Memphis Basketball Notes Vs. Rutgers
February 20, 2014INDIANA SPORTS PAGE
MEMPHIS PRESS RELEASE
SETTING THE SCENE
• Memphis (19-6, 8-4 The American) wraps up its short two-game road trip Feb. 20 when it travels to Piscataway, N.J., to face Rutgers (10-16, 4-9 The American).
• CBS Sports Network is televising Thursday's 6 p.m. (CT) American Athletic Conference encounter from the Rutgers Athletic Center. The Memphis-Rutgers game is not available via the web.
• The Tigers opened their two-game road swing with an 86-81 overtime setback at No. 24 Connecticut Feb. 15.
• Prior to this road trip, Memphis wrapped up a three-game homestand with a perfect 3-0 record. Memphis posted wins over Rutgers 101-69 Feb. 4, No. 23 Gonzaga 60-54 Feb. 8 and UCF 76-70 Feb. 12 in the homestand.
• The Tigers remained in the Associated Press (AP) poll released Feb. 17 in the No. 22 spot. Memphis has appeared in all 16 AP polls this season. For a second-straight week, Memphis also remained in the USA Today coaches poll at No. 24. Rutgers is not ranked.
• Memphis enters Thursday's encounter having won seven of its last 10 games. The Tigers' three setbacks in their last 10 contests were to Connecticut twice and SMU.
• The Tigers are 4-3 in true road games in 2013-14 and 7-4 in contests played away from FedExForum (road/neutral).
• Memphis returns three starters, but only five letterwinners from last year's squad.
• The Scarlet Knights are 9-8 in home games at the Rutgers Athletic Center this season (3-3 in conference home games).
• Rutgers returns three starters and seven letterwinners from last season's squad.
WHAT THE SCARLET KNIGHTS DID A YEAR AGO
• Rutgers posted a 15-16 overall record and a 5-13 BIG EAST Conference mark in 2012-13.
• The Scarlet Knights finished 12th in the BIG EAST Conference regular-season standings.
• Rutgers defeated DePaul 76-57 in the BIG EAST Conference Tournament opening round, before falling in the second round to Notre Dame 69-61.
SCOUTING THE SCARLET KNIGHTS
• Rutgers enters Thursday's American Athletic Conference encounter with a 10-16 overall record and a 4-9 league mark.
• The Scarlet Knights have dropped three of their last four games. The lone victory in the last four contests was a 79-69 win at USF Feb. 8.
• Rutgers has a 9-8 home record at the Rutgers Athletic Center (3-3 home mark in conference).
• Four of the Scarlet Knights' eight home losses were by single digits.
• Rutgers was picked to finish 10th in the 2013-14 conference preseason coaches poll.
• Myles Mack leads three Scarlet Knights averaging double figures at 15.6 ppg.
• Kadeem Jack (14.2 ppg) and J.J. Moore (11.0 ppg) also average double digits for Rutgers.
• Jack (6.8 rpg) and Wally Judge (6.1 rpg) lead the Scarlet Knights on the glass.
• Mack (110 total assists; 4.2 apg) and Jerome Seagears (86 total assists; 3.6 apg) are Rutgers' top playmakers. Mack (seventh) and Seagears (10th) are ranked in the top-10 in assists in the American Athletic Conference.
• Mack is tops on the team with 47 steals (1.8 spg; fifth in The American).
• Seagears (41.5 percent) and Mack (34.9 percent) are the Scarlet Knights' top three-point threats.
• Rutgers is shooting 43.5 percent from the field, 34.4 percent from the arc and 70.3 percent from the free throw line.
• Opponents are out-rebounding the Scarlet Knights by a margin of +0.6 boards per game (35.5-36.1; eighth in The American).
• Eddie Jordan is in his first season at Rutgers.
FIRST TIME SINCE ...
• For the first time in 61 seasons, the Memphis Tigers basketball program makes a return trip to the state of New Jersey Thursday when it faces Rutgers in Piscataway.
• The last time Memphis played a basketball contest in the state of New Jersey was the 1952-53 season.
• On Jan. 22, 1953, the Tigers played at Seton Hall and dropped a 103-85 decision to the Pirates in East Orange, N.J.
• An interesting tidbit on the 1953 Memphis-Seton Hall game is the Pirates were ranked No. 1 in the Associated Press poll when that contest was played.
• It was the first time in Tigers basketball history that Memphis played a No. 1 team and only the second time it met a ranked program in history.
MEMPHIS VERSUS NEW JERSEY NCAA DIVISION I SCHOOLS
• The Tigers meet only their third NCAA Division I school from the state of New Jersey when they play at Rutgers Thursday.
• Memphis has a 5-1 record (.833 winning percentage) against NCAA Division I school from the state of New Jersey.
• Memphis has played Princeton (1-0), Rutgers (1-0) and Seton Hall (3-1).
• Prior to the Feb. 4 Memphis-Rutgers contest, the last time the Tigers played an NCAA Division I opponent from New Jersey was the 2008-09 season.
• Memphis posted an 84-70 victory over Seton Hall in the semifinal round of the 2008 O'Reilly Auto Parts Puerto Rico Tip-Off Nov. 21, 2008.
• The other New Jersey NCAA Division I schools the Tigers have yet to play are Fairleigh Dickinson, Monmouth, NJIT, Rider and Saint Peter's.
