2015–16 Memphis Tigers men's basketball team

The 2015–16 Memphis Tigers men's basketball team represented the University of Memphis in the 2015–16 NCAA Division I men's basketball season, the 95th season of Tiger basketball. The Tigers, led by seventh year head coach Josh Pastner, played their home games at the FedExForum. The season marked the third season the Tigers have participated in the American Athletic Conference. The Tigers finished with a record of 19–15, 8–10 in AAC play to finish in seventh place in conference. The Tigers defeated Tulsa and Tulane in the AAC Tournament before losing to UConn in the championship. For the second consecutive year, the Tigers did not participate in a postseason tournament.

2015–16 Memphis Tigers men's basketball
Memphis Tigers wordmark.svg
ConferenceAmerican Athletic Conference
2015–16 record19–15 (8–10 The American)
Head coachJosh Pastner (7th season)
Assistant coaches
Home arenaFedExForum
Seasons
2015–16 American Athletic Conference men's basketball standings
Conf     Overall
Team W   L   PCT     W   L   PCT
Temple 14 4   .778     21 12   .636
No. 24 SMU* 13 5   .722     25 5   .833
Houston 12 6   .667     22 10   .688
Cincinnati 12 6   .667     22 11   .667
Tulsa 12 6   .667     20 12   .625
UConn 11 7   .611     25 11   .694
Memphis 8 10   .444     19 15   .559
UCF 6 12   .333     12 18   .400
East Carolina 4 14   .222     12 20   .375
South Florida 4 14   .222     8 25   .242
Tulane 3 15   .167     12 22   .353
*Ineligible for postseason due to postseason ban
American Athletic Conference Tournament Champions
Rankings from AP Poll

Previous seasonEdit

The Tigers finished the 2014–15 season with a record of 18–14 and 10–8 in AAC play to finish in a tie for fifth place in conference. The Tigers lost in the quarterfinals of the AAC Tournament to Temple. The Tigers did not participate in a postseason tournament, marking the first time in 15 years that the Tigers had missed the postseason entirely.

Off-seasonEdit

DeparturesEdit

Name Pos. Height Weight Year Hometown Notes
Chris Hawkins F 6' 5" 240 Junior Memphis, TN Medical concerns
Calvin Godfrey F 6' 8" 233 Senior Milwaukee, WI Graduated
Kuran Iverson F 6' 9" 205 Sophomore Windsor, CT Dismissed, transferred to Rhode Island
Nick King F 6' 7" 226 Sophomore Memphis, TN Transferred to Alabama
Austin Nichols F 6' 8" 228 Sophomore Eads, TN Transferred to Virginia
Pookie Powell G 6' 1" 180 Sophomore Orlando, FL Transferred to La Salle

TransfersEdit

Name Pos. Height Weight Year Hometown Notes
Ricky Tarrant G 6' 2" 190 Senior Pleasant Grove, AL Transfer from Alabama

RecruitingEdit

US college sports recruiting information for high school athletes
Name Hometown High school / college Height Weight Commit date
Randall Broddie
Point guard
Oxon Hill, MD Potomoc 6 ft 2 in (1.88 m) 165 lb (75 kg) Oct 20, 2014 
Recruiting star ratings: Scout:    Rivals:    247Sports:     ESPN grade: 76
Dedric Lawson
Power forward
Memphis, TN Hamilton 6 ft 8 in (2.03 m) 200 lb (91 kg) Jul 20, 2014 
Recruiting star ratings: Scout:    Rivals:    247Sports:     ESPN grade: 89
KJ Lawson
Small forward
Memphis, TN Hamilton 6 ft 7 in (2.01 m) 190 lb (86 kg) Oct 7, 2013 
Recruiting star ratings: Scout:    Rivals:    247Sports:     ESPN grade: 86
Nick Marshall
Center
Lexington, TN Lexington 6 ft 10 in (2.08 m) 230 lb (100 kg) Aug 26, 2014 
Recruiting star ratings: Scout:    Rivals:    247Sports:     ESPN grade: 85
Jeremiah Martin
Point guard
Memphis, TN Mitchell 6 ft 2 in (1.88 m) 175 lb (79 kg) Apr 21, 2015 
Recruiting star ratings: Scout:    Rivals:    247Sports:     ESPN grade: 70
Raquan Mitchell
Shooting guard
Miami, FL Southridge 6 ft 3 in (1.91 m) 175 lb (79 kg) Oct 10, 2015 
Recruiting star ratings: Scout:    Rivals:    247Sports:     ESPN grade: NR
Craig Randall
Shooting guard
Phoenix, AZ Shadow Mountain 6 ft 4 in (1.93 m) 170 lb (77 kg) Jul 19, 2015 
Recruiting star ratings: Scout:    Rivals:    247Sports:     ESPN grade: 79
Dante Scott
Shooting guard
Smyrna, GA Campbell 6 ft 4 in (1.93 m) 205 lb (93 kg) Jul 1, 2015 
Recruiting star ratings: Scout:    Rivals:    247Sports:     ESPN grade: NR
Overall recruiting rankings: Scout: 18th   Rivals: 17th  247Sports: 12th  ESPN: 14th
  • Note: In many cases, Scout, Rivals, 247Sports, and ESPN may conflict in their listings of height and weight.
  • In these cases, the average was taken. ESPN grades are on a 100-point scale.

