Posted on: December 12, 2010 8:16 pm
Edited on: December 12, 2010 8:20 pm

Garcia leaving Memphis for pro opportunity

Angel Garcia is leaving the Memphis basketball team to play professionally overseas, coach Josh Pastner said Sunday night. It's a development that led to Pastner removing the redshirt from freshman Hippolyte Tsafack because the Tigers need help in a suddenly thin frontcourt.

"Angel is a sweetheart of a person and a terrific basketball player," Pastner said. “We fully support Angel in his decision to play professional basketball in Spain and will continue to follow his career. ... We wish him all the best and happiness as he pursues his basketball career at the professional level."

Garcia, a 6-foot-11 junior, was averaging 6.1 points and 3.0 rebounds.

Tsafack is a 6-8 freshman from Cameroon. He'll add depth to a once-deep roster that's now missing three players who were a part of the team this preseason. In addition to Garcia, Memphis has lost Jelan Kendrick permanently and Wesley Witherspoon temporarily. Kendrick, a 6-6 wing, was essentially dismissed from the team because of conduct issues. He's expected to transfer to another Division I school at the semester. Witherspoon, a 6-9 forward, had surgery last week to repair a torn meniscus. He's expected to be sidelined until mid-January.

The Tigers are 7-1 and ranked 18th in the latest Top 25 (and one).

They play Austin Peay on Thursday.
Posted on: December 10, 2010 11:24 am
Edited on: December 10, 2010 11:26 am

Memphis' Witherspoon out five weeks

Wesley Witherspoon is scheduled to undergo surgery Friday for a meniscal tear in his right knee.

The Memphis forward is expected to miss five weeks while rehabbing.

He should return in mid-January.

"This is a tough break for Wesley, because at the time of the injury, he was carrying us in those first five games," said Memphis coach Josh Pastner "Since that injury, we've been holding him out of practices, and we've limited his time in gameday shoot-arounds. I'm confident, though, that he'll bounce back quickly and be ready to go when he returns. As for the team, we will continue to prepare and move forward with our schedule. None of our opponents are going to feel sorry for us because of this."

Pastner said Witherspoon suffered the injury Nov. 17 against Northwestern State but continued to play through it. The 6-foot-8 forward was averaging 13.0 points and 4.6 rebounds through eight games for the 13th-ranked Tigers, who are 7-1 and coming off a loss to No. 4 Kansas. Witherspoon had eight points and two rebounds in that game.

Memphis next plays Austin Peay on Thursday.
Category: NCAAB
Posted on: November 13, 2010 2:25 pm
Edited on: November 13, 2010 2:28 pm

Source: Kendrick no longer on Memphis team

McDonald's All-American Jelan Kendrick is no longer a part of the Memphis basketball program, a source confirmed to CBSSports.com on Saturday.

Kendrick is expected to transfer to an undetermined school at the semester break.

Memphis will release him, the source said.

Kendrick spent part of the preseason suspended from the Tigers after sources told CBSSports.com he made a verbal and startling threat to a teammate, this after spending much of the offseason bickering and fighting with teammates to the point where he was not allowed to go on an exhibition trip to the Bahamas. The 6-foot-7 wing was subsequently placed in counseling and seemed to be doing better; he was reinstated in time for last Tuesday's exhibition, but suspended again before Friday's season-opening win over Centenary because of what The Commercial Appeal described as an "incident" at shoot-around.

The decision to permanently remove Kendrick from the team was made Saturday morning.

Memphis next plays Miami on Monday night.

Category: NCAAB
Posted on: November 4, 2010 4:32 pm
Edited on: November 4, 2010 4:40 pm

Kendrick reinstated for practices at Memphis

Memphis coach Josh Pastner told CBSSports.com on Thursday that he is allowing Jelan Kendrick to rejoin practice but has made no decision on when or if the McDonald's All-American will be allowed to participate in games.

CBSSports.com first reported that Kendrick had been suspended from the team last week. Sources said the suspension was a result of a threat Kendrick, a freshman from Georgia, allegedly made against a teammate, this after also getting into an offseason altercation with a teammate.

Kendrick was not allowed to play in Wednesday night's exhibition win.

Pastner said Thursday that he's responded well to the disciplinarian action.

