Memphis makes art of war against Vols, 54-52

Smith misses leaner to tie game with six seconds left

Tennessee men’s basketball coach Bruce Pearl prepared his Vols to play defense and rebound.

Memphis coach John Calipari said he prepared his team for “war.’’

The No. 22 Tigers won in a battle, scoring a 54-52 victory before a sellout crowd of 21,905 at Thompson-Boling Arena on Saturday afternoon.

“What I told the guys was it was going to be a war,’’ said Calipari. “I watched the tape from last year, and it was a war. It was not basketball, it was hand-to-hand combat. So we worked all week and that is what it was.’’

Memphis freshman point guard Tyreke Evans, a McDonald’s All-American, scored 17 points to lead the Tigers (16-3).

Tennessee’s Tyler Smith scored 13 points and had 10 rebounds, and Wayne Chism had 15 points and six rebounds.

“Over the last three ballgames, this (UT) team has defended, and I thought they did a terrific job to hold Memphis to 54 points,’’ said Pearl, whose Vols drop to 12-6 and most assuredly will spend at least another week outside the Top 25. “I told our team that defense and rebounding wins championships . . .’’

But it wasn’t enough to beat the Tigers, who did a pretty good job playing defense and rebounding, too, particularly with the game on the line.

The Vols trailed 53-52 when guard Bobby Maze rebounded an Evans miss with 34 seconds left, and UT brought the ball past midcourt and called timeout with 20.1 seconds remaining.

Pearl drew up a play to get Chism the ball inside, as the junior center was 4-of-5 shooting in the second half.

Calipari saw it coming, and extended his troops to prevent the entry pass.

The ball was tossed around like a live hand grenade before finding its way to Smith, who was in position to come through on calling his shot.

Some 24 hours earlier, asked what the determining factor in the game would be, Smith replied, “Whoever has the clutch player.’’

Smith worked to free himself for a shot, but Memphis’ Robert Dozier, a lanky 6-foot-9 forward, stayed in the 6-7 Smith’s jersey.

Smith’s leaner with six seconds left bounced off the side of the rim, and J.P. Prince came up short in his effort for a tip-in.

“I’ve got to make that shot,’’ Smith said dejectedly. “I usually make them, or I try to get the foul. There was some contact, that’s why I got off balance.’’

It was that type of physical game on both sides.

The 6-6 Evans, who some project to be a one-and-done college player, came down with his eighth rebound.

The Vols were forced to foul with 4.6 seconds left, but Memphis wasn’t yet in the bonus, so all the Tigers had to do was inbound the ball cleanly.

They did so twice, Evans drawing the foul the second time thus sending him to the free-throw line with 1.9 seconds left. After making his first free throw, Evans missed his second shot intentionally.

Chism came down with the rebound and called timeout with 1.1 seconds left. After two more timeouts — both by the Tigers as Calipari studied UT’s offensive sets — Chism threw a three-quarter-court pass to Josh Tabb, who pivoted 30 feet from the basket and shot at the buzzer.

Tabb missed, just as UT had done throughout the game from outside the paint, hitting only 2 of 10 shots beyond the 3-point line and 14 of 23 attempts from the free-throw line.

“I’m proud of my team, and I’m proud of this program,’’ Pearl said. “What a crowd, what an atmosphere, and I apologize to our fans we have not defended our home court.’’

UT will have two pivotal opportunities to do so in the next week; LSU and Florida, a pair of SEC teams making a run for NCAA tournament berths, come to Thompson-Boling Arena on Wednesday (8 p.m.) and Saturday (9 p.m.).

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Comments » 317

jayrokey writes:

free throws free throws free throws

bookman58 writes:

Speaking as a Memphis I am glad we won, but neither team looked that great. I don't think either one will get very far in the tournament.

utfanatic813 writes:

first?

