Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Quote of the Week...

Concerning the near upset of Kansas by the Tigers...

"John Calipari's Shermanesque, scorched-Earth policy on Memphis has not rendered the Tigers obsolete."

by Dana O'Neill

We've had out differences in the past, Dana, but kudos here.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009


The Tigers. ESPN. Now.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Tarik Black!

The dream continues, Tiger Nation! 6'7, 230 Tarik Black from Ridgeway High School has now signed with the Tigers!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Jelan Kendrick!

Tombers, welcome the newest Tiger, SF Jelan Kendrick!

Big Time Announcement Tonight!


The University of Memphis Basketball Program is holding a 6:30pm press conference tonight at the Peabody to announce the signing of a "high level" recruit for the 2010 season.


Just heard that it will be Jelan Kendrick, a 6'6 SF from Marietta, GA. Kendrick is ranked 8th in his class and the #2 SF.

Very unconfirmed rumor that it could be Kendrick AND local talent, Tarik Black, a 6'7 C ranked 47th nationally.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Tonight, It Begins...

The Memphis Tigers will play the first exhibition game of the season tonight against LeMoyne-Owen. Tonight will be an interesting night, as the fans will get the first glimpse of rising star Elliot Williams, while witnessing the first exposure to Josh Pastner's style of coaching and gameplan. Dan Wolken has a good summary of tonight's game here. Support your Tigers! Get to the Forum at 7pm tonight!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Kensucky Basketball...

One of the loyal visitors to the Tomb of Doom fueled some of his off-season angst into this glorious t-shirt representing the future of Kensucky basketball. You can follow this link to purchase one of these clever t-shirts. Tell your friends, child.

The Tomb of Doom and it's affiliates had no part in the creation or selling of this product. This is strictly a fan-produced item and sold exclusively through

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Crumbling Wall?

It seems for Coach X it's "New School, Same Story". According to ESPN, Kensucky prize recruit John Wall's amateur status is being called into question. Turns out his former AAU coach is also an agent. Can't say I'm surprised by this.

Monday, October 19, 2009

The Lions Secret Weapon...

Every now and then I see something unrelated to the Tigers that just needs some love.

As I was checking the injury report for my fantasy football team this morning, I was stunned to see how bright the future truly looks for the Detroit Lions.

Close up of the Lions injury report:

I found out that Megatron is a nickname for one of their players. Regardless, it didn't stop me from searching for him among the free agents in my Yahoo league. If only...

Friday, October 16, 2009

Special Guests

Guests appearing at Madness tonight include:

Allen Iverson
Rudy Gay
Penny Hardaway
Yo Gotti
2010 commitment Will Barton
2010 commitment Antonio Barton
2010 commitment Joe Jackson
2010 commitment Chris Crawford
2010 recruit Jelan Kendrick
2012 recruit Perry Ellis

and there are rumors of an appearance by ANTONIO BURKS!

So close yet so far...

t-minus 2.5 hours and counting till Memphis Madness... remember to keep checking back for updates throughout the evening.

The Dawn of a New Day

The minute hand has three more revolutions to make before first light, yet the Tomb is abuzz, even at such a rare hour as this, fueled by the anticipation of what the sunrise will bring. At 6:17am, light will start sweeping across Memphis, and, in doing so, symbolically complete the cleansing of a city and of a basketball program. A new day begins for a city now free from the sleazy, for a basketball program now free from the slimy.

It is only fitting that today ushers in a new mayor and a new coach. It's poetic even, given how much Memphis and Tiger Basketball are intertwined. Memphis has given Tiger basketball a brand new Tomb of Doom but also a hungry, tired people, desperately desiring something to rally behind. Tiger basketball has given Memphis national exposure and an economic stimulus but also a source of pride. Both the former mayor and the former coach realized the financial upside of such a symbiotic relationship, but neither appreciated the people's need for truth and unification. Such talk of unification made the previous mayor "sick", and truth, well that was nowhere is the previous coach's vocabulary.

Yet, Memphis overcame. We amassed behind Tiger basketball, not because of the coaches, or the new uniforms, or the records, but because of the guys on the court who inspired us, who allowed us to share in their successes, and support them in their shortcomings. Sure, Memphis has the Grizzlies, the Redbirds, Beale St., the Zoo, Graceland, Sun Studios, even Mud Island, but, besides Christmas, Tiger basketball is the only reason the First Tennessee Bank building turns its colored lights on. What a sense of solidarity and pride to see a "M" and "Go Tigers" spelled out in blue lights on a downtown building! The fact that a corporation would use such effort and resources to show its support, speaks volumes to the power of Tiger basketball.

Now, on this new day, Friday, October 16th, at 7:30pm, the new scope of that power, tried and transformed during the summer, will finally be unveiled to the nation at Memphis Madness. Our Coach Pastner will get to show off all the hard work he has put into revitalizing a team that was utterly decimated over the off-season. He will also show off the four and five star recruits he has lined up for next year. Yes, he has done all of this without ever having coached a game at the college level. We WILL succeed this year, and for many, many years to come.

Finally, Memphis and Tiger basketball can take a step forward, together. And I can think of no better way to celebrate this than a performance by Yo Gotti! Doors open at 7:00, Memphis! Be there!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Memphis Madness Live Blogging!

Although Memphis Madness is free and all you faithful readers would offer up your first born to be at a Tiger Basketball event, we realize that a lot of you won't be there. But have no fear! We will be there. Not only will we be there but we will be blogging live from the event! Check the Tomb of Doom that night for pics, videos, and details from the event AS IT HAPPENS. Oh technology, you crazy thing you.
So if you can't be there or you just wanna look back at the event with fondness when you get home, check out the TOD Friday night!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Ushering in the New Era...

Coming to the Forum this Friday... Your 2009-2010 Memphis Tiger basketball teams! Don't miss Memphis Madness... It's time to get amped for this upcoming season!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

4 Star Tiger!

Chris Crawford has officially chosen Memphis!

4 Star Press Conference

In just a bit, 5pm local time to be exact, Sheffield High standout, and 4-Star guard, Chris Crawford will announce his college choice to the world. His decision is mostly between the Tigers and the Volunqueers, although he also took a late visit to Mississippi State. Despite not having the Facebook fanfare that JJax created around his announcement, many believe that Crawford will also choose Memphis. So, for those of you counting on your fingers and toes in backwoods eastern Tennessee, Kensucky, and Kansas, that would be 2 5-Stars, 1 4-Star, and 1 3-Star for next season.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Yo, Antonio!

Our favorite AA signed with the Charlotte Bobcats today! Granted, its a non-guaranteed contract just for training camp, but who cares... he gets a much deserved shot at an NBA roster. Still, "Bobcats" is the worst NBA team name ever.

In other news, Pietro's Pizza is some of the best ever.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Then There's This...

Concerning Josh Pastner's early recruiting success, RC Johnson says, “I told him [Pastner] the other day, between him, Abraham Lincoln and Vince Lombardi, all three of them are walking on water right now. He’s having unbelievable recruiting success.”


Thursday, September 17, 2009

Look Who Decided to Skip His Afternoon Nap...

It's been a long summer for the Tigers. Our scheming, sell-out of a coach pull the rug out from under us and took our recruits to UK. Our (statistically) best basketball season was officially erased from the incredibly judicious NCAA record books. Due to theft, injuries and an insatiable desire for Asian culture, our current basketball roster has been trimmed to a mere eight scholarship players. Not to mention, our football team has been smoked like a North Memphis lazy afternoon by two of our nearby rivals (unfortunately lacking the euphoric, carefree after-effects).

