With ESPN's College GameDay and the No. 23 Gonzaga Bulldogs in town, members of the True Blue Nation packed the FedExForum Saturday night (Feb. 8). They came with great expectations and the Tigers delivered with a 60-54 win.
For most of the first half, Gonzaga controlled the pace. They were able to force Memphis into a half court set and the Tigers' offense looked non-existent.
Memphis started to speed things up with around five minutes remaining in the half, but the Bulldogs seemed to have an answer every time the Tigers tried to rally.
Brevity and directness often mark post-game assessments when the team you are trying to catch and pass for a playoff spot comes onto your home court and beats you solidly.
"They played good. We couldn't stop them," said the Grizzlies Zach Randolph after the Dallas Mavericks exited the FedExForum court with a 110-96 win Wednesday night. "They've got a great defensive team. They play well and they execute."
Randolph led the Grizzlies with 25 points. Late in the third quarter, however, Dallas seized a lead they would not relinquish partly by bringing Randolph under control in the paint. They maintained the lead going into the fourth quarter and led by as many as 17.
Back in 2007 and just a few days before historic Super Bowl 41, I spoke with Claude Humphrey and later crafted a story that led with this assertion: "A lot people think Claude Humphrey should be in the NFL Hall of Fame."
Seven years later, Humphrey, who graduated from old Lester High School in Binghampton before going on to Tennessee State University and the NFL (where he played from 1968 to 1981), has made it into the NFL's shrine.
Last Saturday (Feb. 1st), the Pro Football Hall of Fame's Selection Committee held its annual selection meeting, electing Humphrey – an exceptionally talented defensive end – as part of the seven-member Class of 2014.
The No. 24th ranked University of Memphis Tigers trounced Rutgers 101-69 at the FedExForum on Tuesday night. The victory yielded these post-game reflections.
Head coach Josh Pastner
"This was a great win for the Tigers and we played well. Converting on 26 assists on 36 made field goals will make me happy any day of the week. We did a great job in sharing the ball. Establishing a post presence early on in the game set everything else up. I love that Austin Nichols went 8-of- 9 from the floor. He and Shaq Goodwin had some great moves down there below the rim. Chris Crawford had a big game with his 11 rebounds as well as Joe Jackson with eight assists. Our free throws (17-of-21) were better than in previous games. We held them (Rutgers) to 41 percent from the floor and did some positive things defensively. Overall it was a very good game and a lot we can take heading into our big game this weekend."
With their once guard-heavy roster skimmed down to two backup point guards, the Grizzlies chose to insert Nick Calathes into the starting lineup following Conley's injury against the Minnesota Timberwolves last Friday night.
Usually hitting the floor in limited minutes so Conley can take a breather, Calathes answered the starter's call of duty Saturday at the FedExForum, helping lead the Grizz to a 99-90 victory over the Milwaukee Bucks. Before tip-off, the Grizzlies announced that Conley would be out for at least a week.
"I knew coach had a lot of confidence in me," said Calathes, who scored a career-best 22 points. "He started me. My job was to run the team. The big thing was to just get the win and not turn the ball over."
Fox Sports sideline reporter Pam Oliver is expected to rouse quite a bit of attention at Sunday's Super Bowl, all because of a little misplaced hair, Philly.com reports.
As it turns out the veteran TV sports reporter made the grievous mistake of having a bad hair day and it ignited a twitter storm with people comparing her to Chewbacca and more. Her auburn highlights were a bit wonky, her hair did look a little messy, the news site notes, but it still left more than a few people wondering since when sports was about criticizing the reporter's looks instead of paying attention to the analysis.
Sadly, this has not been Oliver's first ride in this rodeo. She has long been the subject of cruel tweets and comments about her hair virtually every game day. There are several parody Twitter accounts about her hair. However, Oliver has a job to do and she lets these things just roll right off her shoulder.
Wednesday night (Jan. 29) North Carolina and Georgia Tech were scheduled for primetime coverage, but thanks to an ice storm in Atlanta the University of Memphis-Central Florida game was upgraded to ESPN2 coverage. And the nation got another look at what this Memphis squad has to offer.
Now, Central Florida has an elite caliber player in Isaiah Sykes. He could have been the best player on the floor for either team, but his 24 points, 12 rebounds, and 5 assists weren't enough for the Knights.
Knotted at 39, the Knights looked poised to upset the #22 ranked Tigers after the first 20 minutes. But those hopes would be dashed in the second half as Memphis rallied for a ten-point win 69-59.