Indians Face No. 3 Ranked Memphis Tuesday
Arkansas State (0-2) at No. 3 Memphis (4-0)
November 20, 2007 - FedExForum (18,400)
Memphis, Tennessee - 7:00 p.m.
Radio: Arkansas State Radio Network (KWHF 95.9 FM, flagship)
ON TAP: Arkansas State will play the second of three road games over a four-game stretch Tuesday when it catches No. 3 Memphis at the FedExForum. Every ASU game can be heard live on 95.9 FM in the Jonesboro area and the live radio broadcast can be accessed through the Arkansas State athletic web site (ASUIndians.com).
THE PRINCIPALS: The Indians, preparing for their second straight road game, are 0-2 after starting the season with setbacks against two 20-game winners last season in Utah Valley State and Tulsa. Memphis is off to a 4-0 start, including two home victories, and won each of its first four games by a double-figure margin.
HEAD COACH DICKEY NUTT: Dickey Nutt is in his 13th season as ASU’s head coach and owns 180 wins at the school, the third most among ASU’s 14 all-time head coaches. He also has 98 career Sun Belt Conference victories to his credit, the second most all-time among SBC coaches. He led ASU to its first-ever NCAA Tournament berth and is a former Sun Belt Conference Coach of the Year. Nutt, who led ASU to the Sun Belt Conference West Division title last season, needs just 12 wins to pass John Rauth (1949-63) as the all-time leader in career victories at ASU and 14 SBC wins to pass Gene Bartow (UAB) as the all-time leader in SBC victories.
NUTT NEARING CENTURY MARK: While ASU head coach Dickey Nutt passed 100 overall career victories long ago, he is nearing the mark for Sun Belt Conference wins with 98 to his credit. If Sun Belt Conference Tournament victories counted toward that total, Nutt would have 107 wins against opponents from the league. Only one coach, Gene Bartow, in the history of the Sun Belt Conference has achieved 100 league wins. Bartow has 111 career SBC victories.
SCOUTING THE TIGERS: Memphis, the nation’s No. 3 ranked team, is off to a 4-0 start and is 2-0 in home games early in the 2007-08 season. The Tigers have won all four games by a double-figure margin and hold a +17.3 scoring margin. Memphis is led by two players averaging double-digit points in Chris Douglas-Roberts and Derrick Rose, while Joey Dorsey is averaging a team-high 12.0 rebounds per game. The Tigers return all five starters and 10 letterwinners from last year’s team that posted a 33-4 overall record and went undefeated in Conference USA play with a 16-0 record.
THE ASU - MEMPHIS SERIES: Tuesday’s game will be the 56th all-time meeting between Arkansas State and Memphis. The Tigers lead the series 29-26. The two teams met for the first time in 1927-28, the second year of existence for the ASU basketball team as a varsity sport. Memphis won the last three meetings, defeating ASU 79-75 (at Memphis) in 2004-05, 83-60 (at Memphis) in 2000-01 and 86-60 (at Memphis) last season. The last ASU win came 84-72 in Jonesboro in 1999-2000.
COMMON OPPONENTS: Arkansas State and Memphis play two common opponents during the 2007-08 season in Tennessee-Martin and Middle Tennessee. Memphis already defeated Tennessee-Martin, 102-71, in its season opener, while the Indians will play the Skyhawks Nov. 29. Both ASU and Memphis play Middle Tennessee later this year.
79th SEASON UNDER WAY: The Arkansas State men’s basketball program is in its 79th season, owning a 1,016-953 all-time record.
WINNING THE TURNOVER BATTLE: ASU won the turnover battle in each of its first two games, committing a combined 22 turnovers in comparison to its opponent’s 42. The Indians had eight turnovers, just three more than the Convocation Center record, to Utah Valley State’s 20. They came back to commit 14 turnovers to Tulsa’s 22 in their next game.
A LOOK BACK: While ASU is 0-2 through its first two games, it actually started the 2006-07 campaign 0-2 against two quality opponents that year as well before going on to win 18 games and the Sun Belt Conference West Division.
YOU HAVE TO SHOOT TO SCORE: Arkansas State has had plenty of looks its first two games, getting off more attempts than its opponent in each of its first two games and averaging 67 field goal attempts per game. ASU attempted 72 shots against Utah Valley State, five more than it had for a game all of last season, and it 67 shots per game is 12 above its average last season.
BANKS ON IT: Adrian Banks has scored in double figures all 35 of his career games at ASU, including his 25-point performance against Utah Valley State in the Indians’ season opener. He scored at least 20 points in a game for the 19th time of his career.
STEALING THE SHOW: Shawn Morgan, who led ASU in steals last season with 42, led the team in steals each of the first two games. In fact, Morgan recorded a then career-tying three steals against Utah Valley State before coming back to top that total against Tulsa with five.
