Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Memphis Is Winning, but Fans Are Dwindling

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Memphis Is Winning, but Fans Are Dwindling

Article excerpt

These are both wonderful and confusing times for the Memphis Tigers.

As for the wonderful, look no further than 6-foot-11 freshman Lorenzen Wright and 6-10 junior David Vaughn. They present the most imposing inside duo in the Great Midwest Conference and probably one of the more intimidating young tandems in the country.

Wright leads the league with 10.8 rebounds a game; Vaughn is right behind with 10.2. Vaughn leads the league with 3.1 blocks a game; Wright is second at 2.7. Together, they are producing 31 points a game.

Without their work, the Tigers wouldn't have carried anything as sweet as the 13-4 record they sport after beating Southern Mississippi on Tuesday night.

"I'm really proud of the way the young freshman has played," Tigers coach Larry Finch said. "He leads us in scoring and rebounding. He's a hard-working young man who really helps on the boards - he showed that (Saturday) against DePaul, with 14 points and 15 rebounds and five blocks. I really didn't expect the scoring part from Lorenzen this soon.

"And for David, last year everybody doubled up and tripled up on him. It's difficult to do that with Lorenzen's presence."

They should have fans in Memphis packing The Pyramid, where the Tigers have a 10-0 record this season.

Therein lies part of the confusion. Season-ticket sales have fallen each of the last three seasons, and average attendance was less than half the 20,000-plus capacity at The Pyramid a few weeks ago. Finch's job apparently is being scrutinized by the school's administration and definitely by fans.

"I can't concern myself with the attendance thing," Finch said recently. "That's not my responsibility. I'm going to do the best I can and let the cards fall where they may. . . . I've gone through this since I've been here. . . . There's nothing I can do now to please those people."

More Memphis: Sylvester "Deuce" Ford, a 6-7 sophomore, has left Memphis and will move to Louisiana State. …

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