Date: Dec. 5, 2009
Location: Memphis, Tenn.
Tipoff: 7 p.m. (CST)
Arena: FedEx Forum
Arena Capacity: 18,400
TIPPING IT OFF
After the team's three game home stand The Red Wolves return to road action when they travel to the FedEx Forum to face off against Memphis Saturday. Gametime against the Tigers is set for 7 p.m. in Memphis, Tenn.
Memphis is a Conference USA member and owns a 4-1 record, with the team's lone loss coming to No. 1 ranked Kansas, 55-57 on Nov. 17. Memphis owns wins past Jackson State (82-53), Tenn. Tech (92-59), Central Arkansas (81-49) and Oakland (77-46). The Tigers are receiving votes in both the USA Today/ESPN Coaches Poll and the AP Poll. Sophomore guard Elliott Williams leads three players scoring in double-figures for the Tigers averaging 20.6 points per game and pulling down 4.0 rebounds per contest. Junior guard Roburt Sallie is averaging 10.2 ppg for Memphis while Will Coleman leads the team with 7.0 rebounds per game and has recorded 16 blocks, while ranking third in scoring with 10.0 ppg. Josh Pastner is in his first season at the helm of the Tigers' program after serving as an assistant coach at Memphis and Arizona since 2002. Pastner is the third-youngest coach in Division I basketball at the age of 32.
SERIES VERSUS MEMPHIS
Arkansas State renews one of the oldest and most played rivalries in school history when they take on the Tigers on Saturday. ASU owns a 26-30 record against Memphis which dates back to the 1927-28 season. ASU has not played Memphis since the 2007-08 season.
BRYANT APPROACHES CENTURY MARK
Sophomore guard Daniel Bryant has provided a spark off the bench for the Red Wolves and through six games has nearly recorded half of his total points from a year ago. Bryant already has 90 points, a team high by more than 15 and is approaching the century mark in scoring. Bryant scored 200 points in 29 appearances for the Red Wolves last season.
VERSUS LAST SEASON
Although ASU sits at .500 after six games, they have show improvement over last season at this point in a number of categories. ASU is averaging 71.8 points per game which is eight points more than a year ago (63.5). They are stealing the ball easier 44 versus 38 last season. They are taking care of the ball better than a year ago, committing only 80 turnovers to last year's 92. ASU also has two players averaging in double figures and more than six rebounds per game while last year the Red Wolves only had one player in those two categories.
LAST TIME VERSUS MEMPHIS
En route to their final four appearance during the 2007-08 season the then ranked No. 3 Memphis Tigers handed Arkansas State an 84-63 loss on Nov. 20, 2007 during their last trip to the FedEx Forum. ASU got a game-high 32 points from senior guard Adrian Banks and shot a season-high 46 percent from the field.
Memphis connected on 7-of-14 three-point attempts and shot 56 percent from the field to build a 43-25 halftime lead. ASU got 17 points from Banks in the first half alone and shot 45 percent from the field, but was hurt by 15 turnovers over the game's first 20 minutes.
ASU led 8-6 six minutes into the game and trailed just 15-20 with 8:59 remaining in the first half, but Memphis went on an 11-0 run sparked by three consecutive three-point field goals by Willie Kemp to take a 31-15 lead at the 6:29 mark. Memphis matched its largest lead of the half when Doneal Mack hit a three-pointer as time expired to give the Tigers an 18-point advantage at the break.
Memphis outscored ASU just 41-38 in the second half, but did not allow the Indians closer than 16 points throughout the half.
ASU has two players averaging in double-digit scoring and none of those players is a junior or older. Sophomore guard Daniel Bryant leads the team averaging 15.0 ppg followed by freshman guard Brandon Reed who is averaging 12.2 ppg. Bryant ranks sixth in the conference in scoring average while Reed ranks 20th. Last season, ASU had one player averaging in double-figures (Boone, 13.6).