Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Tigers burning bright as March arrives

From the AP wire:

MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- The Memphis Tigers are humming along, ranked sixth in the nation and enjoying the nation's longest winning streak at 17 games.

Imagine where they might be if Shawne Williams and Darius Washington hadn't gone to the NBA.

"Who knows how the scoring would've been?" senior guard Jeremy Hunt said. "We don't know. We think about it. But we don't ever get negative thoughts. We're just wondering."

It would be difficult for Memphis to improve much on this season.

The Tigers (25-3), who play Thursday night at UTEP, clinched a second straight Conference USA title outright last week for the first time in school history and have won three of the past four. Only Winthrop of the Big South Conference has gone undefeated in league play this season.

Read the Rest...

Propaganda Battle

Big article in today's USA Today!

Monday, February 26, 2007

Polls, Week 17

The coaches' poll is out. UNC is the only team that was above us that is now below us, but we didn't move. I was right-- Texas A & M hopped over us from #9 to #6. Florida dropped from #3 to #4. Wisconsin fell to #5, and UCLA and Kansas slid up to #2 and #3.

The AP poll has moved us up to #6. UNC fell from #5 to #8, Texas A & M is right behind us at #8. Florida fell to #5, Kansas moved up to #3, and Wisconsin fell to #4.

Sunday, February 25, 2007


The last home game. Today at 2pm CT, watch it on CBS. Latest Line as of 11am CT: Tigers by 17.5

You can see the CA's matchup here, with stats and info, yada yada yada.

Nice story here about senior Jeremy Hunt's redemption and how his mother deserves some praise. He's getting a second shot at Senior Day today.

Also? Florida and Pitt both lost yesterday. :)

Final Score: Tigers win, 77-64.

From ESPN: Tigers push nation's best win streak to 17.

So, as you will see above, I believed the game started at 2pm. Around 1pm, when I was sitting in Jillian's enjoying a pre-game lunch, I realized that hey! They're showing the FedExForum on TV! Oh, wait... the game's starting? Yes. The game was at 1pm CT. Oops. We ate fast and got to the game halfway through the first half...

Here's a senior day article by my favorite sports writer, Geoff Calkins.
Also from the CA, Tigers Streaking, and Tigers Replay. From the Houston Chronicle: Memphis coasts past UH

Oh, and the Tigers have wrapped up their first perfect home record since moving to the FedExForum. And we have one of the country's longest home court winning streaks, not sure where we are on that list now.

Next: Tigers at UTEP, Thursday night, 8pm CT (I double checked), on ESPN2.

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Senior Day

Tomorrow's game against Houston is Senior Day for the Tigers' three seniors: Clyde Wade, Jared Sandride, and Jeremy Hunt. Coach Cal has confirmed that the three seniors will start the game.

Now, that is not a huge deal for Hunt, who has started many games in his time, and would be the first off the bench anyway. but Wade? and Sandridge? Y'all. They rarely play at all, only when there's a blowout. And they're certainly not used to starting games. Especially ones on national television. And we're talking FREE television, Network television. CBS.

Wade has started exactly one game. His freshman year. It's been a while, and his years at the U of M have been anything but uneventful off the court, but I'm not going to dwell on that now with his Big Day coming up.

Sandridge. Ah, Jared Sandridge. He's a JuCo transfer. He's never started a game. He's played in fewer games than not, probably.

Cal promises to leave them in as long as he can, if they don't try to do "stuff they can't do." Maybe Jeremy Hunt will get to stay in a while at least. I have not been his biggest fan certainly, but I'm very impressed with his apparent turning over of a new leaf. If it's for real, he's an example of how great an influence basketball can be on the life of a kid, and he's a role model for lots of Memphis guys out there who face a lot of struggles and temptations. If it's not for real, then, he fooled me. My bad.

Good luck, guys. I hope your senior season has another five weeks in it. Maybe we'll say goodbye to you finally in Atlanta...

Thursday, February 22, 2007


Tonight's game against Rice will air on ESPN at 6pm CT.

Current line as of 10am CT: Tigers by 21

Final Score: 99-63

I don't really know can be said. I missed the first half of the game. The part I saw was just Joey Dorsey putting on a dunking demonstration, Jeremy Hunt scoring his 1,000th point, and even the scrubs hitting threes. You can read about it on if you want.
I did get to hear the ESPN commentators discussing how we didn't deserve a 2 seed in the tournament.
The Tigers did clinch the C-USA regular season title, as if that was in doubt. It was their 16th straight victory. The interesting thing about that is that I believe at least 3 teams this season have lost when trying to win their 17th straight game, including Florida.
Next: Houston on Sunday at 2pm CT, will be aired on CBS. It's senior day...

