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Monday Morning Martin: 7/21/14

You’re busy on the weekends. Chances are, you have neither the time nor the inclination to be plugged in outside of business hours. So, each and every Monday, I’ll wrangle the biggest (or most interesting) local stories from the weekend and put them on the website so that you can catch up. We’ll call it “Monday Morning Martin.”


College basketball coaches spent the second half of the week on the road recruiting and evaluating prospects across the country. There are a million different events going on, from the Nike Peach Jam in North Augusta, S.C., to the Under Armour Finals in Suwanee, Ga.

The University of Memphis staff was fragmented for in different events, but by Sunday, all four (Josh Pastner, Aki Collins, Robert Kirby, and interim assistant Julian Swartz) had all settled under one roof to see the one they call Skal Labissiere.

It very much symbolized where things stand for the Tigers and Labissiere: They are all in on the five-star Haiti native. Their 2015 class, which already includes swingman K.J. Lawson, is on hold for him. Pending a transfer or someone turning pro, they have essentially three scholarship spots (one of which Lawson already occupies). Labissiere has their undivided attention.

Labissiere, as it was described to me, "killed it. Stud." Behind Labissiere's strong string of performances, M33M won the D1 Summer Classic.

From talking to people who would know such things, I think Labissiere's recruitment breaks down like this: Memphis, Kentucky, and Ole Miss are at the top. Georgetown, which tracked Labissiere consistently throughout the week, is right behind that group. 

The reality is that it's not a two-horse race anymore. The Tigers landing Skal was never a guarantee before this summer and, if anything, it's less of one now. But I think it's safe to say that Pastner and his staff have outworked every other staff after Skal, and they'll keep at it until the bitter end.

Dedric Lawson commits today

BUT WHERE?!?!?!?!?!?!?!!?!?!?! 

(Memphis. Or Keelon Lawson gets fired 72 hours after being hired.)

Speaking of the Lawsons ...

Team Penny lost a tough one to the NJ Playaz, 85-83, in the Peach Jam championship on Sunday. In case you missed the game, 2016 guard Dillon Mitchell was called for a technical foul with 3.8 seconds left and the game tied when he shoved Elijah Cain after a tangle-up at mid-court. 

KJ Lawson, the 2015 small forward committed to Memphis, was superb. He reminds me a lot of Chris Douglas-Roberts. I know that probably makes your skin crawl, but it's true; he's got a craftiness to his game. He doesn't overwhelm you athletically, but he has long strides and he's a scorer. There's a certain deliberateness to both his and his younger brother's game.

I was really blown away by KJ's passing; he's got a knack for setting guys up. He finished with 20 points, ten rebounds, and eight assists. He gets overlooked because of Dedric, but I appreciate his versatility and think he has a chance to be very good.

The 92.9 Line News

Tony Allen requests your presence at MTSU game

Tony Allen is, among many things, the Grindfather. He has, in his short time in this city, become synonymous with Memphis and the hard-working folks within it. He is one of us. And, dammit, he expects you guys at the Memphis football game.

Grizzlies add Lucas

Aaand the Memphis Grizzlies’ training camp roster continues to fill out. Kalin Lucas, who played with the Grizzlies in the Orlando Summer League this summer, has agreed to a free-agent contract, his agent told Sportando.

Monday Morning Martin: 9/15/14

You’re busy on the weekends. Chances are, you have neither the time nor the inclination to be plugged in outside of business hours. So, each and every Monday, I’ll wrangle the biggest (or most interesting) local stories from the weekend.

Labissiere's hardship application denied

In a development that surprises absolutely no one, the TSSAA has denied five-star prospect Skal Labissiere’s hardship waiver application, The Commercial Appeal reported Friday afternoon.

Dedric Lawson reclassifies to 2015. What's it mean?

Memphis is getting a five-star prospect a year earlier than anticipated. 

Southern transfer Godfrey eligible for Tigers

Calvin Godfrey, the 6-8 power forward transfer from Southern, has obtained a waiver from the NCAA and will be eligible for the Tigers this season, Memphis coach Josh Pastner said Thursday morning.