Yet, sometimes, you must go through a season of tribulation to become stronger and better. Either that or you have an athletic director who fears for his cushy job and decides to make an effort.

RC Johnson has just hired Mike Tranghese, the former Big East Commissioner, to do some consulting for the Memphis Tigers. Johnson proceeds to emerge from his hole and make large claims about how Memphis wants to join the SEC, but that he really just wants to get into a BCS conference.

Wow, RC. You've really stepped your game up. What's gotten into you?
Before Memphis fans get too excited, hear Tranghese loud and clear when he says, “I can’t get people into conferences. That’s not what I do.”

No wonder this guy is such good friends with RC Johnson.

There's a rumor floating around that Memphis and UCF will be joining the Big East in the next six months. Mind you, this rumor started on a Mississippi radio call-in show.

Needless to say, don't expect anything to happen anytime soon. Memphis needs to improve their football facilities before a move is made. Forget about the SEC. There's no chance a thirteenth team will be added and even less of a chance that a third school from the state of Tennessee will be added. The SEC wants to expand its influence. Memphis cannot offer them that. There are as many Tennessee fans in the city of Memphis as Memphis fans (for football, at least), so there is little motivation for the SEC to expand here.

The Big East is pretty full, too. The main rumor flying is that Memphis will replace DePaul in basketball. However, the Big East is already very basketball heavy. They may not want to add another team who can compete for a top spot. They may want to preserve some knockaround teams so the big boys can pad their record.

Regardless, nothing has materialized other than RC putting forward a moderate effort in the PR portion of the athletic department. Does it sound good to consult with the former Big East Commish? Of course. Will it make any difference in the end? Not according to the Big East Commish. Time will tell.

As always, Tiger fans... pray.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Let the record show... we can't wait to see Joe wearing that Tiger Blue! Joe Jackson joins the highly touted Barton brothers in what's shaping up to be an incredible recruiting class for Josh Pastner in his first full season on the trail. Go Tigers!!!

Hardworkin' III

Its Official! ... Well official that it will be made official today. Last night Joe Jackson culminated his Facebook Status Watch '09 by saying that he will announce his college choice tonight at 6:30pm at the Finch Center. He then lists his choices as Kansas, Tennessee, and Memphis and sarcastically asks "What it's gone be?". Joe Jackson, if you dare to hold a press conference at our gym to announce that you're going to another school, much less Kansas or Tennessee, I promise we'll hate you more than Coach X. So with that, I say "welcome" to the newest member of the 2010 Memphis Tigers, Joe Jackson!

Angel the Garcia

MemphisRoar is reporting that Angel Garcia tore his ACL during an individual workout and is lost for the second season in a row. This is a tremendous blow to the team both numbers-wise and size-wise.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Hardworkin' II

Just as we suspected, our sources tell us that a very important announcement will officially come on Friday.

The Fallout II

As rumors swirl around the message boards from Memphis to Kentucky to Kansas about an imminent national report concerning further allegations against Coach X, The University of the commonwealth of Kensucky may have shed a little light on the situation when assistant director of basketball operations Bilal Batley was relieved of his position on Tuesday. Batley served in the same capacity here at Memphis during the 2008-2009 season. While it is not known for sure what is going to be in the report, if Batley's dismissal has anything to do with the content, it will be a major headline. We'll keep you updated.

Monday, September 7, 2009


Those who can view both Joe Jackson's and Will Barton's respective facebook pages have been salivating over the wall-to-wall conversation that has been taking place recently. Many many years from now when Barton's basketball career is over, he needs to come back to Memphis and AT LEAST be a recruiter cause he is giving Joe Hardworkin' Jackson a great pitch. And if that wasn't enough JJax's own status updates are furthering speculation that an announcement might come soon, and it might be Memphis. I mean, how many recruits do you know whose profile picture is them in the actual game jersey of a team that is recruiting them? We'll keep you updated.


Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Only in Memphis...

Only in Memphis would a University, specifically the Sports Information Director, approve the sale of a shirt with "Bust a Nutt" written prominently on the front. Actually, maybe it should be "only in the Mid-South" because Ole Miss had to approve the shirts as well. Here's a picture...

And no, the tiger is not in the middle of a pelvic thrust. He is simply swinging a sledge hammer. The fact that both universities and the printing company signed off on this blows my mind. But it makes the shirt even funnier. However, it is not beyond the realm of possibility that Ole Miss saw the proof of this shirt, understood the meaning, and went "Seriously, Memphis? ... Seriously?" If I'm Ole Miss and realize the embarrassment and costliness of such an oversight, I absolutely sign off on the shirt and sit back as Memphis has to destroy thousands of dollars in inventory and quell a PR storm. The game is still 5 days away but... Ole Miss - 1, Memphis - 0.

Surely everybody who reads this blog understands the play on words here, but just in case, Urban Dictionary provides a definition of bust a nut (18+). The shirts have since been pulled from every UofM affiliated store. However, there is one store not affiliated with the UofM that is still selling them... that would be The College Station in Wolfchase Galleria. Go get one before they run out!

No word yet if the University had plans to distribute Aloa Chino's Bust-a-Nut Performance Energy Bars as promotional items before the game.

Pop A Cap In Hunger!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Ready the Cannons!

Cannon Smith, son of FedEx founder and CEO Fred Smith, will transfer from Miami to Memphis. He will sit out a year due to the transfer, leaving him three years of eligibility afterward. He will have every opportunity to win the starting gig next season, as Hall will be graduating this year. Welcome, Smith! And thank you for the easiest transition to a nickname in history. Hope it holds true.

Monday, August 31, 2009

+1 more

Drew Barham, CBHS' 3-point specialist, is going to be a Memphis Tiger! Barham, a 6'7 SG, had originally signed with Southern Illinois but started classes today at the UofM. Whether he sees the court this year depends on him getting a release from SIU. Sources close to the situation seem confident a release will be granted but, if not, Drew will have to sit out and lose this year of eligibility. But regardless of whether he sees the court this year or next, Barham brings a 3-point threat the likes of which we have not seen in awhile. Drew will wear #12 for the Tigers. Welcome back home!


Sunday, August 23, 2009

The Only Final Four We Have Left from 2008...

Silly Memphis. Did you not see the sign?

When Tiger fans heard of the NCAA's decision to wipe out Memphis' 2007-08 record, 99.9% blamed Calipari. Cal's knack for salesmanship, coupled with his relationship with William Wesley (I refuse to call him Worldwide Wes unless he joins Memphis Wrestling), led to above-average recruiting and rumors of under the table dealings. Nevermind the already tainted recruiting history Calipari crafted for himself at UMass. That's no reason to suspect he could be trouble in the future.

I was ready to come out with guns blazing when I first heard about the NCAA's decision. I was ready to line up the usual suspects, namely Calipari, the NCAA, the handlers and RC Johnson, offer each of them a cigarette and their last words and be done with them forever. However, the longer I have had to process the scenario and read more of what has come out in regard to Rose's academics, I am truly at a loss for someone to blame. So I've decided to list out the parties involved, discuss what roles they may have played, and open the floor for discussion. Please feel free to comment below...