Sources:

  • "2015 Team Ranking". Rivals.com. Retrieved 2015-10-13.

RosterEdit

2015–16 Memphis Tigers men's basketball team
Players Coaches
Pos. # Name Height Weight Year Hometown
F 0 Trahson Burrell 6 ft 7 in (2.01 m) 187 lb (85 kg) Sr Albany, New York
F 1 Dedric Lawson 6 ft 9 in (2.06 m) 228 lb (103 kg) Fr Memphis, Tennessee
F 2 Shaq Goodwin 6 ft 9 in (2.06 m) 229 lb (104 kg) Sr Atlanta, Georgia
G 3 Avery Woodson 6 ft 2 in (1.88 m) 189 lb (86 kg) Jr Waynesboro, Mississippi
G 4 Dante Scott (W) 6 ft 4 in (1.93 m) 210 lb (95 kg) Fr Smyrna, Georgia
G 5 Markel Crawford 6 ft 5 in (1.96 m) 205 lb (93 kg) RS So Memphis, Tennessee
G 10 Jeremiah Martin 6 ft 2 in (1.88 m) 179 lb (81 kg) Fr Memphis, Tennessee
G 11 Randall Broddie 6 ft 3 in (1.91 m) 170 lb (77 kg) Fr Oxon Hill, Maryland
G 12 Craig Randall 6 ft 4 in (1.93 m) 173 lb (78 kg) Fr Phoenix, Arizona
G/F 14 K. J. Lawson 6 ft 7 in (2.01 m) 204 lb (93 kg) Fr Memphis, Tennessee
G 15 Kedren Johnson 6 ft 4 in (1.93 m) 210 lb (95 kg) Sr Lewisburg, Tennessee
G 20 Ricky Tarrant 6 ft 2 in (1.88 m) 184 lb (83 kg) Sr Pleasant Grove, Alabama
F 30 Nick Marshall 6 ft 11 in (2.11 m) 248 lb (112 kg) Fr Lexington, Tennessee
G 23 Sam Craft (W) 6 ft 0 in (1.83 m) 210 lb (95 kg) Jr Memphis, Tennessee
G/F 32 Caleb Wallingford (W) 6 ft 5 in (1.96 m) 214 lb (97 kg) Sr Elkhorn, Nebraska
G/F 42 Jake McDowell (W) 6 ft 5 in (1.96 m) 210 lb (95 kg) Jr Memphis, Tennessee
Head coach
Assistant coach(es)

Legend
  • (C) Team captain
  • (S) Suspended
  • (I) Ineligible
  • (W) Walk-on

Roster
Last update: 11/6/2015

Season SummaryEdit

On July 7, 2015, rising junior Austin Nichols announced his intention to transfer from Memphis. Nichols, who the leading scorer and rebounder for the Tigers in 2014-15, was expected to lead the team in 2015-16 and was considered a likely first team all AAC player. Memphis initially denied Nichols' transfer request before later providing a release with restrictions. Nichols' attorney made a public statement after the restrictions were made public calling the restrictions a "calculated effort by a dysfunctional staff to punish a player for taking a step to remove himself from a failing program."[1] Nichols' announcement followed the departure of 5 other scholarship players to transfer since August 2014, including Dominic Woodson, Dominic Magee, Kuran Iverson, Nick King, and Pookie Powell. It also left Markel Crawford as the only remaining scholarship player from the Tigers' heralded 2013 recruiting class. The restrictions on Nichols' release were swiftly removed by Memphis Athletic Director Tom Bowen, and Nichols ultimately transferred to the University of Virginia (a team originally on the restricted list).

