UofM fan: The new American Athletic Conference (AAC) is awesome!
UConn fan: (squinting) How so?
UofM fan: Well, for one the Tigers have gotten much better exposure this year. We have been on a major network 8 times in 16 games.
UConn fan: (sarcastically) Hate to break it to you, but that's what it was like it in the Big East for us in the past.
An Arkansas State football player who was trying to shield his family from robbers was shot to death, along with his stepfather, the New York Daily News reports.
Markel Owens, a 21-year-old junior defensive lineman for the Red Wolves, was fatally shot along with Johnny Shivers, 36, during the robbery at a duplex in Jackson, Tenn., the Daily News reports.
Shivers died at the scene. Owens was taken to Jackson-Madison County General Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
Memphis Grizzlies fans were given a real surprise on Tuesday night (Jan. 14). All-Star center Marc Gasol hit the floor of the FedExForum to start against one of the top teams in the NBA after missing 23 consecutive games with a left knee injury.
The reigning Defensive Player of the Year sported a black brace but it didn't get in the way of helping his team outlast the Oklahoma City Thunder 90 to 87 in a high-energy game that kept the crowd on edge.
Gasol's return triggered a standing ovation from the 17,177 in attendance. He responded with 12 points in 24 minutes of play.
The NBA is soon approaching the end of the first half of the season and the Memphis Grizzlies appear to have found a groove. Players are settling into their roles. Missing Marc Gasol, Quincy Pondexter and Tony Allen due to injury, on Sunday (Jan. 12) they faced the Atlanta Hawks, rallying for a fourth quarter outburst that resulted in a 108-101 victory.
"We played really, really well together and they looked like they were having fun playing together, which is really a treat when you are a coach and you enjoy being around a great group of guys," said Grizzlies head coach Dave Joerger.
"They share the basketball and they make extra passes. They are helping each other on defense and no one is pointing fingers. It's all of us in it and trying to help each other. It's a good feeling right now."
The Memphis Grizzlies have learned to listen to floor general Mike Conley. They depend on him to lead the team.
Lately, the Grizz's starting point guard has taken his ability to do that up to another level.
Conley rallied Memphis in a late fourth quarter takeover to breeze pass the Phoenix Suns on Friday (Jan. 10) at FedExForum with a 104-99 victory. Fresh off of a 30-point performance on Tuesday in an overtime loss against the San Antonio Spurs, he tallied a career-tying 31 points along with seven assists. And he didn't commit a single turnover.
R-o-l-l-e-r ... c-o-a-s-t-e-r!
That's the only way to describe the University of Memphis Tigers' basketball season thus far. Up and down and up and down.
A crushing defeat early to Oklahoma State followed by a redeeming win over the same OSU team to capture the Old Spice Classic. A dominant road victory over the University of Southern Florida in Memphis' conference opener overshadowed by an embarrassing home loss to Cincinnati less than a week later.
Headed into their game Thursday night (Jan. 9) at Louisville, many thought the roller coaster might be headed for its biggest drop this year. Memphis hadn't beaten a ranked conference opponent on the road since 2005. With the defending national champion Louisville sitting at No. 12, it looked as if that trend might continue.
San Antonio Spurs beat the Memphis Grizzlies for the seventh straight time Tuesday night, escaping the FedExForum with a 110-108 overtime victory that could have been measured in inches.
While the Spurs have been beating the Grizz with regularity, this latest confrontation was in doubt right up to the time Mike Conley's three-point attempt from 29 feet bounced off the front of the rim as time expired.
Conley played big in a game in which Memphis erased a 16-point deficit, including a 10-point hole entering the fourth quarter. Conley led the Grizzlies with 30 points, 11 coming down the stretch in the final frame. His last-play drive to the basket yielded a game-tying bucket that sent the game into overtime.