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Memphis still under radar

From Andy Katz' Blog on

This is perfect for Memphis coach John Calipari.

The Tigers win a thriller in overtime at Gonzaga and the talk is more about the Zags than the Tigers.

The new polls came out and the Tigers moved up from eighth in the coaches' poll to seventh, and from ninth to seventh in the AP poll. In the coaches' poll, though, Kansas jumped over the Tigers, moving from No. 9 to No. 6.

You don't think this kind of stuff is perfect fodder for Calipari? Of course it is. Cal has a team that, for whatever reason, doesn't seem to be discussed on a regular basis as a high seed, let alone a Final Four team.

Once again, perfect for Cal, as he is relishing playing in a headline-less league in Conference USA.

"We probably should be five with what we've done," Calipari said Monday. "We lost 50 percent of our scoring (Shawne Williams, Rodney Carney and Darius Washington), two first-round draft picks (Williams and Carney), and look how we've responded? Our team is playing better as a team than we did a year ago. We may not have as much talent, but we're playing better."

A year ago, Memphis played its way to a No. 1 seed but had much more of a challenge within the conference from UAB, UTEP and Houston.

This season, the Tigers are cruising along at 12-0 (one of the only two remaining teams that are unbeaten in conference play, along with Winthrop in the Big South). But Memphis isn't booked for a No. 1 seed like a year ago, even though the Tigers look like they could go undefeated in C-USA and have wins at Gonzaga, against Oklahoma and Kentucky in Maui, and versus Ole Miss at home (wins that look and sound good, but are against teams that, save for Ole Miss, aren't playing as well as they did a year ago).

Calipari was quick to say that the perceived weakness of C-USA shouldn't hurt the Tigers since it didn't a year ago when it was a No. 1 seed. But the difference, and Calipari acknowledges this, is there aren't any other at-large hopefuls in the league.

"People are waiting for us to drop one game, to see us lose," Calipari said. "We're not talking about the streak [in C-USA]. But we do tell our kids that we can't lose to that team or they'll make us a 6-seed."

Calipari said that a bit tongue-in-cheek, but he is paranoid when it comes to the NCAA Tournament selection process.

Calipari said the Tigers, who lost at Tennessee and Arizona, as well as to Georgia Tech in Maui, is a better defensive team this season. That's not surprising when you see that Memphis has given up fewer than 60 points in seven of its 12 conference games.

So, if you want to ding Memphis because it's Memphis, that's fine with Cal. He's confident that the crew of Chris Douglas-Roberts, Jeremy Hunt, Robert Dozier, Joey Dorsey and Antonio Anderson can go just as far as the more heralded collection a year ago -- the Elite Eight.

As for the Tigers' latest victim Gonzaga, Calipari said he can't understand why folks are down on the Zags after they lost by one point at Spokane Arena on Saturday.

"People are like, 'They lost,' " Calipari said of commentators making it seem like the Zags are toast since they lost to Memphis, essentially at home. "Did you watch the game? I think what they've done and who they've beaten, even without [suspended center Josh] Heytvelt, means they're in [the NCAAs]."

Gonzaga likely will enter the WCC tournament -- and might have to win it -- as a No. 2 seed. The Tigers will be the No. 1 seed in C-USA, barring a late swoon.

Monday, February 19, 2007

Polls- week 16

The AP poll has the Tigers #7 this week. Florida only fell to #3, and Kansas jumped over us. Pitt fell below us, and so did Texas A & M.

The Coaches' poll has us at #7, too.

Saturday, February 17, 2007


Final Score: Tigers win, 78-77, in OT.

Oh yeah.

It was enough to give me a heart attack, but that's okay. It's nice to have some excitement sometimes. What an ending! And the Tigers extend the nation's longest active winning streak.

ESPN's story
CA story
CA Tigers' replay

With Florida, UNC, Texas A&M, and Pitt losing, the top of the polls will certainly shuffle. It looks like the Tigers could creep up into the top 5.

Next: Rice, Thursday night on ESPN.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

5 Hottest Teams

The Tigers are listed as the second Hottest Team exactly one month before the tourney begins. The others are Florida, South Alabama, Winthrop, and South Connecticut State. Interesting and varied group there.

From ESPN:

Memphis (14 consecutive wins)

The Tigers are talented, but not battle-tested. They've dominated a mediocre-at-best Conference USA, and their best non-conference win was against Kentucky before Thanksgiving. They've played only three ranked teams, and none since losing at Arizona on Dec. 20. Not exactly a recipe for March success. Yes, Memphis played a similar schedule last season and got to the Elite Eight. But they were a more talented team a year ago, with Shawne Williams and Darius Washington Jr. -- and they had a pretty easy road to that regional final against UCLA, beating 16-seed Oral Roberts, 9-seed Bucknell and 13-seed Bradley along the way.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007


Poll update: This week the Tigers stayed at #8 in the AP poll, and rose to #9 in the ESPN poll.