Memphis basketball ranked 23rd in ESPN's Future Power Rankings

Ever wonder just how good of hands the University of Memphis basketball program is in under coach Josh Pastner? 

Marc Gasol and Spain knocked out in World Cup quarters

In a pretty epic upset, France just sent home Spain in the quarterfinals of the World Cup with a 65-52 win.

Memphis football projected to win the AAC, according to ESPN

Memphis football is going to win the American Athletic Conference. At least, that’s what ESPN’s Football Power Index suggests. 

Fuente glad fans are seeing progress

Justin Fuente approached the media contingent outside the football offices Monday and took inventory. “Dang,” he said as TV reports strapped lapel microphones to his collar. “What happened?"

Former Tiger Joe Jackson reportedly finalizing deal with Suns

Former Memphis guard Joe Jackson, who went undrafted in this year’s NBA Draft, is finalizing a free-agent deal with the Phoenix Suns, Shams Charania of RealGM.com reported Monday afternoon. 

Tigers have close brush with history, lose to No. 11 UCLA, 42-35

The Memphis football team went down, 42-35, to No. 11-ranked UCLA last night.  The final result was a loss. But I think it comes with a positive lingering effect; Memphis football became respectable again last night. 

The Dallas Cowboys are the most "Liked" NFL team in Memphis

Interactive sports maps are the newest Internet sensation. There’s the “most hated college team” state-by-state map, there’s the “most loved college team” state-by-state map, and on and on and on.  

CFB Picks: Week Two

COLLEGE FOOTBALL PICKS TIME! Last week, I gave you my picks for the week in our 92.9 pick ’em challenge. If you’re not participating, you are dumb and should wise up quickly by going here and signing up.

Tigers' Burrell fully eligible

Trahson Burrell, the incoming skilled 6-7 wing from Lee College, has been fully cleared academically, meaning he’ll be eligible for the University of Memphis this season. 

Odds of Marc Gasol leaving Memphis are 20-1, according to Bill Simmons

Over the next few months, you’re going to read plenty of reports linking Grizzlies big man Marc Gasol to the New York Knicks and detailing why it would make sense for Gasol to leave for the Big Apple.

GQ: Calipari 16th-biggest sleazebag in sports

Former University of Memphis and current Kentucky coach John Calipari is the 16th-biggest sleazebag in all of sports, according to this month’s issue Gentleman’s Quarterly.

USA Today names Memphis most underrated sports town

My all-time favorite civic sports memory is May 11, 2013. It was Game 3 of the Thunder-Grizzlies Western Conference semifinals, and the series was tied at 1.

Grizzlies reportedly pursuing Austrian swingman Ingles

The Grizzlies are among the teams pursuing Australian forward Joe Ingles, ESPN’s Marc Stein reported this afternoon. 

Tigers receive vote in USA Today coaches poll

Fresh off a 63-0 whacking of Austin Peay, the University of Memphis received a single vote in the USA Today Coaches Poll, which was released this morning. Yes, the Tigers are in the “others receiving votes” category.

Grizzlies say goodbye to Franklin

The Grizzlies have waived 2013 second-round pick Jamaal Franklin using the stretch provision, The Commercial Appeal reported Sunday afternoon.

Griz waived second-year guard Jamaal Franklin today using stretch provision, per source. CA story coming...
— Ronald Tillery (@CAGrizBeat) August 31, 2014

That means the Grizzlies can spread out what Franklin was owed —

Memphis beats down Austin Peay, 63-0

That. Really. Happened.  Memphis beat down Austin Peay, 63-0, on a rainy night in Memphis. 

Predicting the Tigers' AAC basketball schedule

We now have in our hands the full Memphis Tigers basketball schedule, because the American Athletic Conference released Thursday its full schedule, complete with times and TV details.

Week One College Football Picks

I like picking games. You like picking games. We like picking games. Why not do it for a chance to win prizes?

VIDEO: Marshall picks Memphis

Yesterday, Memphis got a commitment from a 2015 or 2016 (we’re not really sure yet) recruit named Nick Marshall. He’s 6-11, runs the floor well, and gives Memphis coach Josh Pastner the rim protector he’s been looking for. 

