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Flyer Flashback

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To celebrate the Flyer's 20th anniversary year, we will be revisiting articles from the Flyer archives each week. This week, we take a look at the late Dennis Freeland's sports column, "Troubled Tigers," from the January 7, 1999, issue. The Tigers, under new coach Tic Price, had lost three games in a row, and team chemistry was lacking:

"The sky was the limit back in those heady days of November. Even with a home loss to Gonzaga, Memphis started out 6-2. After an overtime win over Ole Miss, the future still looked bright. But in a week's time, three events completely altered the course of the season. Marcus Moody injures a knee in practice, [Jimmie 'Snap'] Hunter becomes eligible to play and joins the team in time for a trip to Arkansas just as word leaks out that freshman Paris London is thinking of transferring to another school. ...

"Price will quickly learn that Memphis fans don't like to settle for the NIT. And they absolutely will not stand for losing seasons. 'Tic Finch,' some fans were heard to grumble as they left the Pyramid following the UAB loss. Of course, that isn't fair to either coach, but Memphis fans are not always fair. They see a group of talented players and wonder why the record is 6-6, why Memphis has lost home games to Gonzaga, Southern Miss, and UAB. Yes, Finch used to win those games."

Ten years later, Tiger fans have a lot to be thankful for, not the least of which is that Tic Price is gone and John Calipari has transformed the U of M program into a consistent national power.

Bruce VanWyngarden

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