MEMPHIS – Arrived in Elvis’ hometown a day ahead of the Huskies, to check out the Thunder-Grizzlies game tonight at the FedEx Forum. Jeremy Lamb, the former Husky, is coming into his own off the Oklahoma City bench; hope to have more on that later on.
Meantime, here is a look ahead at the Memphis Tigers, UConn’s opponent here on Thursday night.
*The Tigers are 12-3, ranked 17th in the AP poll. They are 19th in RPI. (UConn is 27th).
*Memphis is 6-1 at home, the loss against Cincinnati in an AAC game.
*The Tigers split two non-conference games with Oklahoma State. The victory, 73-68 on Dec. 1, was the program’s first against a ranked team under Josh Pastner. They have since beaten Louisville, on Jan. 9.
* The Tigers lost by two points to Florida on Dec. 17, two weeks after Florida lost at UConn by one point.
* Shaq Goodwin is averaging 13.2 points and 7.1 rebounds; he is the American’s player of the week. At 6-foot-9 and 242 pounds, he figures to be a tough matchup for the Huskies. Goodwin averaged 19 points and 9.5 rebounds in two games last week, wins over Louisville and Temple.
* Joe Jackson is Memphis’ entry in the group of elite guards in the league. He averages 14.7 points per game, with 58 assists, 30 turnovers and 29 steals.
* Kuran Iverson, from Northwest Catholic-West Hartford, has played nine games, averaging 9.4 minutes, 2.1 points. He hasn’t played in the last two games.
* Pastner recently called the AAC “one of the three best leagues in the country” and said it should get as many as six NCAA bids.
* The Tigers have outrebounded opponents 39.5-35.7
* This game starts the most important week of the regular season for UConn, with defending national champ Louisville coming to Gampel on Saturday night.
* In the AAC’s preseason coaches poll, Louisville coach Rick Pitino voted for UConn, but later said he considered UConn and Memphis “1 and 1-A.” … Louisville was the choice of the league’s other coaches.
* Memphis and UConn have met once before, an 81-70 Memphis win at Madison Square Garden in the 2K Classic in November 2007. Chris Douglas-Roberts scored 33 for Memphis, coached at the time by John Calipari, and freshman Derek Rose scored 24. A.J. Price scored 23 for the Huskies in what was the first coaching contest between Calipari and Jim Calhoun in 17 years.