"Sometimes for change to happen you might need to hit rock bottom, might need to get something you love taken away," Pastner said. "Sometimes it's not until something that you love is taken away that you start to change."
Category: NCAAB
Posted on: October 28, 2010 5:15 pm

Memphis lands Sporting News No. 1 prospect

MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- Memphis coach Josh Pastner secured a commitment from the city's best prospect -- and a certain McDonald's All-American -- for the second straight year when Adonis Thomas announced Thursday that he will play college basketball for his hometown Tigers.

"Coach Pastner and the staff were just great from the beginning," Thomas said. "I love Memphis. … It was just the best place for me."

The Sporting News has ranked Thomas as the No. 1 overall prospect in the Class of 2011, and MaxPreps.com has him No. 3. The 6-foot-6 wing plays at Melrose High in Memphis. He chose the Tigers over UCLA, Florida, Arkansas and Tennessee during a press conference that was carried live by local television stations. It's a development that should allow Pastner to continue to build on the momentum created last year when he signed a class ranked second nationally by Scout.com that was headlined by Joe Jackson, a McDonald's All-American who is, like Thomas, a product of Memphis City Schools.

Thomas is the Tigers' first commitment from the Class of 2011.

National Signing Day is Nov. 10.
Posted on: October 26, 2010 3:43 pm
Edited on: October 26, 2010 8:00 pm

Memphis suspends Kendrick after verbal threat

McDonald's All-American Jelan Kendrick has been indefinitely suspended from the Memphis basketball team because of a verbal threat made against a teammate, multiple sources close to the program told CBSSports.com on Tuesday.

The sources said Kendrick remains enrolled and is receiving counseling.

He is not, however, practicing with the team.

"He had an issue on the team … and they're trying to [investigate] what actually happened," Daren Darby, Kendrick's former summer coach, told CBSSports.com on Tuesday. "They're trying to get to the bottom of it, and they feel like they need some time to make sure they have all the facts about what happened."

In addition to the threat, a source who spoke on the condition of anonymity told CBSSports.com that Kendrick has been in multiple altercations with teammates since arriving on campus, one of which contributed to second-year coach Josh Pastner banning Kendrick from the Tigers' preseason trip to the Bahamas. Reached Tuesday by phone, Pastner declined to discuss with CBSSports.com the details surrounding Kendrick's suspension. He said only that, "It's a personal matter, and Jelan will be back [with the team] when the matter is resolved."

Darby told CBSSports.com that coaches from other schools have heard about Kendrick's issues and already started calling to inquire about the possibility of a transfer at the end of the semester. Still, Darby insisted Kendrick would prefer to remain at Memphis, if possible.

"Recruiting never stops with kids, I'm learning," Darby said. "But we're not at that point yet."

Rivals.com ranked Kendrick No. 15 in the Class of 2010.

Scout.com had him at No. 20 while MaxPreps.com ranked him 31st.
Category: NCAAB
Posted on: October 16, 2010 11:44 am
Edited on: October 16, 2010 11:49 am

The Penny video about Memphians staying home

MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- I mentioned in my column from Memphis Madness that the school put together a video to honor Penny Hardaway that doubled as a not-so-subtle recruiting pitch to Adonis Thomas, who was seated courtside.

Thomas is from Melrose High in Memphis.

Sporting News has him ranked as the Class of 2011's top prospect.

That makes him a local priority for the Tigers just like Hardaway was once a local priority for the Tigers, and the three-minute video the school assembled hammered that point home. For instance, consider this quote from Cedric Henderson that was about Hardaway but clearly directed at Thomas, too: "He chose to stay at home and that's what made it more special. ... It was special for him to stay at home and take the program to a whole other level."

Click this link to see the video in full.

It really was a clever addition to the festivities.
Posted on: October 15, 2010 9:07 am

I'll be at Memphis Madness tonight

MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- The official start of basketball practice has arrived.

Dozens of schools will host "Madness" celebrations to launch the season -- everybody from Duke to North Carolina to Gonzaga and Kansas State. I've spent the past few years at places such as Kentucky and Kansas, and those were terrific. Tonight I'll be at FedExForum watching Josh Pastner unveil a Memphis team that's ranked 11th in the final preseason Top 25 (and one) thanks to the return of Will Coleman and Wesley Witherspoon and a freshman class highlighted by Will Barton and local products Tarik Black, Chris Crawford and McDonald's All-American Joe Jackson.

The event is expected to draw a capacity crowd of more than 18,000.

One of the nation's top available prospects, Adonis Thomas, will be among the spectators.
Category: NCAAB
Tags: Memphis
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