Josh Pastner

SMU guard Sterling Brown (3) drives against Memphis guard Avery Woodson in the first half of an NCAA college basketball game Thursday, Feb. 25, 2016, in Memphis, Tenn. (AP Photo/Brandon Dill)
AP Photo/Brandon Dil

Brown scores 14 to help No. 24 SMU beat Memphis 69-62

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) Sterling Brown scored 14 points to help No. 24 SMU shake off pesky Memphis in a 69-62 victory Thursday night.

SMU leading scorer Nic Moore was held without a point in the first half, but his floater with less than a minute to play gave the Mustangs (23-4, 11-4 American Athletic Conference) a 65-62 lead. Moore finished with 12 points on 4-of-9 shooting.

Memphis led 57-56 until Shake Milton hit a 3-pointer and Brown a pair of free throws for a four-point SMU advantage.

Jeremiah Martin missed a corner shot that would have given Memphis a lead with less than a minute to go before Moore hit his floater. With his team up 65-62, Moore stole the ball and Brown drew an intentional foul and made two from the line.

Marcus Kennedy had 12 points and eight rebounds for SMU.

Dedric Lawson scored 18 for Memphis (15-13, 6-9), and Ricky Tarrant Jr. added 15 points and seven assists.

Memphis has taken some very disappointing losses lately, including to AAC cellar dwellers East Carolina and Tulane, and Saturday at South Florida.

This one was more respectable.

Memphis led 57-56 on Trashon Burrell’s bank shot with less than 7 minutes left before Milton hit his go-ahead 3.

Moore, who was averaging 16.8 points per game, made his first shot with 12:09 left. It was SUM’s second 3-pointer of the game and it tied the score at 47.

The Mustangs led 31-30 at halftime.


Memphis: The school needed to average 6,812 fans over the last two home games of the season to receive between $420,000 and $480,000 from the NBA’s Memphis Grizzlies, who also play at the FedExForum. That is a prorated amount of the $800,000 the Tigers would get if they averaged 10,000 fans per game.

SMU: Junior guard Jonathan Wilfong drew his first start of the season in his hometown. Wilfong has appeared in 14 games. He played the first 4 minutes and did not attempt a shot.


SMU hosts Tulane on Sunday.

Memphis hosts Tulsa on Sunday.

No. 13 SMU rebounds from 1st loss by beating Memphis 80-68

Memphis forward Dedric Lawson (1) defends as SMU guard Nic Moore (11) leaps to the basket for a shot during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game Saturday, Jan. 30, 2016, in Dallas. SMU won 80-68.  (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)
AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez
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DALLAS (AP) Nic Moore scored 22 points and No. 13 SMU rebounded from its first loss of the season with an 80-68 victory over Memphis on Saturday night.

Freshman guard Shake Milton added 15 points for the Mustangs (19-1, 8-1 AAC), who led for all but 38 seconds back home in Moody Coliseum. They had their first double-digit lead only 8 minutes into the game.

While the Mustangs can win their second consecutive American Athletic Conference regular-season title, that is as far as they can go because of NCAA penalties that include a postseason ban this season. With 10 games left, they are still within reach of breaking the school record of 28 victories.

SMU was the last Division I team to lose this season, falling 89-80 to Temple in a snow-delayed game last Sunday. That ended an 18-game winning streak that was its longest since 20 in a row during the school’s only Final Four season 60 years ago.

While Hall of Fame coach Larry Brown never got caught up in talk about going undefeated, some of his players had openly discussed the goal of winning every game they played. The last team to finish undefeated was Indiana in 1976.

Now the Mustangs are trying to win 29 out of 30 before their season ends on the first Sunday in March, a week before the NCAA Tournament field is revealed.

Ben Moore and Sterling Brown each had 12 points for SMU. Jordan Tolbert grabbed 14 rebounds, and Markus Kennedy had nine points and 10 rebounds.

Shaq Goodwin scored 18 points to lead Memphis (13-8, 4-4), four nights after his career-high 35 points marked the highest-scoring game in the conference this season.

Jeremiah Martin had 11 points, and Ricky Tarrant Jr. and Avery Woodson each scored 10 for Memphis. Dedric Lawson had 13 rebounds.

After building a 39-27 halftime lead, SMU got its first points in the second half on a 3-pointer by Tolbert off an inbounds pass to beat the shot clock. It was only the second 3 this season for the 6-foot-7 Tolbert.

Consecutive 3s by Nic Moore made it 53-32, and the Mustangs had their largest lead after Milton’s alley-oop pass to Tolbert for a dunk with 11:31 left made it 64-39.

Memphis led only after Goodwin’s jumper made it 2-1 with 18:33 to go in the first half. SMU went ahead after two free throws by Sterling Brown with 17:55 left, followed by Nic Moore driving the length of the court and the senior point guard making a few nifty moves before hitting a layup.

A 3-pointer by Tarrant had the Tigers within 10-8 only 6 minutes into the game, but Tolbert made a layup on the ensuing possession to start a 9-0 run for SMU.


Memphis: The Tigers have lost three of four, their worst stretch of the season. … Memphis leads the series 12-7 despite losing the last three games. … Goodwin and Tarrant fouled out.