1. The NCAA:

A) This is the easiest culprit to identify. The NCAA initially cleared Rose to play. In my eyes, this act is as good as the NCAA giving its blessing to Rose, Cal and the Tigers and setting them free to dominate most of the league that year. If they clear an athlete to play, why on God's green earth would the school or coach investigate the validity of the student's test? When dealing with an organization as subjective and schizophrenic as the NCAA (see Gary Parrish's thoughts on the Duke/Maggette/NCAA love triangle), why bite the hand that feeds? Especially when they're offering future number one NBA draft picks for a year?

B) Furthermore, why would the NCAA wait until March or April to notify Rose and Memphis of their interest in Rose's test score? This isn't Watergate. All that was required is to check with the testing center. Whether the identification procedures of the testing center were fingerprints, two forms of picture ID, or verifying a student's identity by their respective tattoos, the testing center could have known nothing more in March than it did the previous summer when they sent in the new and improved Derrick Rose test scores. So why would the NCAA clear Rose to play for a season, then start raising questions at the end of the season? I can't say for sure, but I bet it had nothing to do with the money Derrick Rose brought to the game and the NCAA in his one season as a college player. I also bet that Cal would keep himself clean once he came to Memphis, so take that for what it's worth.

C) Finally, if the NCAA is keeping such a close eye on the academic eligibility of student-athletes, why were there no red flags raised when Rose bombed his college entrance exam three times in Chicago, took the test in Detroit a couple weeks before the semester started, and viola! Rose is a master at the SAT. He's even planning on teaching an SAT prep course next summer. I kid. Yet, this fact is the most important in the debate. Rose took college entrance exams four times and only right before college started, in a city 300 miles away (which happens to be the city in which William Wesley lives), did Rose do well enough to get into school. That is the NCAA screening process?! What a joke.

2. College Board/The Testing Center:

A) No one has really been mentioning the test provider or the testing center, but I feel like they are important pieces of the puzzle. Do you remember taking a college entrance exam? Those tests were administered by disgruntled school teachers who had to follow up a week of babysitting kids by coming in on a Saturday morning and monitoring kids for five more hours. Not exactly a bastion of security or integrity. If these administrators paid any attention and caught on that non-Rose was taking Rose's test, the administrator could've been paid off easily to keep it quiet. At risk of sounding more like a conspiracy theorist, I'll move on.

B) College Board is the organization that makes and scores the SAT. I had planned on railing on them like I did in part C of the NCAA portion, but as I was writing this paragraph, a quote from this Fox Sports story jumped out at me. The story says the Rose failed the ACT three times. Yet, all the commotion has focused on Rose's SAT score. While the SAT is administered by College Board, the ACT is administered by ACT, Inc., a totally different company. Thus, when "Rose" took the SAT and scored exceedingly better, College Board had no previous test to base it on because Rose had only taken the ACT up to that point. So I suppose that lets College Board off the hook. However, that could be a big loophole for this kind of thing in the future. The NCAA should check into that the next time they need a scapegoat.

3. Cal:

A) Seth Davis summed it up best when asked about Cal's culpability, "I think most of the time coaches know or choose not to know."

B) We all know about William Wesley. We know about Marcus Camby. We know about Milt Wagner. The list goes on. Yeah, I know, the guy's past doesn't necessarily implicate him in the future, but if it smells like a horse, acts like a horse, and you can regularly find him at the Derby...

But I've got to hand it to Calipari. He's done a good job of making none of this stick to himself. He'd be perfect for Washington if there wasn't so much money in basketball. Whether the NCAA is turning a blind eye to him has yet to be revealed, but he's getting away with another college basketball murder by allowing Memphis to steal his beloved spotlight for once. If nothing else, the flogging given to Memphis by the NCAA is a testament to Calipari's ability to manipulate the Memphis athletic department...

4. RC Johnson and the Gang:

I can't help but assume the admissions committee and/or athletic department at Memphis knew about Rose's struggle with college entrance exams. For the reasons I've listed above, they likely turned a blind eye to the situation. Was it Cal's salesmanship? Was it the lure of big-time success? Who knows? At the very least, the AD needed to ask questions. Especially considering Cal's past, RC Johnson needed some leverage in the situation, but by maintaining his status quo of asleep at the wheel, he opened the school to wrongdoing and embarrassment.

Well, there are some points to get discussion started. Please leave your thoughts in the comments below. Sorry for bullet points instead of a story, but I'm still unsettled by this and figured it'd be good for some bantering back and forth. There will be more on this soon, namely a campaign to push an investigation into Darrell Arthur having his high school grades changed. Whatever happened to just playing ball? Geez...

Saturday, August 22, 2009

The Fallout Continues...

Although under appeal, our 2007-2008 basketball record has been changed from 38-2 to 0-40. The NCAA has taken wins, a Final Four, a C-USA tourney championship, streaks, and banners away from the University. That makes Tiger fans upset. But what if YOU had to suffer FINANCIALLY for the sanctions imposed on the University of Memphis basketball team because of the actions of John Calipari and Derrick Rose? In this time of economic downturn, every bit counts.

Well all you reading (and not just Tigers fans, but "you" as a collective public) who participated in a 2008 NCAA Tournament pool better ready yourselves for a litigious dogfight. See all you people who won money in such pools may not be the real winners of that money, and you should give it back because 5 of the 38 wins that were turned to dust came in the NCAA tourney. Yeah, you've probably already spent that on important stuff like feeding your family, student loans, mortgage payments, charitable donations or, if you're from Loserville, "health insurance", but guess what, the NCAA could care less about whether or not you eat, or learn, or live! Cheating is cheating, and if you won money, even though you didn't know Rose's test scores were fake and Reggie was flyin' free, you cheated too and you should give it back!

HOLD ON! What about all you people who lost those pools? Maybe you are the real winner of the money in question! Because technically Memphis lost in the 1st round to UT-Arlington. So all you true UTA Mavericks fans, and the brainless 1.3% of the public, who picked the Mavs over the Tigers may have a claim. Yeah I know it was a first round game and only worth 1 point in the pool, but its the bracket aftermath that would benefit you. Where you at Starkville?! You're in the Sweet 16, that's where! Extra 4 points for the Dawgs that picked that one. But now THIS... IS... SPARTA! Assuming the Spartans win the MSU vs. MSU showdown, or you're a cocky bulldog who got drunk and put State in the Elite 8, that's an extra 8 points there. Either way, those two fan bases have equal claim along with Texas for a Final Four spot... worth 16 points. And UCLA will join your battle for the 32 points awarded for correctly picking a team in the championship game. The whole landscape has now changed! That is rightfully your money! Perhaps if the NCAA Clearinghouse had done their job, those winnings would have prevented an over drafted bank account, or defaulted loan, or car repossession! Or maybe, with the confidence that would have came with winning such a large amount of money and owning face over your peers, you would have asked out that cute girl in your Spanish class, gotten married, and have a nice little family! COMO ESTAN SNITCHES!?

