the tournament, then returned to Memphis for her junior season.
In August of this year, Lonlack joined her Tiger teammates in a 10-day tour of Italy, which meant 10 more days of practice, followed by 10 days of touring and four games, then returned to the U.S. before again flying back to Cameroon to represent her country in the 2011 Afrobasket tournament in Bali, where the team was attempting to qualify for the 2012 London Olympic games. Cameroon advanced all the way to the quarterfinal round, then bounced back from a quarterfinals loss to finish sixth in the draw, which meant Lonlack played eight games in nine days, then flew back across the Atlantic Ocean to return to her Civil Engineering Classes.
ack-to-Back 20-Point Outings
Senior Brittany Carter did something in the win over UT Martin that she hasn't done since her sophomore season. After a 23-point game against Tennessee State, she scored 27 points against UT Martin, her first back-to-back 20-point games since her sophomore season, when she accomplished the same feat two times -- once with back-to-back 20 plus point games vs. FIU (21) and South Alabama (20) and a back-to-back-to-back run against East Carolina (29), UMKC (22) and Wichita State (25). Carter has scored 20 or more points in three different games so far this season.
Brittany Carter set a career-high with six steals in the win over Tennessee State. She broke that record just three days later, with nine steals in the win over UT Martin. That nine steals ranks fifth in the Memphis single game records. Carter now ranks second in Conference USA with 3.1 steals per game. A lot of those steals come courtesy of Conference USA all-defensive team honoree Ramses Lonlack's presence on the floor. Lonlack is such a defensive threat, that opponents are game planning around her player not allowing her player to handle the ball. Lonlack already has 253 career steals, sneaking up on the Memphis career top five, and has pressured passers to try to get rid of balls, opening up the passing lanes for both Carter and sophomore point guard Bilqis Abdul-Qaadir.