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VOL. 131 | NO. 3 | Tuesday, January 5, 2016

University of Memphis Notebook: Ballers Can’t Shoot, Norvell Completes Staff

By Don Wade

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Among coach Josh Pastner’s favorite refrains: “You gotta make shots.”

The University of Memphis made few shots in its 86-76 loss at No. 24 South Carolina on Saturday, Jan. 2, going 19 of 61 from the floor for an atrocious 31.1 percent. So awful was the Tigers’ shooting from the floor that it rendered the 30 of 36 performance (83.3 percent) from the free-throw line a footnote.

Memphis guard Ricky Tarrant Jr. led the Tigers with 20 points in an 86-76 loss at South Carolina. While Tarrant was perfect at the foul line – 12 of 12 – his 3-for-11 shooting from the floor was symptomatic of a tough shooting night when the Tigers made just 19 field goals and shot below 32 percent. For the season, the Tigers are 301st in the nation in shooting, and 318th from 3-point range.

(Cal Sport Media via AP Images)

While guard Ricky Tarrant Jr. led Memphis with 20 points, he got 12 of them at the foul line and was just 3 of 11 from the field. Forward Trahson Burrell finished with two points on 1-for-7 shooting and forward K.J. Lawson had one point and went 0-for-3 from the floor.

Even fabulous freshman forward Dedric Lawson, who didn’t start because of an abdominal strain, was only 2 of 7 with six points.

The Tigers stayed in the game with defense and intensity, but looked lost on offense. The Tigers (9-4) are ranked 113th in the country in scoring defense (allowing 67.9 points per game) and are ranked 80th in scoring offense (78.8 points). But those stats are skewed based on them scoring 80 or more points against pretty weak competition: Grambling State, Louisiana Tech, Southeast Missouri State, Manhattan and IUPUI. They put up 81 in an early-season victory over Ohio State.

Memphis is shooting 40.7 percent from the field this season – 301st out of 346 Division 1 teams. And their 29.7 percentage from 3-point range ranks 318th.

So how are they 9-4? They rank third nationally in defensive field goal percentage at 36.1. Only Purdue and Michigan State are better.

Thus, any remarks from coach and players about it all starting with defense is not a throw-away cliche. For this team, it’s gospel truth.

Not very sportsmanlike

Last season, then-junior Shaq Goodwin was the American Athletic Conference’s Sportsmanship Award winner. But video from Saturday’s game at South Carolina captured Goodwin, while on the Memphis bench, tripping guard Sindarius Thornwell.

Pastner was to meet with media midday Monday, Jan. 4, to discuss the South Carolina game and the Tuesday, Jan. 5, game at FedExForum vs. Nicholls State. It was anticipated he would announce some form of discipline for Goodwin at that time.

Norvell completes staff

First-year Tigers coach Mike Norvell has hired his coaching staff with the announcement that Chris Ball will be defensive coordinator. Ball previously was DC at Arizona State, where Norvell had been offensive coordinator.

Norvell also added Chip Long as the Tigers’ offensive coordinator. Long was at Arizona State as tight ends coach and recruiting coordinator. Ball will also coach safeties and Long tight ends.

The rest of Norvell’s staff includes: Darrell Dickey, assistant head coach/running backs; David Johnson, wide receivers; Dan Lanning, inside linebackers/recruiting coordinator; Joe Lorig, special teams coordinator/outside linebackers; Paul Randolph, defensive line; Ryan Silverfield, offensive line; Marcus Woodson, cornerbacks; Josh Storms, strength and conditioning.

Ball, Long, Randolph, Silverfield and Storms all had coached with Norvell at Arizona State.

Also former Memphis defensive coordinator Galen Scott reportedly is joining Justin Fuente at Virginia Tech to be a defensive position coach.

Women’s team busy next week

The U of M’s women’s basketball team improved to 7-6 and 1-1 in the AAC with an 83-67 victory over Tulane on Sunday, Jan. 3, at Elma Roane Fieldhouse.

Houston was to play at Memphis at 5 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 5. After a trip to Cincinnati, the Tigers have a 1 p.m. game on Jan. 10 here vs. Tulsa. On Wednesday, Jan. 13, Connecticut plays a 5 p.m. game at Memphis.

The top-ranked Huskies are on a 48-game winning streak.

RECORD TOTALS DAY WEEK YEAR
PROPERTY SALES 32 176 2,507
MORTGAGES 26 101 1,687
FORECLOSURE NOTICES 10 37 259
BUILDING PERMITS 0 365 5,497
BANKRUPTCIES 16 57 963
BUSINESS LICENSES 0 107 488
UTILITY CONNECTIONS 0 0 0
MARRIAGE LICENSES 0 0 0