According to reports, the FBI estimates that $2.5 BILLION is gambled on the NCAA tourney every year. So that leaves a whole bunch of you looking over your shoulder trying to protect your winnings, and a whole bunch more of you fired up and looking for your rightful share of that $2.5 bil. Either way, since you're upset and at a computer, you've gotta be looking for somebody you can email and say "Thanks for ruining my financial life!" We wouldn't be a friendly Tomb of Doom if we didn't point you in the right direction. Since none of us want to risk life and limb, or at least the contraction of a sick, sick disease, by venturing into the commonwealth of Kentucky to complain to X, and seeing as how the Clearinghouse is a tremendous, collective FAIL, let us aim for the Division 1 Committee on Infractions. This committee is made up of 10 individuals, and, wait, do I see a mutineer?! Yes! Somebody from our very own C-USA! The Commissioner no less! Let's pick him. Simply following this link will take you to the contact listings for C-USA. There you will see all the C-USA administration and their emails... including the Comish. But don't be fooled, clicking the link for his email will send your message to the black hole of Two options here: a) email his poor executive assistant or b) realize that C-USA emails are first initial then last name

Either way, you need to let somebody know that you have no plans to give that money back, or you plan on taking legal action to recover the winnings that you deserve! Just lookin' out for our Tombers.


Friday, August 21, 2009

Like Pitino Paying for "Health Insurance"...

The NCAA cleared Elliot Williams to play for the Tigers during the 2009-10 season. This is great news that is somewhat muffled by the current situation that is keeping Tiger fans awake at night...
Williams is a player who came on very strong late last season to help Duke to the Sweet 16. He can play the point if he needs to, which may be necessary if you look at the Tigers' woes in the backcourt. Most of all, Williams will provide some leadership to a crew who lost 4-year guys Dozier and Anderson.

Welcome, Elliot! Tiger fans are hoping you can help lay the foundation for a future of hard-fought, legitimate wins in the future of Tiger basketball!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

The NCAA Cleared Rose to Play

The NCAA cleared Derrick Rose to play. That should be the main issue here. Memphis and its fans are being penalized for something that allegedly happened when Rose was in high school. Yes, the Reggie Rose issue is looming, but is that alone enough to vacate a 38 win season and a championship game appearance?

I just heard Doug Gottlieb say on ESPN that everyone is at fault, including the NCAA. Is the NCAA sanctioning itself? Is somebody getting fired? Probably not.


Nowhere to go but forward

Depending on when you read this, the University of Memphis Athletic Department is about to hold, or has already held, a news conference announcing the vacation of a NCAA Final Four appearance and 38 wins for the men's basketball program. This is the bottom. This is the culmination of past seasons of heartache, doublespeak, and deceit. This is the legacy of coach X... the skidmarks he has left in every pair of underpants he has ever worn. But this is not Memphis. Memphis is up off that broken road and headed toward a winning tradition that will stand the test of time. How could we not be? There is nowhere to go but forward. We'll post more on this throughout the day and days to come, but I'm too tired to continue right now... and not just because its 2:00am, but because I'm tired of my program taking hit after hit because of incompetent leadership in the Athletic Department and head coaching postition of the men's basketball team. At least there has been change in the latter, now for the former...


Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Hey Mr. D.J. won't you put a jersey on...

I want to start off by apologizing for the title and quickly move on to tell you about D.J. Stephens. Stephens is a 6'5 170lb SG from Harker Heights High School, located about an hour north of Austin, TX. He has dominated there as well as on his AAU team, Texas DI Ambassadors. Around Killeen, TX he is known as "Harker Heights Highlight Reel." Which is easy to believe after you read what his coach, Max Ivany, had to say about him, "Truly one of the nices kids I've ever had the opportunity to coach, he is one of the top dunkers in the country. Listen carefully folks, this is not "puffery". With a vert that is over 40", he's also one of the quickest leapers I've ever seen to boot. D.J.'s good for one unbelievable dunk per game."
(looks like a nice kid...who can dunk)
Many schools have reportedly been looking at Stephens; Western Kentucky, San Francisco, San Diego and Tulsa. But when the Tigers offered him a scholarship he happily accepted and Memphis rejoiced. Maybe because there has been some comparison of D.J. to Rodney Carney and we sure love that Timber Wolf. Who knows if the rumors are true about this walking highlight reel but here is a video of one of his ridiculous dunks.

What do you think, Tiger fans? Sound off.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Late Summer Roster Change...

Due to a knee injury suffered in France, Martin Ngaloro won't be joining the Tiger team this year. Yet, when one door closes, another opens, and through it walked D.J. Stephens, a 6'5'' forward being compared to Rodney Carney. More on D.J. Stephens soon...

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Tigers' 2009 Non-Conference Schedule

Nov. 3 – LeMoyne-Owen (exhibition)

Nov. 9 – Christian Brothers (exhibition)

Nov. 13 – Jackson State

Nov. 17 – vs. Kansas (St. Louis, Mo.; Hall of Fame Showcase)

Nov. 20 – Tennessee Tech (Hall of Fame Showcase)

Nov. 24 – Central Arkansas (Hall of Fame Showcase)

Nov. 30 – Oakland (Hall of Fame Showcase)

Dec. 5 – Arkansas State

Dec. 9 – Montana State

Dec. 12 – vs. Arkansas-Little Rock (North Little Rock, Ark.)

Dec. 19 – vs. UMass (Boston, Mass.)

Dec. 22 – Southeast Missouri State

Dec. 28 – IUPUI

Dec. 31 – Tennessee

Jan. 3 – Houston Baptist

Jan. 6 – at Syracuse

Feb. 6 – Gonzaga

Mar. 10-13 – Conference USA Tournament (Tulsa, Okla.)

We'll get to see some fan-favorite games with Tennessee and Gonzaga.

It's fun to see Kansas on the schedule. We'll see how fun it will be to play them. I know a lot of folks who were amped for this game. Unfortunately, it will be played during the week, so many a road trip were canceled.

The Tigers will be ready for redemption against Syracuse. Definitely a winnable game.

From this schedule, there's only one game of which I'm not very optimistic. UT, Cuse and the Zags are within reach. There are plenty of questions about this squad though, so we could see anywhere from 1 (Kansas) to 5 (UALR and UMass might surprise some folks) nonconference losses.

Wolken gives the OOC schedule a D+. There are a lot of RPI bottom dwellers on this year's line up. Wolken gives a pretty good explanation as to why that is the case. I'm glad to hear UNC, Texas and UK are potential foes for future seasons.

Regardless... Can't wait to see the Tigers play! Now go out and support the football team in a couple weeks!

Friday, July 31, 2009

The Great Hater

After an 18-year, nearly tyrannical reign as the Memphis mayor, Willie Herenton has resigned on his own terms, on his own schizophrenic timetable, exiting to the uncomfortably poignant tune "My Way".

There are plenty of stories in circulation about Herenton's politics of hate, his penchant for weaving his personal life with his political connections, his bizarre disappearances, his ever-expanding political posse, and so on. In fact, it's much more difficult to find a recent story detailing Herenton's accomplishments without the dark shadow of his irrational behavior looming. The absence of real progress in Herenton's tenure is truly pathetic given that he has held the position of Memphis mayor longer than anyone else... ever.

But enough about Herenton's indiscretions. Everyone knows about his poor oversight and shady political tactics. In his resignation speech yesterday, Willie gave his shout-outs, talked about his accomplishments, listed some "critical imperatives" that he wants his replacement to handle (Hey Willie. Let it go, man.), and offered his regular self-congratulations on being a man and being a good superintendent and fighting white racists, yada yada yada. However, during his speech, he made a statement that typified his entire mindset as mayor. Rather than praising the people of Memphis for finding any unity at all, Herenton went out of his way to address the idea that Memphis basketball could be a unifier for the city of Memphis by saying it "makes him sick."

