Memphis Tigers

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AAC plan men’s basketball tourney at new Texas arena in ’20

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FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) — The American Athletic Conference will hold its men’s basketball tournament in a new arena in North Texas in 2020.

AAC Commissioner Mike Aresco announced Wednesday that Dickies Arena in Fort Worth has been selected to host the tournament for three years, starting in March 2020. That is only four months after the facility is scheduled to open.

On the same day of a groundbreaking ceremony for the 14,000-seat arena last April, the NCAA announced that first- and second-round games of the 2022 NCAA men’s basketball tournament would be held there. The NCAA women’s gymnastics championships are scheduled there from 2020-22.

The closest AAC school to the new arena is SMU, with its campus in Dallas about 40 miles away.

Orlando will host the 2018 AAC tournament, which moves to Memphis in 2019.

Markel Crawford becomes sixth Memphis player to transfer this offseason

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Memphis lost another experienced player from its program on Monday as guard Markel Crawford said on ESPN 929 local radio that he will transfer from the Tigers.

The 6-foot-5 Crawford averaged 12.8 points, 4.4 rebounds and 1.9 assists per game last season for the Tigers as head coach Tubby Smith loses another proven scorer.

Crawford is the sixth player to transfer from Memphis this offseason after the departure of the Lawson brothers, big man Chad Rykhoek, and guards Craig Randall and Keon Clergeot.

Dedric and K.J. Lawson committed to Kansas on Monday as they have to sit out next season due to NCAA transfer rules. If Crawford graduates from Memphis then he is eligible to immediately become a graduate transfer who can play anywhere next season.

Smith is going to have to completely rebuild the Memphis roster after losing so many key pieces to transfer. It will be interesting to see how the roster fills out before the season.

Florida guard pledges to Memphis

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Keon Clergeot is joining Tubby Smith, just not where he originally thought he would be.

The three-star point guard and former Texas Tech signee announced Wednesday that he will sign with Memphis.

“I am proud to announce that I will be continuing my basketball career at the collegiate level by attending …The University of Memphis, “ Clergeot wrote. “I’m taking my talents to Grind City.”

Clergeot signed with the Red Raiders last fall, but received his release after Smith moved on to Memphis this spring. He had offers from the likes of Chattanooga, Duquesne and Bowling Green.

The Florida native averaged 15 points per game last year playing on the adidas summer circuit.

“Keon is an outstanding competitor who is going to bring a lot of energy to our program,” Smith said in a statement last fall when Clergeot signed with Texas Tech.

“He has a relentless attitude toward playing the game. Keon is a very skilled offensive player and plays with a great deal of passion on the defensive end. He’s a team player that can play the point guard and shooting guard positions.”

Jeremiah Martin figures to be the Tigers’ starting point guard next season, but Clergeot could find time in a backup role.

Report: Dedric Lawson returning to Memphis

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Star Memphis freshman Dedric Lawson will remove his name from NBA draft consideration and return to the Tigers, L.Jason Smith of the Memphis Commercial Appeal reports.

The return of their leading scorer puts an end to some of the uncertainty surrounding the program that is looking for a new head coach after Josh Pastner left for Georgia Tech after seven years leading Memphis.

Lawson averaged 15.8 points, 9.3 rebounds, 2.5 assists and 1.7 blocks per game last season for the Tigers. He announced a month ago that he planned to go through the NBA evaluation process, but without an agent, which allows him to return to school under new NCAA legislation.

While the Tigers could still be in line for some upheaval as the coaching search continues, but whoever inherits the team will have a great building block in Lawson, as well as presumably his brother, K.J., who was a top-100 recruit that missed much of last year due to an injury. It’s a short-term boost for Memphis during a period of big-picture thinking, but a significant one to be sure.

PREGAME SHOOTAROUND: South Carolina looks to remain undefeated

Associated Press
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GAME OF THE NIGHT: Ole Miss at Memphis, 8:00 p.m.

One of the nation’s best scoring guards will be on display in this one, as senior Stefan Moody leads the Rebels up against Memphis. Moody’s averaging 24.1 points and 4.2 assists per game for Andy Kennedy’s team, and slowing him down is the primary objective of any team. Memphis will counter with a perimeter rotation led by senior Ricky Tarrant, and their top two scorers are forwards Dedric Lawson and Shaq Goodwin. Keep an eye on the free throw numbers in this one, as Memphis is one of the nation’s best when it comes to getting to the foul line (third in free throw rate).

THIS ONE’S GOOD TOO: South Carolina at Clemson, 7:00 p.m.

Despite being 9-0 on the season, Frank Martin’s Gamecocks have flown under the radar nationally to this point in the season. They boast five double-digit scorers led by senior forwards Mindaugas Kacinas (13.3 ppg, 6.3 rpg) and Laimonas Chatkevicius (13.0, 4.3), and freshman P.J. Dozier (8.1 ppg) will only get better with time. South Carolina’s gotten the job done thus far with balanced scoring an tough defense (opponents shot 39.9 percent from two), and that will need to be the case when they take on their in-state rival tonight. The Tigers are led by junior forward Jaron Blossomgame, who’s averaging 16.3 points and 6.7 rebounds per game and is shooting 57.6 percent from the field.

SIX THINGS TO WATCH FOR:

1. A game that may float under the radar tonight is Southern’s trip to Ruston to take on Louisiana Tech. Eric Konkol’s Bulldogs are looking to rebound from a 19-point loss at Ole Miss, and they’ll do so against a team that has road wins over Mississippi State, Tulane and Wyoming. The tandem of Alex Hamilton and Eric McCree has been key for Louisiana Tech thus far.

2. BYU is back in action, taking on one of the early favorites in the MAC in Central Michigan. While CMU can put the ball in the basket their issue is defense, as they’re ranked 316th nationally in adjusted defensive efficiency per Ken Pomeroy’s numbers. Can they slow down Kyle Collinsworth and company?

3. Oregon hosts Long Beach State, with the 49ers having already been through a rigorous non-conference schedule. While they’re still awaiting the debut of the injured Dylan Ennis, Oregon’s received steady play at the point from sophomore Casey Benson. His numbers on the season: 31 assists and just two turnovers.

4. Wake Forest faces a Coastal Carolina team that’s expected to contend in the Big South, with Cliff Ellis’ team being a balanced group offensively led by guards Elijah Wilson and Shivaughn Wiggins. The question for the Chanticleers is whether or not they have the power inside needed to deal with Demon Deacon forwards Devin Thomas and Dinos Mitoglou.

5. Grand Canyon heads west to play San Diego State, and this could be a trickier game than one would anticipate. The Antelopes are 8-2 on the season, and the addition of guard Dominic Magee (29 points against Omaha) has given them another guard capable of putting points on the board. The Aztecs will defend, but can they produce enough on the offensive end? That’s been the question all season for them.

6. 8-1 Colorado takes on Nicholls State in a game they should win comfortably. Tad Boyle’s Buffaloes have turned things around after a disappointing 2014-15 season, and while senior Josh Scott has been the mainstay George King’s been good as well. The redshirt sophomore’s averaging 15.9 points per game, shooting 51.1 percent from the field and 48.8 percent from three.

OTHER NOTABLE GAMES

  • Southern Illinois at Murray State, 8:00 p.m.
  • Texas State at Washington State, 9:00 p.m.
  • Louisiana at Pepperdine, 10:00 p.m.
  • Cal-State Fullerton at Oregon State, 11:00 p.m.

Memphis lands four-star point guard Charlie Moore

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.