SMU: The Mustangs are 12-0 at home this season, and 46-3 since the start of the 2013-14 season. … The 14 rebounds by Tolbert were the most he’s had in a conference game, in his first three seasons with Texas Tech in the Big 12 or his senior year at SMU.


Memphis hosts Connecticut on Thursday night.

SMU plays at Houston on Monday night.

Memphis lands four-star point guard Charlie Moore

Josh Pastner
Associated Press
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With Ricky Tarrant and Kedren Johnson both being in their final season of eligibility and having missed out on local product Jaylen Fisher, Memphis entered Thursday in serious need of a point guard for the future. Head coach Josh Pastner and his staff received some much-needed good news, as four-star point guard Charlie Moore announced that he’ll be a Tiger at Morgan Park HS in Chicago.

Moore, who played well on the grassroots circuit for the Mac Irvin Fire program this summer, picked Memphis over California and VCU. And given the personnel losses the Tigers will have to address at the end of the 2015-16 season, the  5-foot-11 Moore is in a position where he can compete for major minutes immediately upon his arrival.

Moore’s commitment comes one day after Memphis announced the signing of junior college wing Jimario Rivers, another player who be asked to contribute in his debut season at Memphis.

The Tigers added five freshman guards to their program for the 2015-16 season, and veterans such as redshirt junior Avery Woodson and redshirt sophomore Markel Crawford will have eligibility remaining in 2016-17 as well. Moore won’t lack for competition, but his quickness on the ball and ability to make plays off the dribble are areas where Memphis can use his contributions next season and beyond.

Former Texas A&M commit Raquan Mitchell lands at Memphis

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Originally committed to be part of Texas A&M’s highly regarded 2015 recruiting class, combo guard Raquan Mitchell did not join Billy Kennedy’s program this fall. Mitchell would eventually be cleared academically, and on Saturday he announced that he’ll be a Memphis Tiger.

What isn’t clear is when the 6-foot-4 Miami native would be able to officially join the Memphis program. According to L. Jason Smith of the Memphis Commercial-Appeal, there’s a chance that Mitchell would be able to join the Tigers this season. Whether that is the case immediately, or if he’d have to wait until the fall semester ends in December, is what’s up for debate.

Memphis can use another body on the perimeter given recent developments. Chris Hawkins is unlikely to play this season, as revealed by head coach Josh Pastner earlier this week according to the Commercial-Appeal, and senior Kedren Johnson is dealing with a shoulder injury that could sideline him for the entire season.

Mitchell gives Memphis an athletic guard capable of making plays on or off the basketball, but given the timing of the move it’s up for debate if he can be a contributor immediately.

Memphis lands JUCO small forward Jimario Rivers

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While Memphis did miss out on hometown prospect Jaylen Fisher Wednesday, they did manage to land a recruit in their 2016 class. Small forward Jimario Rivers, who currently attends Southwest Tennessee CC and is from Clarksville, Tennessee, verbally committed to Josh Pastner’s program according to L. Jason Smith of the Memphis Commercial-Appeal.

The slender 6-foot-8 small forward is Memphis’ first commitment in the Class of 2016, and he plays a position at which Memphis needed to add some depth for the future.

While the Tigers do have one talented underclassman at the position in freshman K.J. Lawson, they also have two seniors in Trahson Burrell and Chris Hawkins. Adding Rivers gives Memphis some needed depth for the 2016-17 campaign. As a freshman Rivers averaged 10.3 points and 7.2 rebounds per game, shooting nearly 55 percent from the field.

With Rivers on board Memphis has some needed good news on the recruiting trail. Over the last month the Tigers missed out on two key targets in junior college guard Ar’Mond Davis (who de-committed and made his pledge to Alabama) and Top 100 prospect Jaylen Fisher. Now Memphis continues its search for a point guard, with Chicago native Charlie Moore among the targets.

Knee injury sidelines Memphis assistant

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With practices beginning this weekend, not only are players looking to avoid the injury bug but their coaches are as well. And in the case of Memphis, the Tigers won’t have one of their assistants on the court for a little while due to a knee injury.

Assistant coach Damon Stoudamire, who returned to Josh Pastner’s staff this summer after a two-year stint at Arizona, suffered the injury during a recent workout according to L. Jason Smith of the Memphis Commercial-Appeal. And Stoudamire will require surgery, which will put him on the shelf for a little bit.

“He was working out himself and I think he thought he was in his rookie year,” Pastner said. “We think he’s got a torn meniscus, which will require surgery and put him out for a couple of days.”

Stoudamire isn’t the only assistant coach working through pain either. Syracuse’s Mike Hopkins, who is also Jim Boeheim’s heir apparent as head coach, suffered a neck injury body surfing during a family vacation last month. Hopkins spent some time in a neck brace while putting players through workouts as a result of the injury.

As for the Tigers, they’ll have a mixture of experience on the perimeter and youth in the front court as they look to get back to the NCAA tournament after missing out last season. Among the newcomers are talented forwards Dedric and K.J. Lawson, with experienced guards such as Kedren Johnson, Trahson Burrell and Ricky Tarrant (grad transfer from Alabama) expected to be key contributors on the perimeter.