TommyJack writes:

Oh, for a shooter.

bookman58 writes:

That should be "Speaking as a Memphis fan"

tnbud62#231266 (Inactive) writes:

i guess playing defence the whole first half and hitting %0 free throws is good enough if you wanna finish second in the state,we have ZERO,NADA,NO ONE WHO CAN HIT AN outside shot,but we keep shooting them and completeyly disregard any inside game

WE__ARE_MEMPHIS writes:

whats the matter Ktty kat got your tounge??? Great coaching. This is where you roll out all your stupid arguments about free throws,time outs and coaching. Yeah choke on it vuls. You had the best player (chism) and we have the better coach. Its good to be a M-E-M-P-H-I-S T-I-G-E-R

graphpro#231211 writes:

Scotty Hopson has to be the most overrated basketball player in the country.
He can't shoot.
He can't play defense.
Whats he good for?
Selling snacks at the concession stand.

Tyler Smith is a good, hard playing young man. He'll never make it to the NBA unless he can shoot outside of 10 feet.

WE NEED GUARDS THAT CAN SHOOT!!!!!

dyoung2020#325368 writes:

Please get some guard play.

A. We have ZERO shooters. Our best shooter is a career 30% 3 point shooting center.
B. We can not defend a good guard. ex.. Evans, Meeks, Christmas, the horrible white guy from Gonzaga....

mike_d writes:

These 2 teams sure know how to play close and exciting games. They also seem to forget all the fundementals of the game when they play each other. Good thing no one in this state cares about basketball huh?

dyoung2020#325368 writes:

in response to WE__ARE_MEMPHIS:

whats the matter Ktty kat got your tounge??? Great coaching. This is where you roll out all your stupid arguments about free throws,time outs and coaching. Yeah choke on it vuls. You had the best player (chism) and we have the better coach. Its good to be a M-E-M-P-H-I-S T-I-G-E-R

Congrats on the win. I wouldn't be too happy about it though, Memphis looks pretty bad. Evans is a stud, but absolutely no one else looked decent.

All_Things_Vols writes:

Sorry, but this game says it all. At 53-52 we had 4 opportunities to take the lead and took 4 bad shots and no rebounds. This team has no 3 point threats so why not keep 4 men in the paint. This was a hard game to watch because our defense was good, but our offense was very bad. Bad shot after bad shot, bad execution after bad execution, and bad shooting all around. 33% FG, 20% 3Ptr's, 60% FT's. This team is getting worse not better as the season goes.

This is a selfish glory seeking team, that might not make the big dance. To me, some of the shine is fading on Pearl's star. He won with Buzz's players, but this is mostly his players playing now and they are not a good team right now.

Had to vent a little after watching that game.

tnbud62#231266 (Inactive) writes:

i am 46 yrs old, 6ft 2 inches 275 lbs and i can outshoot any member of our team at the free throw line.My sons 7th grade team could beat us if it came down to free throws.We get all these All-Americans who cant shoot,play defence.all they want to do is shoot 3's. We are pathetic

MTN_MAN_VOL writes:

poor free throw shooting, missed layups, no three point shooters.Hopson will be good but has to realize that he is out of high school now....

Slystone writes:

As I said last week and early this week the Vols hadn't seen a defense quite like how the Tigers have. It's slow and ugly, but they controlled the tempo the entire game. Guard play was also another difference in the game. Mr. Evans is the real deal. I thought he would probably need to return for another season, but he is one-n-done.

mikecheck1 writes:

Im sorry VAWL fans, what did you say you were going to do to Memphis? We played ugly and still WON!!! GO TIGERS!!! All the way to the NCAA's!!!! UT?, all the way to the State Championship!!!!( Go Vol. Vo-Tech High!!!) GO TIGERS GO!!! and SHUT IT UP UT!!

WE__ARE_MEMPHIS writes:

FREE THROWS IS ALL COACHING RIGHT??????

dyoung2020#325368 writes:

Starting lineup should be.

PG- Maze
SG- *
SF- **
PF- Smith
C- Chism

* Intramural threepoint champion
** Hopson, Tatum, and Prince will all spend the next week in shooting training, which ever one learns to shoot gets to play.

