2002 All Over Again?



As you ponder this weekend what might have been, had the Tigers not been tossed from the C-USA tournament by Houston yesterday, consider the tale of the 2001-02 Memphis team, and how past can sometimes be prologue.

• John Calipari's second club in Memphis featured Dajuan Wagner, who would score a single-season-record 762 points in his only season of college basketball. But the team struggled against big-name competition, going 2-4 against teams from major conferences. (This year's Tigers have gone 0-5 against such teams.)

Kelly Wise, NIT champ
  • Kelly Wise, NIT champ

• The 2002 Tigers finished 12-4 in Conference USA play, good enough to win its division of the league in those days. (This year's club went 13-3 in C-USA, good enough for the second seed at this week's tournament.)

• The 2002 Tigers finished the regular season with an overall record of 22-8 before losing to — wait for it — Houston in the first round of the C-USA tournament in Cincinnati. (This year's team was 23-8 before yesterday's loss.)

That 2002 team, of course, reeled off five straight wins to take the NIT championship. Here's hoping for one more parallel before the 2009-10 season concludes.

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