I'm sorry? A city historically regarded as racially charged finds common ground in a basketball team and it makes the mayor "sick"? Has Herenton ever attended a University of Memphis basketball game? It's not like the mayor's office. Tiger fans don't fight each other to see who the best fan will be. Tiger fans don't kick out the person sitting next to them so they can squeeze a few more friends onto their row. Tigar fans don't disappear for vast periods of time, then show back up acting like nothing ever happened (although we've seen that before and those fans suck, thus supporting the example).

What you see from a statement as inane as Herenton's is a man who is so narcissistic and insecure that he cannot support a good thing in his own city unless it can be credited to himself. Rather than rally behind the team like the rest of the city, Herenton sees the Tigers as a competitor for the seat of Memphis' darling and his ego will simply not tolerate it. Is this perspective surprising? From a man who insulted the democratic process with campaign slogans such as "Shake Them Haters Off", we should have expected his response to be defensive and derogatory.

If anything, Herenton could have learned from the Tiger basketball team. Find a cause that benefits the people and stirs up passion among them, rally the troops behind that cause and push forward to achieve the greatest things possible. That sentiment is what made the championship run so special. That's why people of all colors showed up at the airport to support the team. That's why most people were furious and felt betrayed when Benedict Calipari abandoned ship. That's the same reason why years from now, people will cheer the day that the reign of King Willie ended.


Thursday, July 23, 2009

This is why we love her...

Tomb of Doom crush (and Fox13 sports reporter) Kristen Tallent wrote a very good, very passionate blog post about the Antonio Burks situation. Check it.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Tough Week for Tiger Nation

A day after learning a beloved former Tiger basketball player had been critically shot, Tiger Nation takes another hit. It appears certain, per superstar Dan Wolken's twitter, the CA, and Rivals, that five-star recruit Latavious "Mo' Money" Williams has decided to forsake his commitment to the University of Memphis and go play professionally in... China? Can we say culture shock for the 18 y/o? This was a very rapidly developing story and appears to already be over, but we'll keep you updated on any new developments, including Wolken's speculation of a Matt Simpkins return. The weather matches the news today.


Monday, July 20, 2009

Antonio Burks in Critical Condition

Former Tiger great Antonio Burks was shot earlier this evening during a robbery outside a south Memphis house. Burks sustained a gunshot wound to either the torso or leg (news reports are contradicting) and was taken to The Med where he underwent surgery. He is currently listed in critical condition. We will keep you updated as more information becomes available. The prayers of all the Tomb staff go out to Antonio and his family.

The suspects were seen fleeing in a blue or purple GMC Equinox or Envoy. If you have any information related to the shooting, please call CrimeStoppers at 528-CASH.

**UPDATE 7.21**

Antonio Burks remains in critical condition at The Med after undergoing a second surgery last night to stop some internal bleeding. Consensus (Fox13, WMC, CA, ESPN) is he was shot in the stomach although Channel 3, as of their noon newscast, is still reporting he was shot in the leg and even goes as far to say he underwent a third surgery this morning.

**UPDATE 7.22**

Burks remains in critical condition at The Med although several reports say that he is now stable (meaning vital signs such as blood pressure, pulse, and breathing are consistent, but not necessarily at a normal rate). Most reports continue to say he was shot in the lower torso although Channel 3's report of him being shot in the leg may not be that far off base as an artery was severed and likely retreated back into his leg. When a major blood vessel is severed, your body's natural reaction is to constrict each end of the vessel back into a muscle group in order to act as a tourniquet and prevent a large amount of blood loss. Several mentions of a full recovery have been made, although he is not out of the woods yet.

**UPDATE 7.27**

Burks was upgraded to Serious condition after a fourth surgery over the weekend. Also, Memphis Police have arrested a 16 year old and have charged him with accessory after the fact.

Pastner Story Tonight on Fox13

Fox13 News, the most Tiger sports friendly news station in Memphis and also home of Tomb crush Kristin Tallent, will air a pretty interesting story on Coach P on their 9:00 broadcast tonight. I only saw the end of a promo for it, but I say interesting because it showed him pushing a car... I think its talking about his workout regimen... tune in to find out.


Tuesday, July 14, 2009

And the Winner is...

Josh Pastner! Memphis Sport has posted the latest issue online. The winners of the M Awards are presented in this issue and Josh Pastner won the Favorite Coach category as a write-in!

Meanwhile, the top Memphis blog went to Chris Vernon, I imagine because most voters know who he is. The only real Memphis news blog in the top 3 was Dan Wolken-CA Crew lovechild Memphis Edge, who run a really nice, frequently updated Memphis blog with solid information.

Vernon was actually pushing people to vote for Chris Herrington's Grizz site, which I assumed was a site petitioning the NBA for a professional team to come to Memphis, but turns out to be a site for another local team.

So, basically, the Memphis blog scene is just a big love fest... except for Kristen Tallent, who is glaringly absent in the polls and pictures of this month's issue. Ho hum.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

The Links, Updated 7/6/09...

Much to Joe Lunardi's chagrin, The Hoops Report has Memphis as one of the top 64 this upcoming season. A pretty good rundown of the current status of this year's Tiger team.

A snapshot of Pastner's first 90 days... Reads like a mob story... Betrayal, the rise of a young gun, a battle between a slick-haired scoundrel and the new hero, redemption.

Speaking of the young hero, the CA has a great Q&A with Coach Pastner. Basically, he's exhausted but he has more optimism than the press corps covering Obama.

Wolken gives the most thorough report on Memphis' 2010 recruiting that I've seen yet. Well done. Get excited, Tiger fans!

Saturday, July 4, 2009

No Memphis Mayflower?

According to a recent Dan Wolken twitter... twit... tweet.... whatever the term is, Kensucky Lost Boy Matt Pilgrim is probably heading to Oklahoma State.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

The Most Noble Act of a Tiger Fan...

is to visit the Victoria's Secret website and vote to add the University of Memphis to their clothing line! How the heck did UCF and South Florida make the cut before Memphis?!? And for what sins are we atoning that these aren't yet available in Tiger blue?!
So, unite behind that scantily clad Tiger fan in your mind and vote! Then feel free to meander a bit...

In case you weren't aware... it's been a slow couple of days in the news.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Tuesday Conversation

Now that the Tigers have added five-star McDonalds All-American Elliot Williams, do YOU still want Lance Stephenson? Discuss.

Monday, June 29, 2009

DWill to Zona...

Superstar journalist Dan Wolken is reporting that Derrick Williams has chosen Arizona over Memphis and Gonzaga. I had a feeling this would happen after Momo chose Zona as well but apparently DWill's decision had more to do with his mom than wanting to play with the fellow USC-escapee. Its all good though, the Elliot Williams signing came out of nowhere and more than makes up for Derrick. Once we get Pilgrim signed our 2009-2010 team should be finalized (Although there are rumors that Pilgrim is trying to get his hands on Kensucky's last remaining scholarship).

This has turned out to be a better end to the recruiting situation than any of us could have ever imagined. Pastner has done an incredible job, and while this class may not have all the hype that the Coach X class had, this season's Tiger team has the potential to be as good as any in recent memory. Pastner already has his five-star prep recruit Latavious Williams, five-star transfer Elliot Williams, and four-star juco transfer Will Coleman to complement a very talented group of returning players including four-stars Angel Garcia, Wesley Witherspoon, Doneal Mack, and Willie Kemp. Then add Frenchman Martin Ngaloro for this year and five-star recruit Will Barton for next year... we're sittin pretty Tiger Nation.