Lexington center Marshall picks Memphis

Nick Marshall, a 6-11 center from Lexington (TN), committed to Memphis Tuesday afternoon. Marshall chose the Tigers over South Carolina, Auburn, Mississippi State, Indiana, and Tennessee. 

Fuente: "Marketing's motto was 'Wait 'til this year'"

It's game week over at the University of Memphis. Here's what Justin Fuente had to say.

Memphis basketball likely to start home-and-home with Oklahoma

Memphis deputy athletic director Wren Baker was on the show with us Friday morning for a few reasons, chief among them to deliver me my rightful pair of football season tickets I never received last season as a recent alum. 

Predicting the Tigers' non-conference basketball schedule

The University of Memphis released its 2014-15 non-conference schedule Thursday afternoon.  Let’s get to the match-ups.

Pastner talks Kedren Johnson, Dom Woodson, Canada

It's been a newsy week at the University of Memphis with the addition of Kedren Johnson, the transfer of Dominic Woodson to Tennessee, and the team returning from a 2-2 trip in Canada.

Labissiere could be home-schooled this year

There’s a new wrinkle in the Skal Labissiere transfer saga: His guardian, Gerald Hamilton, has explored home-schooling the five-star senior, according to sources.

Kedren Johnson commits to Memphis

Vanderbilt transfer point guard Kedren Johnson, who was suspended all of last season, announced on his Instagram Wednesday morning that he is headed to the University of Memphis. 

Stokes inks with Grizzlies

The miniature controversy -- if you could even call it that -- is over. 

Monday Morning Martin: 8/18/14

You’re busy on the weekends. Chances are, you have neither the time nor the inclination to be plugged in outside of business hours. 

Johnson looking for strong music program

Kedren Johnson is a 6-4, 215-pound point guard who was most recently at Vanderbilt. A native of Lewisburg, Tenn., Johnson was suspended last season for disciplinary reasons.  In 2012, Johnson was the Commodores’ leading scorer at 13.5 points

Woodson to transfer; Southwest a possible destination

Sophomore big man Dominic Woodson is transferring from the University of Memphis, according to CBSSports.com and 92.9 FM ESPN’s Gary Parrish.  But a source tells The 92.9 Line that Woodson may not necessarily leave the city. A transfer to

Labissiere's transfer plans being held up

Skal Labissiere’s plans to transfer to Lausanne are being held up by challenges from ECS, his most recent high school, according to sources.

Josh Pastner: 'We need competition'

The University of Memphis basketball team held a press conference Wednesday afternoon in advance of its exhibition tour in Canada. 

Grizzlies release 2014-15 schedule

The Grizzlies Wednesday released their 2014-15 regular season schedule. If you want the full schedule, go here. I'll give you some of the highlights.

Labissiere not expected back at ECS; Lausanne potential landing spot

Skal Labissiere, the top prospect in Memphis in the Class of 2015, will likely have a new high school home this season.

Marshall visiting Memphis

Senior Lexington (TN) center Nick Marshall is unofficially visiting the University of Memphis today for one of its final practices before the team heads to Canada, Team Thad coach Norton Hurd told 92.9 FM ESPN.

Ole Miss coach Andy Kennedy speaks out about potential Labissiere package deal

In July, we told you about the possibility of Ole Miss coach Andy Kennedy potentially hiring Gerald Hamilton, the guardian of five-star big man Skal Labissiere, in order to secure the Haitian's services. Despite Hamilton's lack

Tigers add power forward Godfrey

The University of Memphis added a big piece to its 2014-15 roster Thursday afternoon. Calvin Godfrey, a 6-9, 210-pound power forward who spent last season at Southern, will transfer to Memphis and be eligible immediately under the APR waiver.

2014 prospect Kasongo visiting Memphis, after all

Ray Kasongo, a 2014 power forward originally from Toronto, plans to visit the University of Memphis Tuesday before making a college decision.  

Isaac Bruce: 'I'll be in Canton this year'

Isaac Bruce was a superstar receiver at Memphis State and then primarily with the St. Louis Rams as one part of The Greatest Show on Turf. 

