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Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Austin Peay Tip Moved to 8 pm CST / Tigers Drop in Polls to #19

Austin Peay tip bumped to 8 p.m.

By Dan Wolken
December 12, 2006

Thursday's game against Austin Peay will tip off at 8 p.m. rather than 7 p.m., as advertised on all of the University of Memphis' preseason ticket literature.
The game was rescheduled for an hour later at FedExForum to accommodate the final exam schedules of both schools. Memphis and Austin Peay players have finals scheduled for Thursday, and Austin Peay will not be departing Clarksville until mid-afternoon.

Poll work
Memphis dropped to No. 19 in both the Associated Press and ESPN/USA Today polls on Monday after going 2-1 last week.

The Tigers beat Marshall and Ole Miss, but couldn't overcome a 76-58 loss at Tennessee on Wednesday, which was televised on ESPN2.

Memphis was No. 16 last week in the AP poll and No. 17 in the ESPN/USA Today poll.

Though the RPI ratings are still volatile this early in the season, Memphis checked in at No. 35 on Monday, according to Ken Pomeroy's calculations.

Remarkably, two Conference USA teams are ahead of Memphis -- SMU at No. 9 on the strength of a 6-1 record and UAB at No. 25.

Making progress

When freshman guard Doneal Mack drove the baseline with 5:39 left in Saturday's 82-70 victory over Ole Miss and launched into his 41-inch vertical leap for a highlight-reel dunk, it seemed to come out of nowhere.

"I was walking around (on campus)," Mack said, and everybody was like, 'Hey I didn't know you could do that. We heard you could jump, but didn't know you could do that.'"

Little by little, Mack is showing Memphis fans his full range of athletic skills, which are frequently showcased in practices but have yet to reveal themselves in games.

To this point, Mack has mostly been a 3-point gunner, though he's only shooting 25 percent from long range. Mack has the green light to step in and take pull-up jumpers from mid-range, but he said he's trying to keep it simple because he still has a lot to think about every time he's on the court.

"I'm trying to figure out where I catch it at, where I can do the pull-up," Mack said. "I haven't figured it out yet. My first instinct is still to shoot the 3 or drive to the hole. I guess because I'm a freshman, it's definitely taking time, but gradually I'm learning."

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