Previewing The American: University of Memphis

Spruce Derden-US PRESSWIRE

In my ongoing preview of The American Athletic Conference, I take a look at the University of Memphis Tigers.

The Memphis Tigers hope a change of scenery will cure what ails them; namely, not playing in the NCAA tournament since 1998. They have played in three straight WNIT tournaments but have not found much success there as the Tigers have bowed out in the first round twice and the second round once.

Now Memphis leaves Conference USA behind and moves to The American where the competition will be stiff -- at least for the first year. No disrespect to Conference USA, but moving to a conference with Louisville and UCONN isn't exactly going to make things easier for the Tigers in 2013-14.

The Tigers welcome in three freshman recruits who are all ranked three stars by ESPN. They also pick up two transfers and get Mooriah Rowser back after she went down with an injury early last season. Memphis was caught playing a lot of true freshman last season and still managed to escape with a serviceable record. The Tigers will want to take that experience and put it to good use in The American's first season.

2012-13 Record: 17-15 (8-8 Conference USA)

Highest Ranking in 2012-13: N/A

2012-13 Conference: Conference USA

2013-14 Season Opener: 11/08 East Tennessee State University

Who's back:

  • Asiana Fuqua-Bey: As a freshman she started in 19 games and played in all 32 while averaging just over six points a game.
  • Ariel Hearn: Was voted to the All-Freshman Conference USA team and started in 29 games. Hearn shot 40 percent from the field and averaged 13 points/six rebounds a game in her freshman campaign.
  • Pa'Sonna Hope: After transferring from Ole Miss, Hope played in all 32 of the Tigers' games last season. She averaged five points and five rebounds off the bench in just 14 minutes of action a game.
  • Jaymie Jackson: Another sophomore who received big minutes as a freshman last year, Jackson started 15 games and played in 30. Jackson shot just 30 percent from the field in her first season with the Tigers.
  • Devin Mack: Started just five games in 2012-13 and shot 29 percent from the field. Mack appeared in 23 games and averaged 10 minutes a game.
  • Courtney Powell: Played in only four games as a freshman.
  • Mooriah Rowser: Technically a redshirt freshman this year after going down with a knee injury in the preseason WNIT tournament. She was the leading scorer for the Tigers at the time of the injury.

Who's new:

  • Jasbriell Swain: Played three years with Binghamton State before transferring to Memphis.
  • Taylor Jones: Started three games as a freshman at Kentucky State where she averaged four points and three rebounds.
  • Taylor Williams: One of three true freshman joining the Tigers, Williams is a three star recruit according to ESPN.
  • Brandi Goodman: Another three star recruit, Goodman is a post player out of Troy, Tennessee.
  • Breigha Wilder-Cochran: Originally signed with South Alabama, Cochran is rated a three star prospect by ESPN and rounds out the freshman recruiting class.

Full Roster:

21 Asianna Fuqua-Bey 6-1 Forward SO Chicago, Ill. (Marist HS)
33 Brandi Goodman 6-2 Forward FR Troy, Tenn. (Obion County Central)
12 Ariel Hearn 5-7 Guard SO Memphis, Tenn. (Arlington HS)
15 Pa'Sonna Hope 6-2 Forward SR Cleveland, Ohio (Ole Miss)
23 Jaymie Jackson 5-10 Guard SO Toledo, Ohio (Start HS)
22 Taylor Jones 5-10 Guard SO Pickerington, Ohio (Kentucky State)
34 Devin Mack 5-10 Guard SR Rockford, Ill. (Kishwaukee JC)
32 Courtney Powell 6-1 Forward SO Youngstown, Ohio (Ursuline HS)
24 Mooriah Rowser 5-9 Guard RS FR Rockville, Md. (St. John's College HS)
25 Jasbriell Swain 5-8 Guard SR Memphis, Tenn. (Binghamton)
1 Breigha Wilder-Cochran 5-9 Guard FR Hoover, Ala. (Hoover HS)
3 Taylor Williams 6-1 Guard FR Kansas City, Kan. (Bishop Ward HS)
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