Memphis Travels West for matchup vs. Gonzaga

Television: 3 p.m. (CDT) ESPN/Comcast Channel 24 or digital channel 23 (Brad Nessler, play-by-play; Jimmy Dykes, color analyst)
Radio: WREC 600 AM (Dave Woloshin, play-by-play; Matt Dillon, color analyst; Forrest Goodman, studio host)
Web: ESPN3.com

Memphis has lost two straight games in C-USA, including the first conference home loss in almost five years, and just needs a win to right the ship. Saturday’s road matchup with Gonzaga is the opportunity to do just that. Gonzaga is in a similar position as Memphis–a traditional mid-major power struggling with teams it’s used to dominating.

Like the Tigers, the Bulldogs are 5-3 in (West Coast Conference) play, and own a 15-8 overall record. Yet, unlike Memphis, the Zags have won two straight games (San Diego & Portland) coming into this game. The Zags do face a very short turnaround, however, having played Portland last night (Thursday, Feb. 3) at 8 p.m. local time.

The game is televised on ESPN on the day before the Super Bowl in the middle of the network’s Super Bowl hype shows, so there will be a lot eyes on this game. Memphis would do well for its national brand to have a good showing against the Zags this week.

As the Commercial Appeal’s Jason Smith writes, Memphis needs to change things up and get a win this weekend.

Something needed to be changed, so University of Memphis freshman forward Tarik Black figured he would start with himself.

Black, whose Tigers on Wednesday became the first Memphis team in six seasons to lose back-to-back games, was sporting a freshly cut mohawk as he spoke to members of the news media on Thursday about recovering — literally and figuratively — from a 68-65 home loss to Tulsa.

Image courtesy http://www.freshnba.com.

NOTES

  • Senior guard Stephen Gray leads the Zags averaging 15.0 ppg.  Robert Sacre (13.7 ppg), a big man inside that gave the Tigers problems in FedExForum last season, and Elias Harris (12.0 ppg) are also averaging double digits for Gonzaga.
  • Many scouts consider Harris to be a viable NBA prospect with his length and ball handling abilities. The sophomore spent much of his childhood overseas and has an obvious Euro style to his play.
  • Gonzaga defeated Memphis 66-58 a season ago in the first matchup between Josh Pastner and Bulldog head coach Mark Few. 
  • Since the 2000-01 season, Memphis and Gonzaga are two of the nation’s winningest programs. Memphis is third on the list with 307 victories, and the Zags are a close fourth with 304.
  • This is the first time since 1998 that both teams enter the contest unranked. The Zags won that game 88-73.
  • The Tigers lead the all-time series 4-2.

For more information, visit the official Memphis athletic website here.

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About pmccllln

21 years young. Senior PR student at the University of Memphis. Student intern for Memphis Athletic Media Relations. www.prestonmcclellan.weebly.com. Follow me @p_mcclellan.

Posted on February 4, 2011, in Gonzaga Bulldogs, Josh Pastner, Memphis Tigers, NCAA Basketball and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

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