Memphis basketball notebook: 8/6

A couple of Memphis basketball nuggets to get you through the day … Ray Kasongo is a 3-star power forward originally from Canada who committed to Oregon late last year.

Memphis football observations: 8/5

University of Memphis football practice is underway, and I got out to South Campus today to get my first look at the 2014 version of the football Tigers.

Tip-off time announced for Memphis, Wichita State

The University of Memphis will take on No. 5-ranked Wichita State at 1 p.m. central on Tuesday, Nov. 18 in South Dakota as part of ESPN's College Hoops Tip-Off Marathon. Game times were announced Monday afternoon. The Shockers are coming off a 35-1 s

Ed Stefanski: 'Every night, the Grizzlies will try to kick your butt'

Ed Stefanski was introduced Friday as the vice president of player personnel for the Memphis Grizzlies. Stefanski is a reputable exec with connections throughout the league; he’s been in executive roles with New Jersey, Philadelphia, and Toronto.

Memphis basketball prepares for Canada trip

The University of Memphis is preparing for a trip to Canada next month in which they'll play four games against Canadian clubs.

Will Barton Interview Highlights

Former University of Memphis swingman and current Portland Trailblazer Will Barton joined me on the show today and had some interesting things to say. 

Grizzlies solidify front office future

The Memphis Grizzlies organization went a long way Tuesday into solidifying its front office future.

Monday Morning Martin: 7/28/14

You're busy on the weekends. Chances are, you don't have the time to be plugged in outside of business hours. So I'll take care of that for you in this space.   

COLUMN: Could Ole Miss offer Hamilton/Skal package deal?

The University of Memphis package deal pieces fell into place when star 2016 prospect Dedric Lawson committed to Memphis yesterday, joining dad and brother on campus. But is another local school going to follow in Memphis' footsteps?

Monday Morning Martin: 7/21/14

You’re busy on the weekends. Chances are, you have neither the time nor the inclination to be plugged in outside of business hours. So, each and every Monday, I’ll wrangle the biggest (or most interesting) local stories from the weekend and put them on the website so that you can catch up. We’ll call it “Monday Morning Martin.”



Monday Morning Martin: 7/21/14

You’re busy on the weekends. Chances are, you have neither the time nor the inclination to be plugged in outside of business hours. 

Memphis offers Marshall

The University of Memphis has offered 2015 6-11 center Nick Marshall of Team Thad, his AAU coach Norton Hurd told 92.9 FM ESPN. 

Lawson, father of talented prospects, to be hired as assistant

Keelon Lawson, the father of four talented prep basketball players, will be announced as the third University of Memphis assistant in the next two days, a source confirmed Wednesday. The earliest he can start work is Saturday. 

SEC Media Days: Day Two

SEC Media Days is halfway over. Catch up on the important stuff here.

Vince Carter introduced by Grizzlies

Vince Carter was introduced Monday by the Grizzlies after signing with the team over the weekend. 

Live blog: SEC Media Days 2014

92.9 FM ESPN is live from Hoover, Ala., for SEC Media Days 2014. Follow along here.

Vince Carter signs with Grizzlies; Mike Miller departs

Grizzlies re-sign Udrih

Mike Miller: 'I've prepared my wife and kids to move on'

In an exclusive interview Wednesday afternoon at his basketball camp, Grizzlies free agent Mike Miller opened up about his future and where he might play next season. 92.9: Where do things stand right now with you? Miller: "I'm ju

Skal Labissiere: 'Memphis is my second home'

I caught up with Top 10 five-star big man Skal Labissiere (6-11, 215) this week out at M33M's practice at MUS about a number of things, including his college recruitment. Here's the most important stuff from our conversation. Labissie

Monday Morning Martin: 7/7/14

You’re busy on the weekends. Chances are, you have neither the time nor the inclination to be plugged in outside of business hours. So, each and every Monday, I’ll wrangle the biggest (or most interesting) local stories from the weekend.

Grizz summer league tip-off set for 4 p.m.