Tonight it's Tulsa. Tulsa is 15-8, and 5-5 in C-USA. The game is at Tulsa, at 7pm and airs on CSTV (Ch. 222 on Comcast digital cable, Ch. 610 on DIRECTV, Ch. 152 on DISH Network). When we played in Memphis last month, we won 72 to 59.

The current line is Memphis by 10.5. ESPN's game preview is here. The CA's is here.

Final Score: Tigers win, 69-52. Antonio Anderson returned from his ankle injury to score 15 points and pretty much take over. CDR had 20 points and made 10-12 from the free throw line. I missed the game, and I don't have a lot to say about it. The CA's stuff is here and here.

Coming up: Saturday night at Gonzaga. 5pm CT on ESPN. This is a big one, it's our last major test before the tournament, and Gonzaga has quite a home court winning streak going. If we can win, that will be a nice booster heading in to the remaining five games.

Saturday, February 10, 2007


Speaking of arse-kicking.

Final Score: 95-51. There's not much else to say, really. Except the freshmen got a lot of playing time, and it gave them an opportunity to show what they can do. They did a good job.
Next? 7 pm Wednesday at Tulsa. Supposed to air on CSTV, which sucks because since Time Warner sold to Comcast, we don't have CSTV anymore. Not cool.
Update: CSTV didn't go away, it just relocated. It's now channel 222, if you're in Memphis.

Thursday, February 8, 2007


The Tigers travel to Birmingham take on UAB tonight at 8pm CT, and it will be broadcast on ESPN as part of Rivalry Week. Really? Okay. Tigers are favored by 9-10 points right now.

Final Score: (8) Tigers 70, UAB 56

Well then. The game was interesting. It seemed very sloppy to me in the first part of the first half. UAB was trying to run and gun, and they were sloppy. The Tigers were just... sloppy. Everytime they started to make a run, UAB was able to stay with them. Until they weren't. The Tigers had a 12 point lead at halftime, in the second half built the lead to as many as 23 points and then held on to win by 14. The story of the night was definitely Jeremy Hunt. He was just ridiculous. He had a career-high 25 points in the first half, including a buzzer beater that was incredible.

Now, last year I wasn't a big fan of Hunt. He seemed to be one of many basketball stars that had succombed to the pressure of being a hometown star. He had not lived up to his potential on the court, and off he was arrested for violence against his girlfriend, and for a "scuffle" on Beale Street, and was supposedly off the team. But Calipari, in his either wisdom or foolishness (only the future will reveal which) allowed Hunt back on the team this season. And so far, it seems that Hunt is an example of a life turned around. He's playing well on the court, he got his degree, and he hasn't been in any trouble that I know of. I hope it's true.

Next? The Tigers play Tulane at home Saturday night. It will air on CSS, at 7pm CT.

Monday, February 5, 2007

Movin' on Up

The Tigers have moved up to #10 in the USA Today poll. We have hopped above Duke and Oregon.

The Tigers are now #8 in the AP poll. We hopped above Kansas, Butler, Duke fell to #16, it's crazy! That puts us directly under #7 Pittsburgh. Which could make for an interesting match up in my house.

Saturday, February 3, 2007


The Tigers are playing SMU right now on ESPN.

Sorry I didn't give you a heads up, Mom, I know you're probably missing it.

I'll be back when it's over!


That, my friends, is what we call an arse-kicking. The Tigers were favored by 19 anyway, but they won by 36. So that was nice. (Final Score: 88-52) The game was close for the first couple of minutes, but the Tigers went on a run that had them up by 20 before the first half ended. SMU never really threatened. The Tigers are 9-0 in conference play now, and have the second longest active winning streak in the country.

Polls: Last Monday, the Tigers were #12 in the ESPN poll, #11 in the AP poll. Duke (#10) and Oregon (#9) both lost this week, so chances are we may move up a spot or two. It would seem the Tigers may sneak their way into the Top 10.

Coming up: Thursday night at UAB, at 8pm CT. The game will be aired on ESPN. Then Saturday night back home against Tulane (will be aired on CSS if you have Comcast). The biggest game left on the schedule is February 17 trip to Gonzaga. Gonzaga has the longest active home court winning streak. That game will be our chance to tune up before the NCAA tournament, and give us a chance to end that nice little winning streak. It will air on ESPN.

Here' s a link to the Tigers schedule.