HISTORY MADE LAST MEETING/ONE IN THE SAME
• On Feb. 4, Memphis and Rutgers played for the first time on the hardwood.
• That game also was the first time the two programs faced each other as conference foes.
• Since World War II, Rutgers became only the fifth school in which it was both a first-time opponent and a first-time conference foe at the same time.
• The following lists the five first-time foes that were also first-time conference opponents in the same meeting:
Opponent/Conference Date Result
Rutgers/American 2/4/2014 101-69, UM
East Carolina/C-USA 2/4/2003 73-49, UM
at Georgia Tech/Metro 1/17/1977 89-82, GT
Tulane/Metro 1/10/1977 78-64, UM
Cincinnati/MVC 1/22/1968 75-68, UC
IT'S AN NCAA FINAL FOUR THING
• Both head coaches in Thursday's Memphis-Rutgers match-up have been members of NCAA Final Four teams.
• Memphis head coach Josh Pastner was a player on the 1996-97 Arizona squad that advanced to the NCAA Final Four. The Wildcats won the 1997 national title.
• Rutgers head coach Eddie Jordan took his alma mater to the 1976 NCAA Final Four. The Scarlet Knights placed fourth at the Final Four (NCAA played a third-place game at the time) and finished with a 31-2 record in 1975-76.
FOLLOWING A LOSS UNDER PASTNER
• The Tigers dropped an 87-72 decision at SMU Feb. 1.
• However, Memphis has proven to be quite resilient after a loss in the Josh Pastner era, and the Tigers bounced back Feb. 4 with a 101-69 win over Rutgers.
• The Tigers now have a 35-4 record (.897 winning percentage) after a loss under Pastner.
• The last time Memphis suffered back-to-back losses under Pastner was in 2011-12.
• The Tigers dropped single-digit outcome decisions to Murray State 76-72 at FedExForum Dec. 11, 2011, and Louisville 95-87 at the KFC Yum! Center Dec. 17, 2011.
MOST WINS IN FIRST FIVE YEARS
• Of course, head coach Josh Pastner will pass on credit to the current players, former players, current assistant coaches, former head coaches and, yes, even Tiger Nation.
• But, the fact is Pastner is the winningest head coach in Tigers history for the first five years.
• The following shows the head coaches' win totals for their first five seasons since 1949:
Head Coach First 5 Years Wins Total
Josh Pastner* 2010-14 125
John Calipari 2001-05 115
Larry Finch 1987-91 102
Dana Kirk 1980-84 99
Bob Vanatta 1957-61 94
Wayne Yates 1975-79 93
Eugene Lambert 1952-56 87
*Pastner's fifth season still in progress
PASTNER FASTEST TO 125 WINS
• With the Tigers' 76-70 win over UCF Feb. 12, Josh Pastner reached the 125-victory milestone the quickest of any head coach in the program's history.
• The following lists the Memphis head coaches quickest to 125 wins:
Head Coach/Years Game # for 125th Win
Josh Pastner/2010-14 164 (125-39)
Dana Kirk/1980-85 173 (125-48)
John Calipari/2001-06 180 (125-55)
Larry Finch/1987-92 192 (125-67)
Zach Curlin/1924-41 269 (125-144)
TIGERS GOING FOR 14TH 20-WIN SEASON
• With their next victory, the Tigers will post a 14th-straight, 20-win season. Memphis enters Thursday's game with a 19-6 record.
• Last season, the Tigers set the record for consecutive 20-win seasons with their 13th straight. The previous record of 12-consecutive, 20-win seasons was from 1982-93.
• The 2013-14 Tigers also will attempt to add to the program's current school record of 13-straight postseason bids (9 NCAA, 4 NIT). Last season, Memphis advanced to the NCAA Tournament third round.
• Prior to this current record run of 13-straight postseason berths, Memphis had two six-year stretches in which it reached the postseason.
• The previous two six-year postseason spans were 1972-77 (2 NCAA, 4 NIT) and 1988-93 (4 NCAA, 2 NIT). The run from 1972-77 included the 1973 NCAA title game appearance. The 1988-93 postseason stretch included an NCAA Tournament Elite Eight appearance in 1992.
• The following shows the top-five longest streaks of 20-win seasons in Tigers history:
Consec. 20-Win Seasons Yrs.
HOLD OUR SPOT!
• Memphis is among the winningest NCAA Division I programs since 2000-01 and 2005-06, but it doesn't end there.
• With their next victory, the Tigers would have a 20-win season and would stay a member of another elite group at the NCAA Division I level.
• Entering 2013-14, Memphis was one of nine programs that had won 20 or more games each of the last 11 seasons.
• The following lists the nine NCAA Division I programs that have 20 or more wins the each of the last 11 years (2002-03 to 2012-13; *indicates teams have won 20 games in 2013-14):
Kansas* Utah State
STILL ONLY TWO
• Last season, Josh Pastner joined John Calipari as the only two head coaches in Memphis history to have 20-win campaigns in their first four seasons.
• With the Tigers' next victory, Pastner also can join Calipari as the only two head coaches in Memphis history to have 20-win campaigns in their first five seasons. Memphis' 2013-14 record stands at 19-6.
• The following shows Pastner's and Calipari's record in their first five seasons at Memphis:
Head Coach/1st 5 Years Records
Josh Pastner/2010-14 24-10, 25-10, 26-9, 31-5, 19-6
John Calipari/2001-05 21-15, 27-9, 23-7, 22-8, 22-16