The Grizzlies are kicking off their Orlando Summer League play at 4 p.m. against Oklahoma City on NBATV. 

Miller to visit Nuggets Sunday

As he waits out free agency, Grizzlies' free agent Mike Miller will visit the Denver Nuggets Sunday and Monday, a source told 92.9 FM ESPN Saturday morning.  Oklahoma City, Houston, and Portland are also interested in the veteran shooter's s

Miller, Grizzlies "not near" in negotiations

Wednesday night, Gary Parrish of CBSSports.com and 92.9 FM ESPN reported that Grizzlies wing Mike Miller and the team were not close in contract talks. 

Mike Miller: 'Grizzlies know where I want to be'

Grizzlies shooter Mike Miller will become a free agent at 12:01 Tuesday morning.  In an interview with 92.9 FM ESPN Monday afternoon, the 34-year-old said his first choice is to remain in Memphis. "They know how badly I wanna be

Memphis big man Dom Woodson involved in altercation with football player

Memphis center Dominic Woodson was involved in an altercation with a football player Monday morning, CBSSports.com's and 92.9 FM ESPN's Gary Parrish reported this afternoon. The incident took place during study hall. 

Grizzlies don't extend qualifying offer to forward Ed Davis

The Ed Davis era in Memphis is over. The Grizzlies, after drafting power forward Jarnell Stokes in the second round of last Thursday's draft, 6-10, 225-pound power forward will become an unrestricted free agent at midnight Tuesday, according to Yahoo

Monday Morning Martin: 6/30

You’re busy on the weekends. Chances are, you have neither the time nor the inclination to be plugged in outside of business hours. So, each and every Monday, I’ll take care of the hard part.

Robert Pera: 'Judge me on whether the Grizzlies win a championship'

Memphis Grizzlies owner Robert Pera, in a rare media appearance, went on with Chris Vernon of the Chris Vernon Show Friday afternoon and talked about the front office movement, the Grizzlies' draft process, and the championship window for his team.

Wallace: 'We chased him all the way to Utah'

After the dust settled on the 2014 NBA Draft, Grizzlies general manager Chris Wallace and the team’s two draft picks, Jordan Adams and Jarnell Stokes, spoke with the media. Here are the highlights. 

Grizzlies acquire Jarnell Stokes in trade, according to ESPN

The Grizzlies have acquired the rights to Tennessee big man and Memphian Jarnell Stokes in a trade.

Grizzlies select Jordan Adams with 22nd pick

With the 22nd pick in Thursday night's NBA Draft, the Grizzlies selected UCLA guard Jordan Adams. 

Adams (6-4, 209) averaged 17.4 points a game last season for the Bruins. He shot 49 percent fromt the field and would presumably bring more scoring punch on the perimeter. He scored 20 points or more in 13 games last season and was an integral part of a Bruins team that advanced to

Grizzlies in talks with Raptors for draft-day trade, according to ESPN

The Grizzlies are negotiating a deal with the Toronto Raptors that would send the Grizzlies' 22nd overall pick tonight and veteran forward Tayshaun Prince to Toronto in exchange for the Raptors' 37th pick and swingman John Salmons, according to ESPN.

Randolph's agent denies snag in contract negotiations with Grizzlies

The agent of Zach Randolph denies report that his client has hit a snag in negotiations with the Grizzlies.

Travel issues alter Grizz workout

Unexpected travel complications for the original group of participants have altered the Grizzlies' Wednesday workout.

Grizzlies organizing last-minute workout

The Grizzlies are organizing a workout for Wednesday that includes Michigan swingman Glenn Robinson III, Virginia forward Joe Harris, UCLA guard Jordan Adams, and University of Memphis guard Geron Johnson, according to ESPN.

Grizzlies' Mock Watch 2014

There are countless mock drafts floating around the Internet, but you probably don't have the time to read them all. So, leading up to Thursday's draft, 92.9 ESPN will do that for you. 

20-for-20: What We Learned from Austin Nichols

Earlier this month, 92.9 sat down with last year’s American Athletic Conference Rookie of the Year; in honor of every pound he’s put on, here are 20 things we learned from that interview.