TEAM LEADER: After two games, Morgan leads ASU in rebounds (11), steals (8) and assists (9). He led the Indians in all three categories against Utah Valley State and in steals against Tulsa.
WEDEL SHINES: Ryan Wedel has posted double-figure points in each of ASU’s first two games this season and, dating back to last season, has now scored at least 10 points in five consecutive games and in nine of the last 10. For his career, he has scored in double figures 21 times.
FACING THE MID-MAJOR POLL: Arkansas State will play five teams currently ranked or receiving votes in CollegeInsider.com’s Mid-Major Top 25 poll (Murray State, North Texas, New Orleans, South Alabama, Western Kentucky).
ALMOST FLAWLESS: Arkansas State is 28-2 all-time under head coach Dickey Nutt when scoring 90 or more points. It’s only two setbacks when reaching 90-plus points came against Texas A&M-Corpus Christi in 2002 and Jacksonville in 1996.
REACHING 80: Arkansas State scored 80 or more points in at least eight games the last 10 consecutive years under head coach Dickey Nutt and has done very well when reaching that mark. In fact, ASU is 87-22 in 12 seasons under Nutt when scoring 80 or more points for a .798 winning percentage.
HOME SWEET HOME: ASU plays 15 regular-season home game this year, the most since playing 15 at the Convocation Center in 2002-03 as well. Including two home exhibition games, the Indians will play 17 games at the Convocation Center, where they posted an 11-2 record last season and hold a 112-44 record during Nutt’s 13 seasons as head coach.
HOME-COURT ADVANTAGE: With an all-time record of 195-73 (.728 winning percentage), the Convocation has become a great home-court for the Indians. ASU has won at least eight games at the Convocation Center each of the last seven seasons. That stretch includes a 12-win home season in 2004-05 that ranks tied for the third most in the arena’s history. ASU has won double-digit home games in five seasons under head coach Dickey Nutt and 11 seasons overall.
INDIANS SIGN BOONE: Donald Boone, a 2005 graduate of Memphis’ Hamilton High School, signed with ASU after helping lead Southwest Tennessee Community College to a 23-5 record, No. 16 ranking in the final NJCAA National Poll, the Region VIII championship, and an eighth-place finish at the national tournament last year as a sophomore. Boone, who will join the ASU basketball team in January for practices, will have two years of eligibility remaining at Arkansas State starting next season. The 6-5, 205 pound guard averaged 18 points and seven rebounds per game, helping him earn First Team All-America recognition. He was also named First Team All-NJCAA Tournament, the Region VIII MVP and the regional tournament’s MVP. Boone shot 40 percent from beyond the arc and 70 percent at the free throw line while leading the team in scoring and rebounds. His freshman campaign at Southwest Tennessee CC saw him average 10 points and six rebounds while helping lead the team to a 20-5 record and final ranking of No. 16. As a senior at Hamilton High School, Boone averaged 18 points and 12 rebounds per game to help his team to a 24-10 record. He was named all-state, all-district, all-metro and the Martin Luther King Invitational MVP. Boone led the team in scoring and rebounding and scored a career-high 26 points against Fairley, Springdale and Northside.
INDIANS SIGN FINN: ASU signed Trey Finn a 6-2, 205 pound shooting guard entering his senior season at Little Rock’s Parkview High School, to a National Letter of Intent during the early signing period. Finn earned first team all-state recognition by the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette last season. In fact, Finn was the only junior selected to the newspaper’s 2007 all-state team as he averaged 20 points, seven rebounds, five assists and four steals to help lead the Patriots to a 28-3 record and to the Class 6A state semifinals. Finn averaged 15 points and seven rebounds per game as a sophomore.
BANKS NAMED PRESEASON ALL-SUN BELT: Senior guard Adrian Banks was named Preseason First Team All-Sun Belt Conference at the league’s annual media days, held Oct. 22-23. Banks was a 2006-07 First Team All-Sun Belt Conference selection and named the SBC Newcomer of the Year last season.
INDIANS PICKED THIRD IN SUN BELT’S WEST DIVISION: The Indians were picked to finish third in the Sun Belt Conference West Division, as voted on by all 13 coaches in the league. The Indians received two first place votes and 62 points, just nine behind second-place North Texas. Louisiana-Monroe was the preseason favorite to win the division, picking up nine first-place votes and 85 points. ASU finished tied for first in the league’s West Division last season with an 11-7 record.
NATIONAL RECOGNITION: Banks has been recognized on the national scene early this year, already being named to both CollegeInsider.com’s and CollegeHoops.net’s Preseason Mid-Major All-America Teams. CollegeHoops.net tabbed Banks as a honorable mention selection, while CollegeInsider.com had just one team made up of 25 players. Banks was named CollegeInsider.com’s 2006-07 Sun Belt Conference MVP.