Saturday, June 27, 2009

Whaddaya Say, Pilgrim?

Gary Parrish reports that one of the Lost Boys from Kentucky is considering a transfer to Memphis. Matt Pilgrim, a 6-8", 230 lb. forward, transferred to Kentucky a year ago and was set to play this coming season. As many across the nation have seen... Cal giveth and Cal taketh away.
To clear space for Memphis' number one recruiting class, Cal needed to open a few spots on the Kentucky roster. Cal summoned whatever supernatural force he prays to and started a mass exodus that made Moses arise and take notice. Voila! Kentucky's number one recruiting class.

One of the captives set free was Matt Pilgrim, a transfer from Hampton who served his year on the sideline last season. Regardless of where he lands, Pilgrim has a good chance of playing next year considering that he already sat out a year and he was basically forced to leave because of a coaching coup.

Pilgrim saw a mild recruiting push before he committed to Hampton. He was plagued by the label that he was an inconsistent player and that he would disappear for portions of a game. However, most sources agree that he has enough skill to be a substantial role-player and will have occasional break-out games.

What say ye, Tiger fans?

Your Newest Memphis Tiger: Elliot Williams.

Per Jason Smith and Dan Wolken... Elliot Williams will be joining the Memphis Tigers! Wolken believes Williams will win the appeal of his eligibility based on his current circumstances, but you never know with the NCAA. Huge pickup for the Tigers! If he plays this season, Tigers are a definite favorite to win the CUSA.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Closer to Home?

Parrish posted an update on the Elliot Williams situation. If Elliot is trying to play next year, he basically needs to go to Memphis. Parrish states that the NCAA is becoming more rigid about the "illness in the family" justification and Elliot's other interests (UT, Vandy and, good gosh, UK) are just too far unless he wants to sit a year.

Williams played too well late last season to sit a year. He can come be a difference maker immediately with the Tigers. Come on, Elliot. Phone home.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Congrats Tyreke and Doz!

Tyreke Evans goes 4th overall to the Sacramento Kings in the 2009 NBA Draft. ... But the best thing was right after his name was called, Coach X walked up to his table to congratulate him and Tyreke never acknowledged him. Way to go, Tyreke!

Saving the best for last, the Miami Heat picked up Robert Dozier with the 60th and last pick of the draft. Now's your time, Doz!

Momo to Zona...

It's cool. We'd rather have the Williams Trifecta, anyway.

Draft Day!

We know you're at work, not working, but searching for the latest mock draft and sorting through trades to keep up with who has what pick now. So we here at The Tomb thought it a kind gesture to add to your unproductivity by giving you a place to go on the record and voice your opinion on where you think our 4 Tigers will go, if they will at all. So leave us a comment with the fates of:

Tyreke Evans
Shawn Taggart
Robert Dozier
Antonio Anderson

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Reke-ing Havok on the Draft...

Chad Ford's latest has Tyreke going 4th to the Kings. Get it, Tyreke!

For the Hat Trick...

Dukie Elliot Williams has been granted his release from the Blue Devils so he can return home to be closer to his ailing mother. Williams plans to appeal the NCAA rule barring him from playing next season on the grounds that the transfer is motivated by a family illness. Tyler Smith of the Tennessee Voles was granted a similar pardon and was able to play immediately after transferring.
Memphis is Williams' most likely destination, with Vandy and Ole Miss being possibilities, as well. If we land Elliot and Derrick Williams (who concludes his official visit to Memphis today), the 2009 recruiting class will feature three different Williams, which means either the universe will implode or the basketball gods have aligned and we will be NCAA champions next season.

Elliot Williams was the 4th ranked shooting guard in the 2008 class. He would add some much needed depth to the Tigers roster if he chooses Memphis. Elliot had pretty good numbers last season, but saw a midseason lull in his minutes. I seem to remember some rift among the Duke guards last season, but I'll have to check into that to be sure.

What do you say, Tiger fans? Bring him on!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Williams Update...

Wolken reports the Derrick Williams is enjoying his time in Memphis. He likes the tempo of the team, the players and the fact that Memphis is a basketball town. (Just wait til you experience opening night in the Forum, Derrick!) Wolken is reporting that Williams is down to Memphis or Arizona and will announce sometime after Wednesday.

Monday, June 22, 2009

More Lance Stephenson

The NY Daily News published an in depth examination of Lance Stephenson and his off the court problems, as well as his current recruitment status. If everything would clear up on him, Memphis landing him would be HUGE. Check out the story and let us know if you still think Lance should or shouldn't come to Memphis. I'm secretly hoping he comes to Memphis.


Sunday, June 21, 2009

Williams #2...

Recently released from his letter at USC, Derrick Williams has arrived in Memphis for an official visit this Sunday evening.

Said to be a strong 3/4 hybrid type player, he would fit in well with the fast-paced offense that Memphis has been running. He is heralded as an intelligent player who can get open shots for himself, possibly similar to a bigger CDR.

Derrick will be meeting with Coach Pastner on Monday morning. Memphis, show some love!

Friday, June 19, 2009

Sound Off!

6/20 UPDATE: Noel Johnson has reportedly decided on Clemson after opting out of his letter with USC. Many had high hopes for Memphis, but few sources ever spoke of Memphis as having a legitimate chance.

Also, this was reported a couple days ago, but Memphis may be one of the last major players in the Lance Stephenson Saga. Florida, Maryland and Arizona all reportedly pulled their names from contention.

Antonio has something to say about the possibility of Memphis losing all our wins from two seasons ago.

Hello, you wonderful, faithful Tombers. We at the Tomb have decided to start a little carousel of conversation. During the summer months, Tiger news slows ever so slightly and we wanted to initiate some debate. So, leave us your response to the following question in the "Comments" section and let's debate!

What would need to happen for the upcoming football season to be considered a success?

While you ponder your excellent responses, check out a couple links...

Tyreke's future...

Memphis may win by process of elimination... alot like the SAT.

Friday, June 12, 2009

We Love Momo... "No Homo".

*Title credited to the former Tiger, facebook-status aficionado, Shawn Taggart.

According to Zags, point guard Lamont "Momo" Jones has been granted his release from the drowning pool known as USC basketball. Memphis is reportedly in the running, along with Arizona and Florida.

Memphis would obviously be the best fit because we're awesome and we have the Plush Club. We also have a glaring vacancy at the point guard position and Momo would be a serious contender for the starting job.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Twitter of Doom!

Hey Tombers, you can now follow us on our Twitter of Doom!


Take A Chance With Lance?

There's alot going going on at Memphis. Recently, most of it has been negative. Granted, Pastner has done a standup job recruiting after Benedict Cal dismantled us, but Memphis is still in a state of disarray. Throw in the pending DRose/Dozier allegations, and it starts to look ugly. There is a player out there who could help make Memphis a contender, Lance Stephenson, but do we really want him?

