MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Riding a three game winning streak, The Memphis Tigers get set to open the SEC portion of the non-conference schedule.

The U of M with four of its next five coming against SEC competition, with the first one, probably meaning a little more.

The Tigers take on Kermit Davis and the 6-1 Rebels Saturday.

A series where the Tigers have been on the wrong side of things, losing four of the last five including last year down in Oxford when Memphian and former Whitehaven star Matthew Murrell, coached by now Tiger assistant coach Faragi Phillips, scored a then career high 19 points. 

“Kind of like a big rivalry for us, especially with them being an SEC school,” said Tigers guard Alex Lomax.  “So the guy’s kind of are aware of the situation at hand.  How big this game really is.”

“It’s a rivalry every time you play Tennessee or Ole Miss or Arkansas because of, you know, where we’re located,” said Tigers coach Penny Hardaway.  “We understand what it means to Oxford and Memphis when this game happens. It’s not really revenge. It’s trying to do better than what we did last year for sure.”

Murrell is also excited to finally be able to play in his hometown.

“Playing back in Memphis, you know, it’s been a minute since I’ve been able to play in Memphis. I have a bunch of friends, family coming out,” Murrell said. “I’m just going to play my game. Let it come to me and we’re going to try to get this win.”

Tip time between the Rebels and Tigers is 6:30.