MEMPHIS, Tenn. – Three Southeastern Conference opponents, trips to Oregon to play the University of Oregon and to Brooklyn to play North Carolina State and a game at longtime rival UAB highlight the University of Memphis 2019-20 non-conference basketball schedule.
The Tigers, under second-year coach Penny Hardaway, play Ole Miss, Tennessee and Georgia, with the games against Ole Miss and Georgia at FedExForum. The Tigers play host to Ole Miss Nov. 23 and Georgia on Jan. 4 and play at Tennessee Dec. 14. The season opens Nov. 5 at home against South Carolina State.
The complete schedule was released Friday by the American Athletic Conference and the UofM begins league play Dec. 31 at home against Tulane. After playing Georgia in their final non-conference game, the Tigers play back-to-back league road games at Wichita State (Jan. 9) and USF (Jan. 12) before returning home to play Cincinnati (Jan. 16).
Four of the following six conference games are at FedExForum – SMU (Jan. 25), UConn (Feb. 1), Temple (Feb. 5) and USF (Feb. 8). The Tigers play at Cincinnati (Feb. 13) and at UConn (Feb. 16), return home to face ECU (Feb. 19) and Houston (Feb. 22) and end the regular season with three of five on the road. The UofM closes the regular season at Houston March 8 with a game carried by CBS.
After opening the season Nov. 5, the Tigers travel to Portland Nov. 12 to participate in the Phil Knight Invitational at the Moda Center against Oregon. The Ducks — 25-13 last season — reached the NCAA Sweet 16, where they lost to eventual champion Virginia.
On Thanksgiving, the Tigers travel to Brooklyn, New York, to play in the Barclays Center Classic against NC State, which went 24-12 in 2018-19 and reached the NIT quarterfinals. The Wolfpack returns 73 percent of its scoring, led by C.J. Bryce (14.6 points per game) and point guard Markell Johnson (12.6 ppg.).
For the fourth straight season, the Tigers play UAB. Memphis travels to Birmingham Dec. 7 to face the Blazers, who went 20-15 last season and reached the Conference USA tournament semifinals for the first time since 2015. The Tigers have won 17 of the past 18 in the 25-game series. UAB is led by all-conference guard Zach Bryant.
The first of the games against SEC competition begins Nov. 23 against Ole Miss. The Rebels, who made the NCAA tournament last season for the first time since 2015, boast the SEC’s leading returning scorer in Breein Tyree. Tyree averaged 17.9 points and earned first-team All-SEC honors.
A rematch with Tennessee, which beat the Tigers 102-92 last year at FedExForum, awaits Saturday on Dec. 14 in Knoxville. The Vols lost three players – Admiral Schofield, Grant Williams and Jordan Bone – to the NBA Draft from a team that went 31-6 and reached the NCAA Sweet 16. But Tennessee added five-star point guard Josiah-Jordan James, who averaged 29.1 points during his final year of prep basketball.
A highly anticipated match Jan. 4 against Georgia at FedExForum features the top two players from the 2019 recruiting class: Tigers 7-foot-1 center James Wiseman and Georgia 6-foot-4 guard Anthony Edwards. Second-year Georgia coach Tom Crean added several other top 100 recruits, among them Christian Brown of Oak Hill Academy.
The four-game Barclays Center Classic will feature home games against UIC (Nov. 8), Alcorn State (Nov. 16) and Little Rock (Nov. 20), in addition to the game against NC State in Brooklyn.
Other non-conference opponents are Bradley (Dec. 3), Jackson State (Dec. 21) and New Orleans (Dec. 28), all at FedExForum. Bradley will be led by two-time All-Missouri Valley selection Darrell Brown, a former Germantown High star and the godson of Memphis coach Hardaway. Brown has led Bradley in scoring in each of his three seasons.
Memphis Madness is set for Oct. 3 and exhibition games are scheduled against CBU (Oct. 24) and LeMoyne-Owen (Oct. 28).
Season tickets are available at www.gotigersgotix.com or by calling the ticket office at 901-678-2331. For more information on the Memphis men’s basketball team, follow the Tigers on social media at @Memphis_MBB.
2019-20 MEMPHIS BASKETBALL SCHEDULE
Oct. 3 — Memphis Madness
Oct. 24 — Christian Brothers (exhibition)
Oct. 28 — LeMoyne-Owen (exhibition)
Nov. 5 — South Carolina State
Nov. 8 — UIC (Barclays Center Classic at FedExForum)
Nov. 12 — vs. Oregon (Phil Knight Invitational at Portland, Ore.)
Nov. 16 — Alcorn State (Barclays Center Classic at FedExForum)
Nov. 20 — Little Rock (Barclays Center Classic at FedExForum)
Nov. 23 — Ole Miss
Nov. 28 — vs. NC State (Barclays Center Classic at Brooklyn, NY)
Dec. 3 — Bradley
Dec. 7 — at UAB
Dec. 14 — at Tennessee
Dec. 21 — Jackson State
Dec. 28 — New Orleans
Dec. 31 — Tulane*
Jan. 4 — Georgia
Jan. 9 — at Wichita State*
Jan. 12 — at USF*
Jan. 16 — Cincinnati*
Jan. 22 — at Tulsa*
Jan. 25 — SMU*
Jan. 29 — at UCF*
Feb. 1 — UConn*
Feb. 5 — Temple*
Feb. 8 — USF*
Feb. 13 — at Cincinnati*
Feb. 16 — at UConn*
Feb. 19 — ECU*
Feb. 22 — Houston*
Feb. 25 — at SMU*
Feb. 29 — at Tulane*
March 5 — Wichita State*
March 8 — at Houston*
AMERICAN ATHLETIC CONFERENCE CHAMPIONSHIPS
March 12-15 — Fort Worth, Texas
* — Conference games