It's June 11, college starts in a few months, and Lance Stephenson does not have a school to attend. He's also ranked #12 in the ESPNU Top 100. In off the court problems, he's #1. Stephenson and a teammate are accused of groping a high school student outside of Brooklyn's Lincoln High School in October of last year. The case is still pending, and he's due back in court on June 29th. Normally that wouldn't keep most college coaches from going after him, but there's more. Supposedly he's a cancer in the locker room, which may be the reason why he was booted off USA Basktball's Under-18 Team last summer. Chemistry was cited as an issue. Still, for one year we can work around that right? Well, there's more. Stephenson has affiliations with Under Armour and as a junior was featured on a web-based reality series that featured his life on and off the court. He was featured on a docmentary Gunnin' For That #1 Spot. Why is this a problem? Rumor has it the NCAA wants to make an example of him and take away his eligibility for being promoted outside of high school. Why? Nobody knows why the NCAA does anything it does, such as institute the NBA rule of no charging calls under the basket this year. Maybe it's a good rule, but they rushed ahead and implemented it for this next season without putting in archs in the paint. So now, it's a judgment call by the referees. Well that's just great, make the most non-absolute call in basketball even more...non-absolute. Back to Stephenson. With all of these affiliations comes in-depth investigations by the NCAA, which could find...anything. Stephenson does have four options at this point: Memphis, Maryland, FIU, and Europe. According to Rivals, we've offered him a scholarship. Almost nobody is recruiting this kid. Do the Memphis fans want him here?

P.S. Don't forget to vote in the poll.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Barton Brothers

I'm a little behind the times. Memphis Roar had this video up a couple days ago, but it's too good to pass up. The Bartons seem like a couple of great kids with a lot of charisma and the attitude I would expect from two Pastner recruits.

My two main questions after seeing this video... Is "Sweet Potato" too long of a nickname? Also, when can we get Kristin Tallent to interview these guys? I think they would appreciate that. I think we would all appreciate that.

Memphis Roar has some other news on the Barton Brothers as well as Casey Prather. Check it out.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

M Awards Winding Down!

Be a sport and visit Memphis Sport! They're conducting their annual M Awards for the best of the best in Memphis sports and entertainment. The One and Only Tomb of Doom has been nominated for the Best Memphis Blog, so give us some love if you have a chance! We appreciate it!

Monday, June 8, 2009

Monday Morning Round-Up... 6/8/09

Antonio Anderson will participate in a pre-draft workout for the Memphis Grizzlies. Anderson hasn't shown up on many mock-drafts, so it's good to see him get some attention. It seems unlikely that Anderson will be drafted, so I'd like to see the Grizzlies sign Anderson after the draft. The Grizz made a mistake not going after any of our three NBA-bound Tigers last year. If they'd snagged CDR, their attendance this year wouldn't have been so abysmal. Such is Grizz.

Speaking of the Grizz, there's a fresh and clean new site at Check it out.

Dan Wolken shares an update on Tiger news, including some additional RC ineptitude, some recruiting news and an interesting take on the Taggart situation.

Jason Smith at the CA gives a quality rundown of prospects who attended Coach Pastner's basketball camp this past weekend. Joe Jackson spoke highly of our new Coach, which was good to see considering he was an elder statesman compared to the rest of the talent in attendance. Prospects from as far off as 2013 came out to the camp. Pastner also talked about the importance of networking at high schools around the area to keep Memphis talent as Memphis talent. Impressive.

Last but not least, I try not to use this blog for personal causes of any sort, you know, other than expressing my disdain for haters, Loserville, poor stanky leg execution, reality tv, the current president's iPod and Big Willie. However, I feel the need to share the following picture with the readers.

At a recent little shindig, I spent some time with a couple friends of mine and their young baby. Friends is a relative term, as the father happens to be a UK fan. Just kidding. I'm not that trivial, at least, not for another paragraph or two...

There was a little UK rubber ball bouncing around and someone wanted to force this offensive toy upon the newest addition to the group and snap a picture. I vehemently opposed, saying the baby should be able to make his own sportsfanship decisions (while plotting to find several pieces of UofM paraphenalia for the child). The UK fans persisted. They had to get a picture of the newest UK fan. Lah-de-freaking-dah.

I was facing a real moral dilemma. The child wasn't mine, so I had no right to prevent this bluegrass-inspired tyranny. The safety of the child wasn't in jeopardy (arguably), so I felt my hands were tied. I could only hope that the Good Lord would prevent such a heinous intrusion into this young fan's future.

The Lord is just. As the picture was being taken, the young child made, what I believe, the wisest move in his young life. He projectile vomited at the sight of this blue UK ball (which has become a fairly common response to all things UK around the country). Well done, young one. There's always room for you in the Memphis fold.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

The Debacle Continues...

I'm sure you've read that along with the Derrick Rose SAT situation, news outlets are reporting on Robert Dozier being in a similar situation. A staff member from Lithonia High School wrote an anonymous letter stating that someone else took the SAT for Dozier, scoring a 1260. Georgia refused to admit Dozier, his score was invalidated, and then rescored a 720. Dozier ended up attending Laurinburg Prep in 2004-2005, then signed with the Tigers. Maybe I'm a little uninformed, but if he became eligible while at Laurinburg Prep, why does the faulty SAT score even matter? Or does it? Someone please tell me.

Secondly, the NCAA is meeting with Memphis to discuss the Derrick Rose situation, then will wait at least 6 weeks to make a decision regarding our 38 wins, our C-USA Championship, and our Championship Game appearance. Six weeks? Seriously? Can we move any slower? My real question is this: If the NCAA clears a player for eligibility, why is it Memphis' fault if he cheated in high school, and we didn't know about it? Why do we have to sacrifice everything for something that happened before he was even associated with our University? Shouldn't the NCAA be held accountable for clearing him to play, then deciding 2 years later to penalize us for it? Could you imagine the monstrosity of it all if Memphis had made one more free throw that day? Would Kansas be the new champion? Or would the 2007-2008 season be deleted from the history books?

On top of all the mess, the women's golf program was charged with major violations under ex-coach Jenny Bruun, who allegedly provided over $3000 in assistance to former players from '04-'08. Why does it seem like that after the coach leaves, the program takes the hit. Where's the accountability from the coaches? I wonder if the NCAA will ever consider fining coaches for such violations, even after they're gone.

Jenny Bruun

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Taggart to Stay in Draft...

Foxsports is reporting that Shawn Taggart is staying in the NBA Draft and will not return to the Tigers next season. Good luck, Tag. It was a good run.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

News, Fun and Scheduling... 6/4/09

WMC5 and several other outlets are reporting that Memphis is scheduled to play what will likely be the #1 or #2 ranked Kansas Jayhawks team for the second game of the season. The first rematch of The Game of Which We Do Not Speak will be part of a double-header with Arkansas/Loserville playing the other game. Sign me up!

Tennessee Congressman Steve Cohen took a break from crafting another official government apology in order to write a letter to David Stern requesting the NCAA Age Limit be rescinded. On the heels of the DRose saga, one diamond in the rough is that this ridiculous rule has been brought to the forefront of NCAA-speak. Hopefully Stern will take the advice or institute a 3-or-None policy, like in NCAA baseball.

Gary Parrish is preaching his libertarian take on the NCAA Age Limit. I totally agree. You cannot make rules to try and prevent bad decisions. Bad decisions occur all the time. High school graduates are adults. Let them make up their own minds.

Frank Fitzgerald from the Philadelphia Inquirer wrote a funny piece entitled "Sports' Most Annoying People." The Benedict Calipari and Kobe Bryant bits are especially accurate.

