Welcoming The Big East Newcomers: Memphis Tigers

Posted by mlemaire on February 24th, 2012

After adding a flurry of new members in December, The Big East apparently wasn’t done. Recently Memphis announced they had accepted an invitation to become the Big East’s 12th member and join the conference in all sports in 2013. We rolled out the red carpet of analysis for the other three new members, so we will do the same for Memphis. As always, keep in mind, it is far too early to tell what sort of impact these teams will have in their new conference, but that won’t stop us from pontificating.

The Past

In a contest of basketball history with the other new members, no one can touch the Tigers. They also have a troubled history. Eugene Lambert led the program to its first NCAA Tournament appearance in 1955 and since then Memphis has played in 22 NCAA Tournaments, has gone to 11 Sweet Sixteens, six Elite Eights, two Final Fours, and two National Championship games. They have been the stomping grounds for great players like Larry Finch, Keith Lee, Elliot Perry, Anfernee Hardaway, Lorenzen Wright, and most recently, Derrick Rose.

Hey, Remember These Guys?

Of course it also true that a whole host of those appearances and wins have been vacated by the NCAA thanks to widespread rules violations. Everybody remembers the most recent snafu where John Calipari and the program dealt with infractions like providing travel money to Rose’s brother as well as playing Derrick Rose under suspicion of a fraudulent SAT score that caused the NCAA to remove its Final Four appearance and record 38-win season. But only older Tiger fans will also remember former coach Dana Kirk and the parade of allegations against him that led to his ouster and the vacation of all the team’s wins from 1982-86.

Regardless of the less-than-shiny past, the school’s football program is in tatters, so it is safe to assume that the Big East had an eye towards retaining some of their luster and reputation on the basketball court, and Memphis is an excellent fit in that regard.

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Morning Five: 07.29.10 Edition

Posted by rtmsf on July 29th, 2010

  1. Fifteen seconds to infamy.  Rick Pitino took the stand yesterday and will likely do so again today in the extortion trial of Karen Sypher in Louisville.  The twitterati are all over this in a big, huge, ridonkulous way.  Like here, or here, or maybe here.  We’re thinking that perjury where the only person on earth who could impeach you is also the defendant might have been a better option.
  2. Good news from Vegas as West Virginia head coach Bob  Huggins was released from the hospital yesterday.   In less good news, former Missouri State, St. Louis and UNLV head coach Charlie Spoonhour is at Duke University hospital waiting on a lung transplant.  He is on the list, and we’re hopeful that he gets the procedure that he needs, as we’ve always been a fan of his.
  3. And even sadder news from Memphis, as the body of former Tiger all-american Lorenzen Wright was found in a wooded section of the city yesterday nine days after a 911 call went out from his cell phone followed by at least ten gunshots.  He leaves behind six children and a legacy of being a great father and never having a harsh word for anyone.  RIP, Lorenzen.
  4. On Tuesday, Seth Davis gave us the best of his interviews with eleven college coaches about next season; yesterday he followed it up with part two which consisted of his assessments of various college and high school players that he saw play in Las Vegas last week.  The truth is that few of the returning players that Davis saw seemed all that impressive (Kyle Singler and Shelvin Mack excepted).
  5. We admit that we know as much about NASCAR as we do about geophysics, but Jim Boeheim and driver Tony Stewart enjoyed a shooting contest at the Melo Center on the campus at Syracuse University yesterday.  Boeheim quipped about his penchant to speed, but you can watch the whole interview for yourself below.
  6. Boeheim and NASCAR Star Tony Stewart

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