NEW YORK NY - DECEMBER 07: Will Coleman #0 of the Memphis Tigers has the ball stripped by Royce Woolridge #11 and Tyrel Reed #14 of the Kansas Jayhawks during their game at the Jimmy V Classic at Madison Square Garden on December 7 2010 in New York City. (Photo by Nick Laham/Getty Images)
In The Dig: Losing to #4 Kansas by 13? Okay. Losing to #19 Georgetown by 17? Hey, it's Georgetown but I guess Memphis isn't a top 15-20 squad right now. Losing to unranked Tennessee by 20? At least they will find cushion in the C-USA, right, but I guess Memphis isn't a Top 25 team. Still, those losses were to good teams. Losing to 9-6 SMU whose best wins are against Lamar and Central Arkansas? Maybe the problems are more serious than we all thought....
The Memphis Tigers
I'll have plenty on UTEP's nice road win against Tulane below, for now I want to fully capture the mood in Memphis. It's not good. The Commercial Appeal's Jason Smith doesn't think the win was worthy of a 'rush the court' moment.
I wonder if SMU fans will rush court like last year? Yup. These guys still think a win over Mphs is big. Not right now it isn't. 64-58, SMU
"Pathetic," said a visibly disgusted freshman guard Will Barton. "I’m not going to say a loss is bigger than another loss. Any loss hurts, but I’m down. I don’t know what to think about this team or anything else. I’m lost. This is the dumbest thing I ever saw in my life.
"It’s not Tiger basketball. Us not getting a basket in nine minutes, that can’t happen. Obviously we had a bad second half. We just gotta get that killer mentality." — Memphis senior forward Will Coleman on the Tigers’ struggles in the second half against SMU
It's clear Memphis has talent, but he rumblings in the local press show that this is a selfish team with "me first" players that aren't playing to win but rather, are looking out for their own numbers. Josh Pastner sounds more and more frustrated in his post game press conferences. The season is young, and Memphis can still gel and become a player in the C-USA, but right now the Tigers are a ways behind UCF and the other contenders.
Streak Snapped: Fear the Wave laments the closing minutes of UTEP's triumphant win over Tulane.
With the clock winding down, UTEP succeeded in quieting the crowd with a consistent offense despite the fact that Culpepper was neutralized (with only 4 points in the second half). Poor clock management and a series of missed shots spelled the end for the Green Wave's win streak.
Here's the story from Nola.com.
Here's the local Fox stations take.
Thanks to UTEP Athletics again for Tim Floyd's post game comments embedded below.
Experience: Also, I like Josh Puga's article on UTEP's experience that was posted Tuesday at MI. Puga notes how UTEP players have over 680 career starts between them- truly amazing.
Around the League
Here is the link to the C-USA Game night roundup. Southern Miss edged Rice in overtime 81-78. The woes continued in Tulsa as the Hurricane lost to Arizona State by 10. Click here.