Everyone else is cut.

pdhuff#552644 writes:

Didn't get to see it, but congrats to the Tigers.

Some more of these coming down the road, it appears.

wagee12 writes:

If Cameron Tatum can't get open for a good three look, then this team is toast from behind the arc. Hopson is perhaps, the most over-rated freshman to come into the SEC in years. This team is not quick enough to press, which is Pearl's bread and butter. Let's face it, this is a rebuilding year whether Pearl will admit it or not. He's still a terrific coach. Now, he needs to go find a couple of guards. Good thing West is in school and will play next season.

mike_d writes:

P.S. There is no excuse that Chism only takes 7 shots. If Tenn had one advantage, it was Chism over whoever.

TheFuj writes:

78% from the free throw line against Vandy, and barely 60% at home against Memphis?? Not going to win shooting 33% from the field and 60% from the FT line. Goodness, I think Hopson and Tatum had ONE POINT between them. I thought this game was at home as well. Maybe spend more time practicing in Thompson, than the practice facility.

pupvol writes:

ugly game by two ugly teams. neither going very far in the NIT!

bluetiger writes:

I didn't come to the boards for the past several days because I knew they'd be nothing but hate.

But, I'm back, and I'm proud of the Tigers. They pulled it off in a super hostile environment.

To the person who said neither team will go far in the tournament -- that's what everyone's said about Memphis for the past three years, and their record speaks for itself.

In fact, I think the difference in this game -- besides Tyreke Evans -- was the experience some of our guys have in high-pressure situations.

GO TIGERS!!

volaboard writes:

What has happened to our press? I don't think we have pressed after a made basket in the last few games. It used to change the speed of the game to our favor.

pammyvol1000 writes:

I thought Chism looked to be fouled on that last play! He had 3 guys knock him to the floor..

Timed_vol (Inactive) writes:

we have to take this up the you-know-waht. Wayne was WANTING the ball, and Hopson wouldn't hit him...Tyler Smith was guilty of that as well.

You know Memphis has to be smiling that we were too damn dumub to hit Wayne.

Good win, memphis. Have fun with it overrated, but you won't be rattling me. I already know we suck. maybe we get 20 wins, that's about the extent of what we do this season.

WE__ARE_MEMPHIS writes:

in response to grvol:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

jephsteph writes:

These 2 teams are NOWHERE as good as they were a year ago!

volsfan92 writes:

Brian Williams provided fire off the bench in first half after the Tigers got off to their lead. Tyler Smith played great. The team played really hard and never quit. That was a really hard great rally from 8 down to tie including bricking 3 of 4 critical free throws.

The glass is half full people. We do need better halfcourt guard play, the good news is we will get it as our young guards mature in the next couple of weeks. That was areally good Memphis team out there today, better than their ranking for sure per Jay Bilas.

Hang in there.

TommyJack writes:

in response to bluetiger:

I didn't come to the boards for the past several days because I knew they'd be nothing but hate.

But, I'm back, and I'm proud of the Tigers. They pulled it off in a super hostile environment.

To the person who said neither team will go far in the tournament -- that's what everyone's said about Memphis for the past three years, and their record speaks for itself.

In fact, I think the difference in this game -- besides Tyreke Evans -- was the experience some of our guys have in high-pressure situations.

GO TIGERS!!

Blue tiger: I wouldn't get too excited. Neither team will go far. Your team from last year would have won this game by 20 points.

rockytopspottedbirgdog writes:

in response to utfanatic813:

first?

Congratulations on being first...too bad that you really werent.

rockytopspottedbirgdog writes:

Why dont all the Memphis fans come out and contribute on National Signing Day.

AFTiger writes:

THE University of Memphis WINS!!

YEAH!!

HA, HA, HA, HA, HA, HA, HA, HA, HA, HA, HA, HA, HA, HA, HA!!