This is old news, but an official announcement has been made that Jack Murphy has been hired to round out Coach Pastner's coaching staff. Murphy has been with the Denver Nuggets as an advance scout for 4 years. It's always a plus to have NBA experience on the sidelines, especially at Memphis. Good find, Coach Pastner! Glad to have you, Coach Murphy!

Last, but not least, a glorious picture of P3 from his guest appearance in the new Star Trek film.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Man It Feels Good to be a Gangsta

Man it feels good to be a gangsta
A real gangsta ball coach plays his cards right
A real gangsta ball coach has a low buy out
Cause a gangsta ball coach gonna take flight
And coaches always gotta recruit
Showin all his boys how he signed em
But real gangsta-coach recruits have opt-outs
So real gangsta ball coach always got em
And everythings cool in the mind of a gangsta
Cause gangsta ball coaches talk slick
Signin #1 recruits 24/7
Even if gangsta ball coach gotta cheat

And all I gotta say to you
Has been, rock n roll, bar-b-que eatin prankstas
When your Final Four banner comes down what you gonna do?
Man it feels good to be a gangsta

Man it feels good to be a gangsta
In control and givin everybody chills
Although I'm spossta look out for the program
I give all my coaches the best deals
Man it feels good to be a gangsta
What to do now I really don't know
I used to take orders from John Calipari
Now I just take naps on the floor
Now gangsta ADs come from all kinda conferences
And some schools have even switched in the past
But I sent the Big East a pamphlet
So Memphis will surely be the last

And all I gotta say to you
Has been, rock n roll, bar-b-que eatin prankstas
When I leave for Kentucky too what you gonna do?
Man it feels good to be a gangsta

- DJ Pistolier

Monday, June 1, 2009

Pastner Leaves No Stone Unturned

Martin Ngaloro, Welcome to Memphis!

Josh Pastner keeps overcoming obstacles. Whether it be Coach X taking the recruiting class, RCJ thinking that major NCAA violations don't qualify as pertinent information for a new coach, or trying to pull a "Memphis" quality recruiting class in 3 months; Pastner has been an absolute beast.

This brings us to Pastner's latest triumph. Martin Ngaloro, a 6'8 European that can shoot the 3 ball (look him up on YouTube), is the newest Tiger, per MemphisRoar. Pastner ventured off of the the Rivals150 list for this prospect. As Pastner said when he was hired, there are good players out there, you just have to find them. Finally, someone in the athletic department that meant what they said!

While Ngaloro is by no means polished or a finished product, he gives plenty for Tiger fans to be excited about for the coming years. Pastner is putting together a roster of impressive athletes and shooters. While this roster lacks a D-Rose or a Reke, it does not lack talent.

Keep playing that Rock n' Roll, Josh!

- Blake


Sunday, May 31, 2009

Rose Punks NCAA

In the wake of the controversy surrounding our beloved basketball program, I have noticed a very interesting theme consistent throughout Tiger Nation: we seem to forget that these allegations brought by the NCAA, are, for right now, simply allegations. I have heard nobody bring a real defense. Its almost like we want these allegations to be true so we can just hate Coach X even more... which is a perfectly fine aim as far as this blog is concerned, however, is our voracity to throw another dart at a picture of X's face stronger than any desire to attempt to save our Final Four banner, our 38 win season, our conference win streak, or Doz, AA, or Chance's ability to call themselves the winningest players in NCAA basketball history? Granted, there does not appear to be much hope of doing this, especially when it seems RCJ is running to the Forum with a pair of scissors ready to cut that banner down himself. But come on Tigers, sure we got screwed and are still getting screwed, but that season was special and it belongs to Memphis, not X, not Rose, not the coaches and players who left for the University of the commonwealth of Kentucky, but to Memphis... its players, its fans.

Even so, if the allegations do turn out to be true, why are we directing all of our hate at X? It was Derrick Rose who got somebody to take that test for him, not X. Want to know why we do not hate Derrick Rose? Here's why... because deep down inside, even though none of us condone cheating and will readily admit that Derrick Rose was in the wrong, we can not blame him for doing it. Rose did not come to Memphis for an academic endeavour by any stretch of the imagination, he came because he had to. He did not want to be here, "here" meaning college, but he had to go somewhere so he chose Memphis. Sure, he could have gone overseas and played his year, but an 18 year old kid leaving Illinois for a foreign country, that would be hard. Yes, it has been done, it is being done, but still it is hard.

Derrick Rose had all the talent necessary to go to the NBA right out of high school but could not due to separate monopolies at the two highest levels in American basketball: college and professional. The NBA has no competition, nor will it ever, and can make any sort of rules regarding the eligibility of the players it employs, in this case, no employment until one year after your graduation from high school. But why have this rule?

Is it to preserve the talent pool in the NBA?
No. Common sense would dictate that you want the best players, no matter their age.

Is it to preserve the level of entertainment for the fans?
No. Again, having the best players makes for the most entertaining show, no matter their age.

Is it in the best interest of the players?
No. Why delay a six or seven figure guaranteed contract to a kid from a low income family? What is so special about a one year buffer from high school to the pros when the opportunity to provide for one's family is right there? By no means is that in the players best interest.

But, it is in the best interest of the NCAA. Amateur college basketball is a multi-billion dollar BUSINESS. Those first two questions that we just answered "No" to when asked in the context of the NBA, are answered "Yes" when asked in the context of the NCAA. The one year rule is in place to preserve the talent pool of the NCAA. The one year rule is in place to preserve the level of entertainment for the fans. March Madness is more exciting now because there is more talent on the floor.

So why did the NBA create the one year rule? Why is the monopoly of professional basketball in collusion with the monopoly of college basketball, when such a rule subtracts talent from the NBA and gives it to the NCAA? It is because the game of many kids that would declare for the draft out of high school is not polished enough for the professional level. The talent and athleticism is there, but the finer points are not. So, instead of spending a year and a roster spot and millions of dollars smoothing the rough edges of a high school kid at the professional level, the NBA realized it could accomplish the refining, without the overhead, at the college level. A win-win situation for both monopolies and there is nothing anybody can do about it because neither have any competition. The NCAA gets all the top prep stars for at least one year, driving up revenue, and the NBA gets a year of free refining; not to mention exposure of talent leading up to the NBA draft.

I believe college baseball has the ideal system in place in terms of its relationship with its professional counterpart. If you are good enough to go out of high school, and you want to go, then go. If not, sign with a college and play there for three years before turning pro. The players have the choice and the power, not the NCAA or MLB. This would work beautifully in basketball too. Players like DRose would have the freedom to choose NBA or college, but if you choose college it is with the understanding that you will play there through your junior year.

Now, I realize that there are not as many roster spots on a basketball team as there are on a baseball team. I also realize that the NBA D-League is not as deep as the minor and independent leagues of professional baseball. But this should be seen as a positive for the NCAA. This drastically limits the number of kids who would go pro right out of high school because there is simply not enough room to take any more than the best of the best at that time. The rest go to college, where they play three years, not just one.

But as long as the one year rule is in place, high school basketball players with one-and-done potential will not care about college and will not care how they get there, just as long as they do, so they can play basketball at the highest lawful level. Derrick Rose sounded a very important alarm here: THE CURRENT SYSTEM IS FLAWED. Players can and will distort academic records because they have to get into college in order to play basketball and will not be personally penalized after leaving college. The NCAA can not touch Derrick Rose now. He used them. He drank their milkshake.