UT-Martin (2-4) at Memphis (3-2)|
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Thursday, November 29, 8 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: FedExForum (18,119) -- Memphis, Tennessee.
Television: FSN South, SportSouth. Home Record: UT-Martin 2-1, Memphis 2-0.
Away Record: UT-Martin 0-3, Memphis 0-0. Neutral Record: UT-Martin 0-0,
Memphis 1-2. Conference Record: UT-Martin 0-0, Memphis 0-0. Series Record:
Memphis leads, 5-0.
GAME NOTES: Bragging rights in the Volunteer State are up for grabs, as the
Skyhawks of UT-Martin hit the road to challenge the Memphis Tigers.
UT-Martin has lost twice as many games as it has won through the first few
weeks of the season. Its two triumphs have come against little known schools
in Fontbonne and Lyons College, while its losses have been inflicted by the
likes of Arkansas-Little Rock, Cincinnati, Arkansas State and Bradley. The
Skyhawks are hoping to build up a head of steam as they look ahead to the
start of Ohio Valley Conference play, which for them, begins on Dec. 29 at
Memphis was ranked in the Top-25 earlier this season, but a pair of losses to
VCU (78-65) and Minnesota (84-75) in the Battle 4 Atlantis dropped the team
out of the rankings. The Tigers responded by slipping past Northern Iowa in a
52-47 final to stop the brief slide, but they clearly have their work cut out
for them if this is going to be another successful campaign for the club in
Conference USA. Memphis kicks off league play at home against East Carolina on
Jan. 9, 2013, but not before taking on nationally-ranked Louisville as well as
intrastate rival Tennessee.
Memphis has never lost to UTM in five previous meetings, with each taking
place since 2000, and all on the Tigers' home court.
The Skyhawks are averaging nearly what they allow on the season (71.8-72.8
ppg), and they have very similar shooting efforts as well -- .393 overall,
.328 from three-point range, compared to .390 overall and .303 from three-
point distance for the opposition. They are nearly even in rebounding (+0.3),
and they are guilty of 16.3 turnovers per tilt while goading the opposition
into a tad more at 17.7 tpg. One of the primary reasons the team has lost four
times while winning only twice is due to the results at the free throw line,
as foes have nearly as many points from the stripe as UTM has attempts
(117-119). Myles Taylor (16.2 ppg, 7.5 rpg) heads a list of five double-digit
scorers for the Skyhawks, and he leads the team's effort on the glass as well.
The other four guys net between 10.0 and 12.8 ppg. Taylor generated 17 points
and nine boards in the recent loss to Bradley, while Mike Liabo tallied 15
points and Justin Childs had a dozen. A 32.8 percent shooting effort doomed
the visitors, as did a 45-35 rebounding deficit and a 23-13 disadvantage in
points from the foul line.
Like their counterpart tonight, the Tigers too are virtually dead even in most
statistical categories, the team scoring 67.6 ppg while permitting 65.8 ppg. A
+5.0 rebounding margin has helped, but the opposition is draining just shy of
40 percent of their three-point attempts (.394). Memphis lacks a guy capable
of putting up big-time scoring numbers, instead relying on steady
contributions from several guys. Adonis Thomas leads the team in scoring, but
he nets just 12.0 ppg, and he has made only 1-of-13 three-point attempts on
the year. Tarik Black (10.6 ppg, 5.0 rpg) and Joe Jackson (10.0 ppg) are the
only other double-digit scorers at the moment, although Chris Crawford (9.4
ppg, 5.2 rpg) is close to joining the ranks. The Tigers had trouble finding
their shooting stroke against Northern Iowa last Saturday, hitting a meager
36.7 percent of their field goal attempts, but they held the Panthers to 31.4
percent and they claimed a 40-30 edge in rebounding as well. Due in large part
to his four treys, Crawford logged a double-double consisting of 18 points and
12 boards, while Jackson poured in 15 points as he hit a pair of long-range
Memphis has talent, but has yet to really put in all together against a
quality opponent. The Tigers will win this game, but they have work to do if
they're going to reign supreme in C-USA once again this year.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Memphis 77, UT-Martin 62
11/29 10:36:51 ET