See you Hillbilly Highers next year in Memphhis!!

JayTee writes:

This team looks lost as last years Easter egg. They don't run an offense or anything that resembles one.
Heck let some of the white kids play they can't be any damn worse maybe at least they can throw one in from outside 15 feet occasionally.

Slystone writes:

Did anyone notice how Smith disappeared in the second half? Tiger defense was the reason. Unfortunately the Vols guards did not look to Chism more. I agree the Tigers did not look pretty offensively, but their defense is as solid as it gets. That was the difference. If the Tigers had hit some open shots they would have walked away easily with a 10+ lead. Credit the Vols for trying, but they never got into their flow. Again defense and guard play is where the game was won. The Tigers will indeed be going to the NCAA, barring a major let down or injuries. The Vols have some soul searching to do to try and make it there.

rockytopspottedbirgdog writes:

in response to mikecheck1:

Im sorry VAWL fans, what did you say you were going to do to Memphis? We played ugly and still WON!!! GO TIGERS!!! All the way to the NCAA's!!!! UT?, all the way to the State Championship!!!!( Go Vol. Vo-Tech High!!!) GO TIGERS GO!!! and SHUT IT UP UT!!

I see that you graduated from the Memphis public school system.

WE__ARE_MEMPHIS writes:

dont you wish you could take it all back. This is karma people. High school huh?? tiger high huh?? So waht does that make a suc(sec) team that loses at home to a high school, no I am sorry a votec school ??? This is toooo funny. And to think, YOU BLEW IT AT THE FREE THROW LINE! Poetic justice. Now we end the series and go play the big boys for non conference. ETSU, MIDDLE TN STATE, AUSTIN PEAH AND BELMONT! Drop the vuls and play Vandy in nashville. Better city, arean, team and coach!

bluetiger writes:

in response to TommyJack:

Blue tiger: I wouldn't get too excited. Neither team will go far. Your team from last year would have won this game by 20 points.

No Memphis fans expected this team to be last year's team. The point is that they are coming together as the season progresses.

Will they make the Final Four? No, but I wouldn't count them out too early.

And the good thing is that Cal's already pulling in a killer recruiting class. Memphis will be "on the radar" for many years.

ArealVolFan writes:

in response to AreyouKiffinme:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

My team, the Vols, was not outcoached, outhustled, or outtalented, a 54 to 52 loss is not bad. Not great, but not bad. Our guys made several bad plays, but Memphis hardly looked like a championship contender either. Oh, and Kiffin's jacket had a power T on it. You should have your eyes checked, and your brain checked because you are not a Tennessee fan, you are the carpetbagger.

ArealVolFan writes:

in response to WE__ARE_MEMPHIS:

dont you wish you could take it all back. This is karma people. High school huh?? tiger high huh?? So waht does that make a suc(sec) team that loses at home to a high school, no I am sorry a votec school ??? This is toooo funny. And to think, YOU BLEW IT AT THE FREE THROW LINE! Poetic justice. Now we end the series and go play the big boys for non conference. ETSU, MIDDLE TN STATE, AUSTIN PEAH AND BELMONT! Drop the vuls and play Vandy in nashville. Better city, arean, team and coach!

Better City? Any city is better than Memphis, and the SEC is still better than the Conference USA.

coach75 writes:

in response to WE__ARE_MEMPHIS:

whats the matter Ktty kat got your tounge??? Great coaching. This is where you roll out all your stupid arguments about free throws,time outs and coaching. Yeah choke on it vuls. You had the best player (chism) and we have the better coach. Its good to be a M-E-M-P-H-I-S T-I-G-E-R

even though we lost you have neither the best coach or player. i would take buzz back before i would take your crybaby. you won because you played better at the end, it was not because of your coach, he was probably thinking about the next way he could cheat and get away with it, because you know he has.

volsfan92 writes:

In response to the people saying something like "memphis sucks therefore we suck" do you really think they are just Evans? Mack played great, and Taggart was a major force. They hustled. The Memphis team we just saw could compete with any ACC or Big East team. They are just hiding under a rock and off peoples TVs in C-USA. Tough exciting game. Shooting percentages down both ways because of tough D.

