With it being right in the middle of college football season, it might be hard for many schools and their fan bases to start looking forward to the upcoming basketball season. For the True Blue Nation of the University of Memphis, basketball season can't get here soon enough.
The fans made that abundantly clear this past Friday (Oct. 12), as they packed the FedExForum for Memphis Madness. And even though this event is nothing more than a large scale pep rally, it gave many their first glimpse at the potential of Memphis' mens basketball team.
For University of Memphis women's basketball coach Melissa McFerrin, keying in on talent will be important for the upcoming basketball season.
"We have eight new faces on our roster and six returners," McFerrin said on Friday night after Memphis Madness at FedExForum.
More than half of the 15,000 Tiger basketball fans were in the building when doors opened at 5:30 p.m. to watch the women's basketball team practice.
For Grizzlies head coach Lionel Hollins, it's important to set the tone for the upcoming season early.
"There is a purpose to everything that we do and the purpose here is to lay a foundation of our identity, how we're going to do things offensively and how we're going to do things defensively," said Hollins. "So it's important that they (the players) understand that."
After a loss on the road last weekend (Oct. 13), the Tigers returned to Memphis with their fifth loss of the season. East Carolina proved to be too much for the hometown team to handle.
With the final score 41 to 7, it is easy see this was a one-sided affair. ECU has proven to be one of the better teams in the conference this year and it isn't very shocking that they defeated Memphis. Yet, the game did get ugly fast and Memphis just had an overall bad outing.
Memphis' eight-game, preseason run is in full swing. The emphasis goes on preseason, and just for the record, the Grizz were one up and one down after the first two games – a win against Real Madrid last Saturday (Oct. 6) and a loss to the Chicago Bulls the following Tuesday.
Game one at the FedExForum offered a glimpse of how well the Grizzlies' core starting five can play together. With the starters in most of the game, Memphis defeated Real Madrid 105-93.
For the University of Memphis Tigers, Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium has been home soggy home in 2012. The first two home games were played in rainy conditions, and if you combine that with the losses, the word gloomy just about covers the first third of the season.
So it was no surprise that rain set in for Memphis' conference opener against the Rice Owls this past Saturday (Oct. 6). The conditions were much the same.
Teamwork makes the dream work.
Many of us have heard that saying before, even if we're not exactly sure where or when. It reflects optimism – something that the revamped Memphis Grizzlies team has a goodly amount of headed into the new season.
On Monday (Oct. 1), the Grizzlies held their 11th Media Day at the FedExForum downtown. A full roster of players walked into the media room. Yes, each with an optimistic attitude.