(11) Memphis (1-0) at (7) Oklahoma State (3-0)|
Tuesday, November 19, 8 p.m. (et)
The Sports Network
By Lucas Gulotta, Associate College Basketball Editor
FACTS & STATS: Site: Gallagher-Iba Arena (17,732) -- Stillwater, Oklahoma
Television: ESPN. Home Record: UofM 1-0, OSU 3-0. Away Record: UofM 0-0, OSU
0-0. Neutral Record: UofM 0-0, OSU 0-0. Conference Record: UofM 0-0, OSU 0-0.
Series Record: Oklahoma State leads, 3-2.
GAME NOTES: A pair of powerhouses are set to collide on Tuesday night, as the
11th-ranked Memphis Tigers visit Gallagher-Iba Arena to battle the seventh-
ranked Oklahoma State Cowboys in a non-bracketed game as part of the Old Spice
The Tigers coasted to a 95-69 victory over Austin Peay in their season opener
as six different players scored in double figures. Memphis managed to convert
53.6 percent of its field-goal attempts despite finishing with a 4-of-13 clip
from beyond the arc. It also held a 50-27 edge in the rebounding battle. Coach
Josh Pastner faces his toughest challenge since taking over the helm of the
program as he will find it much more difficult to claim another league title
with the program now playing in the much more talented American Athletic
Conference after years of dominating Conference USA.
The Cowboys coasted past Mississippi Valley State, Utah Valley and Arkansas-
Pine Bluff in three home bouts en route to a 3-0 start. Coach Travis Ford's
squad has overpowered its opposition to post 102.3 points per outing on 53.2
percent shooting from the field. Oklahoma State has shown tremendous balance
as six different players are carrying double-digit scoring averages into
Tuesday's action with Phil Forte spearheading the charge with a Big 12 leading
This will be the sixth time in history Memphis and OSU collide on the
hardwood. The Cowboys knocked the Tigers out of the 2004 NCAA Tournament in
the most recent meeting to notch their second consecutive win over Memphis and
take a 3-2 all-time series lead.
Memphis is led on the floor by senior guard Joe Jackson, who tallied 16 points
and seven assists versus APSU to begin his final campaign. Jackson was named
the C-USA Player of the Year in 2012-13 after contributing team-highs 13.6
points and 4.8 assists per outing to help the team to its 31-5 overall finish.
The Tigers also returned Chris Crawford, who was named the C-USA Sixth Man of
the Year after averaging 10.4 points, 3.2 assists and 1.5 steals per outing to
lead their second unit. Crawford added 11 points and eight boards against the
Governors, while Michael Dixon Jr. scored 15 points and freshman forward Nick
King netted 13 points in his program debut. Although Geron Johnson posted a
double-double with 11 points and 10 rebounds in the team's first outing,
Memphis expects the 6-foot-9, 242-pound Shaq Goodwin to make the biggest
impact on the boards.
Forte's contribution off the Cowboys' bench has been tremendously efficient as
he has hit on 70.4 percent of his field goal tries, including 14-of-22 from
behind the 3-point line. Markel Brown is scoring 15.3 ppg, while Le'Bryan Nash
and Marcus Smart are tied for third with 13.7 ppg apiece. Once OSU begins to
play tougher foes, Smart is expected to take on a bigger role after entering
his sophomore year as one of the front-runners to win the National Player of
the Year Award. Freshman Stevie Clark will allow Smart to play off the ball
more after primarily playing point guard in 2012-13. Clark is handing out 5.7
apg to lead all Big 12 players.
Memphis will certainly be much more competitive than OSU's first three
opponents, but it will find out very quickly that it is nearly impossible to
escape Gallagher-Iba Arena victorious. The Tigers have one of the best
backcourts in the country, but they are still going to be overwhelmed by OSU's
elite group of guards.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Oklahoma State 80, Memphis 72
11/19 10:54:36 ET