Slystone writes:

in response to ArealVolFan:

My team, the Vols, was not outcoached, outhustled, or outtalented, a 54 to 52 loss is not bad. Not great, but not bad. Our guys made several bad plays, but Memphis hardly looked like a championship contender either. Oh, and Kiffin's jacket had a power T on it. You should have your eyes checked, and your brain checked because you are not a Tennessee fan, you are the carpetbagger.

Ahh... Area the Vols were outcoached in not playing their brand of Ball in this game. Through out the game the announcers kept saying how the tempo was Memphis style. It's up to Pearl to change it but he couldn't. Poor guard play and not being able to push the ball up the floor are the contributing factors. Defense wins games, pretty offenses sell tickets.

WE__ARE_MEMPHIS writes:

in response to coach75:

even though we lost you have neither the best coach or player. i would take buzz back before i would take your crybaby. you won because you played better at the end, it was not because of your coach, he was probably thinking about the next way he could cheat and get away with it, because you know he has.

wha, wha wha. No he was laughing at the fact you cant hit free throws and your coach cant draw up a play. Cal just said on his post game show that all options are open as far as continuing the series. looks like we are done. Bring on the DOORS in Nashville and drop these losers.

yabadabadoo1026 writes:

good game, good effort-- you can't hang anything on BP with this team---about as bad an overall shooting team you can find---nothing but bricks, airballs, missed open looks, forced shorts, out of control shots, misses from point blank range, horrible free throw shooting--there is no offense that will work if players dont make shots-------only sure points with us are dunks and uncontested garbage-Hopbson is back to being a non-factor and Tatum should be sat having missed 4 or 5 freethrows in roll now ---some boneheaded plays too on defense--------for a positive Chism continues to look good and I'd just has soon have him shoot the 3 as any of our other brick-layers

ArealVolFan writes:

in response to Slystone:

Ahh... Area the Vols were outcoached in not playing their brand of Ball in this game. Through out the game the announcers kept saying how the tempo was Memphis style. It's up to Pearl to change it but he couldn't. Poor guard play and not being able to push the ball up the floor are the contributing factors. Defense wins games, pretty offenses sell tickets.

Pearl has also said he is having to change his philosophy because of some of the deficits that this team has, namely missing an outside shooter. You are right defense wins championships, but we did also hold Memphis to fifty-four last I checked that makes for a pretty good defensive game.

ArealVolFan writes:

in response to Studly:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Nice, way to show some class. Last I checked Memphis was still part of Tennessee. Although, fewer hillbillies and more gangsters ans crack heads.

surfmaster writes:

Streetball. By both teams. Neither had a half-court O. Just got out-streeted. This team was done in by all the pre-season hype, which they apparently still believe. We need:

1. Discipline
2. Shooting guard
3. Offensive game plan.

In that order.

70th.

yabadabadoo1026 writes:

in response to All_Things_Vols:

Sorry, but this game says it all. At 53-52 we had 4 opportunities to take the lead and took 4 bad shots and no rebounds. This team has no 3 point threats so why not keep 4 men in the paint. This was a hard game to watch because our defense was good, but our offense was very bad. Bad shot after bad shot, bad execution after bad execution, and bad shooting all around. 33% FG, 20% 3Ptr's, 60% FT's. This team is getting worse not better as the season goes.

This is a selfish glory seeking team, that might not make the big dance. To me, some of the shine is fading on Pearl's star. He won with Buzz's players, but this is mostly his players playing now and they are not a good team right now.

Had to vent a little after watching that game.

agree with lot you say but I dont put this on Pearl----worse shooting team from everywhere--not impressed with being "athletic"--the game is putting the ball in the hole and we dont do it---just ugly shooting and butchers around the basket with all the missed point blanks/layups

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