On December 2, 2015, Coach Pastner informed media that freshman guard Raquan Mitchell, who had not logged a minute of floor time with the Tigers, would be transferring at the end of the semester.

In January, guard Sam Craft joined the basketball team. Craft, a running back and wide receiver for the Memphis football team, had been forbidden from playing basketball by former Memphis football coach Justin Fuente. However, new football coach Mike Norvell lifted the restriction and permitted Craft to play basketball.

After a home loss to AAC last place team East Carolina in January, Memphis newspaper columnist Geoff Calkins declared the Josh Pastner era "over" in Memphis.[2] The Tigers suffered a 20-point home loss to UConn on February 4, 2016, which marked the worst home loss for the Tigers since February 1999.

During the season, attendance at the FedEx Forum for Tigers' games dropped significantly from prior years. The Commercial Appeal discovered via a FOIA request that the actual turnstile attendance at Tiger games had fallen below 6,000 by mid February.[3] The Tigers had previously not announced turnstile attendance figures but rather used tickets sold as official attendance numbers. The turnstile attendance became an issue of interest in the City of Memphis for the Tigers' last three home games of the year because the Tigers' facility usage agreement with the Memphis Grizzlies specified that the Tigers receive an annual payment from the NBA franchise if their turnstile attendance averaged over 6,000 for the year. The Tigers ultimately did achieve an average turnstile attendance figure above 6,000 for the year.

Upon losing to Temple on March 3, the Tigers clinched a losing record in conference for the first time in 16 years. The Tigers were a six seed in the AAC tournament, but they defeated each of their first two tournament opponents (3 seed Tulsa and 10 seed Tulane) by at least 20 points. The Tigers faced 5 seed UConn in the AAC Tournament championship but were soundly defeated.

Head coach Josh Pastner left Memphis to take the head coaching job at Georgia Tech on April 8, 2016.

ScheduleEdit

Date
time, TV
Rank# Opponent# Result Record Site (attendance)
city, state
Exhibition
11/06/2015*
8:00 PM
LeMoyne–Owen W 107–88 
FedEx Forum 
Memphis, TN
Regular season
11/14/2015*
7:00 PM, ESPN3
Southern Miss W 67–49  1–0
FedEx Forum (11,786)
Memphis, TN
11/17/2015*
4:00 PM, ESPN
No. 8 Oklahoma
College Hoops Tip-Off Marathon
L 78–84  1–1
FedEx Forum (12,688)
Memphis, TN
11/19/2015*
7:00 PM, ESPN3
Grambling State
Hoophall Miami Invitational
W 83–65  2–1
FedEx Forum (11,286)
Memphis, TN
11/23/2015*
7:30 PM, ESPNews
Texas–Arlington
Hoophall Miami Invitational
L 64–68  2–2
FedEx Forum (11,184)
Memphis, TN
11/27/2015*
6:30 PM, ESPN
vs. Ohio State
Hoophall Miami Invitational
W 81–76 OT 3–2
American Airlines Arena (10,023)
Miami, FL
12/01/2015*
8:00 PM, CBSSN
Louisiana Tech
Hoophall Miami Invitational
W 94–68  4–2
FedEx Forum (11,114)
Memphis, TN
12/05/2015*
6:00 PM, CBSSN
Southeast Missouri State W 80–65  5–2
FedEx Forum (11,453)
Memphis, TN
12/12/2015*
7:00 PM, ESPN3
Manhattan W 89–57  6–2
FedEx Forum (11,458)
Memphis, TN
12/15/2015*
7:00 PM, ESPN3
Southern W 72–67  7–2
FedEx Forum (10,752)
Memphis, TN
12/18/2015*
7:00 PM, ESPNews
Ole Miss L 79–85  7–3
FedEx Forum (14,529)
Memphis, TN
12/22/2015*
7:00 PM, ESPN3
IUPUI W 84–48  8–3
FedEx Forum (10,655)
Memphis, TN
12/29/2015
11:00 AM, ESPNU
Tulane W 77–65  9–3
(1–0)
FedEx Forum (10,721)
Memphis, TN
01/02/2016*
5:00 PM, ESPNU
at No. 24 South Carolina L 76–86  9–4
Colonial Life Arena (13,035)
Columbia, SC
01/05/2016*
7:00 PM, ESPN3
Nicholls State W 82–46  10–4
FedEx Forum (10,290)
Memphis, TN
01/09/2016
6:00 PM, ESPN2
at No. 23 UConn L 78–81  10–5
(1–1)
Gampel Pavilion (9,409)
Storrs, CT
01/13/2016
7:00 PM, CBSSN
Temple W 67–65  11–5
(2–1)
FedEx Forum (12,247)
Memphis, TN
01/16/2016
11:00 AM, CBSSN
South Florida W 71–56  12–5
(3–1)
FedEx Forum (11,681)
Memphis, TN
01/21/2016
6:00 PM, ESPN2
at Cincinnati L 72–76  12–6
(3–2)
Fifth Third Arena (10,320)
Cincinnati, OH
01/24/2016
1:00 PM, CBSSN
East Carolina L 83–84  12–7
(3–3)
FedEx Forum (11,165)
Memphis, TN
01/26/2016
6:00 PM, CBSSN
at UCF W 97–86  13–7
(4–3)
CFE Arena (4,577)
Orlando, FL
01/30/2016
7:00 PM, ESPNU
at No. 13 SMU L 68–80  13–8
(4–4)
Moody Coliseum (7,205)
Dallas, TX
02/04/2016
8:00 PM, ESPN2
UConn L 57–77  13–9
(4–5)
FedEx Forum (13,323)
Memphis, TN
02/06/2016
11:00 AM, ESPN2
Cincinnati W 63–59  14–9
(5–5)
FedEx Forum (12,920)
Memphis, TN
02/10/2016
6:00 PM, ESPNU
at Houston L 90–98  14–10
(5–6)
Hofheinz Pavilion (4,060)
Houston, TX
02/13/2016
1:00 PM, CBSSN
at Tulane L 87–94 OT 14–11
(5–7)
Devlin Fieldhouse (1,793)
New Orleans, LA
02/17/2016
6:00 PM, ESPNU
UCF W 73–56  15–11
(6–7)
FedEx Forum (12,492)
Memphis, TN
02/20/2016
10:00 AM, ESPNU
at South Florida L 71–80  15–12
(6–8)
USF Sun Dome (3,840)
Tampa, FL
02/25/2016
6:00 PM, ESPN2
No. 24 SMU L 62–69  15–13
(6–9)
FedEx Forum (13,546)
Memphis, TN
02/28/2016
3:00 PM, ESPNU
Tulsa W 92–82  16–13
(7–9)
FedEx Forum (15,289)
Memphis, TN
03/03/2016
6:00 PM, ESPNU
at Temple L 62–72  16–14
(7–10)
Liacouras Center (6,390)
Philadelphia, PA
03/06/2016
3:00 PM, CBSSN
at East Carolina W 83–53  17–14
(8–10)
Williams Arena (4,487)
Greenville, NC
American Athletic Conference Tournament
03/11/2016
8:00 PM, ESPNU
vs. Tulsa
quarterfinals
W 89–67  18–14
Amway Center 
Orlando, FL
03/12/2016
6:30 pm, ESPN2
vs. Tulane
semifinals
W 74–54  19–14
Amway Center (7,465)
Orlando, FL
03/13/2016
2:15 pm, ESPN
vs. UConn
championship
L 58–72  19–15
Amway Center (7,990)
Orlando, FL
*Non-conference game. #Rankings from AP Poll. (#) Tournament seedings in parentheses.
All times are in Central Time.

RankingsEdit

The Tigers were not ranked and did not receive any top 25 votes in either major poll during the 2015-16 season.

ReferencesEdit