Sports Files — November 7, 2015
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(female announcer)
Production funding
for Sports Files is made possible in part by… (male narrator)
Infiniti of Memphis has
moved to Germantown road just half mile north of
Wolfchase Galleria and is proud to support WKNO for its quality
broadcasting and service to our community. Quality and service —
No wonder Infiniti of Memphis feels at home on WKNO. – Today on Sports Files
we’ll look ahead to the upcoming Memphis Tigers roundball season
with seniors Shaq Goodwin and Ricky Tarrant. [theme music] While the University of Memphis
football team has grabbed national attention, and rightly so, the
basketball season has arrived, and that means an attempt at
redemption for the Tigers who look to bounce back
from a year void of post season
tournament play. Head Coach Josh Pastner enters
his seventh season at the helm, and despite a
gaudy 148-58 record, Pastner is under some
heat to not only win, but win big. The problem is the Tigers have a
roster thin on post players and loaded with newcomers, including
a whopping eight freshman. At the recent
“American” media day, the league’s coaches
picked Memphis to finish fifth. Basketball icons
like Dick Vitale, a former guest of mine
here on Sports Files, predicts the Tigers will
not make the NCAA Tournament. But don’t try telling that to
Josh and his players who feel confident they can fly under the
radar and make some big noise when it’s all said and done. The Tigers do have
several veteran players, to go along with the plethora
of first year performers, and guys like Kedren
Johnson, Avery Woodson, Markel Crawford and Trason
Burrell need to lead by example. Then there’s Shaq
Goodwin and Ricky Tarrant. Shaq is the only tiger who
has been around Memphis for four seasons. And Tarrant is a
senior playing in his first, and only campaign
with the Tigers, after stops at
Tulane and Alabama. Shaq is the only Tiger to have
faced Tarrant when Ricky was a member of the Green Wave. Today the charismatic big man
Shaq Goodwin and the confident playmaker Ricky Tarrant join me
to discuss the Tigers chances this season. A season of extreme
importance for the players, the coach and the
fans of Tiger Nation. And it’s next on Sports Files. [country music] Welcome, gentlemen. Ricky, it’s great to
have you on the program. – Thank you for having me. – Pleasure to meet you Shaq. Always a pleasure. – Nice to see you. – First of all, let
me start with this, Ricky. I covered some games,
did some play by play when Memphis played Tulane. And you were a freshman there. And I said, “Whoa,
this guy can score.” And here you are after your
stint at Alabama coming to Memphis to help out the Tigers. Why Memphis? Why did you pick Memphis? – Man, I knew it was
a great situation for me and for the team. You know, I seen.. I watched a couple
of games last year. I got a chance to
watch the games. I seen a lot of talent. You know, just during
the recruitment process, just talking with
the coaches and, of course, talking with Shaq and
some of the players coming back. I knew we had a great chance of
making the tournament and being really good this year. So, I bet.. I thought this was the
best situation for me. – And Shaq, your
paths crossed when, of course, you were at Memphis
playing Tulane when Ricky was there. – Yes, my freshman year. Not to mention, we got the win. – But this guy
could score the ball. What do you think of him and how
much does he help out this team? – I think he helps us a lot
in a lot of different ways. We saw from the game my freshman
year when we played him here at the FedEx Forum. He can score but
now he’s a veteran. So, he brings the experience
and a lot of things that those younger guards can’t offer just
simply because they’re freshmen. – Let me go back in the summer. Obviously it was a bombshell
with your compatriot at the big position, Austin Nichols,
leaving to transfer. What was that like? And obviously, how quickly did
you guys get over that and move on from that? – Well, it was surprising
because nobody expected it. But we had to move on
as soon as we could. It was really ASAP. We had eight new freshmen. Well, seven at the time. We have eight now. So, we had to get them
adjusted to the system right then and there. It wasn’t like, you
know, a mourning period. But it was more of a, okay,
accept information and move on as quick as possible. And our freshmen have adjusted. – I know there were a lot of new
players on last year’s roster. Now with this roster, Shaq
said eight new freshmen. A couple of guys that are
playing for the first time. Ricky, of course, you and
Caleb Wallingford was a baseball player. How do you integrate
all these new guys? Is the chemistry there or
has that been an issue? – I mean, it’s something
that’s getting better at practice everyday. You know, of course,
chemistry takes a long time. But I think the guys are doing a
great job with just practice and working real hard together. We’re learning from each other. We’re learning the system. We’re learning the culture. So, I think it’s been
a great experience. I mean, of course, you know it’s
going to be bumps in the road because, you know, we haven’t
been together like other teams. Maybe two or three years. I think it’s going to
be a great year still. – Shaq, Coach Pastner talked
about it used to be three around two, meaning three
wings around two bigs. Now it’s four around one. You guys are very thin up front. Nick Marshall is a kid who
I think has a bright future. But there’s a lot
depending on you. But it’s a different style
that you guys will play. So, talk about it and how you
adjust from what you normally do to this new attack, this new
offense that Memphis will run this year. – Um, it is new. It’s new to the program at least
since I’ve been here to be four around one. But I think.. I think when I played AAU, AAU
in high school is more of an up and down style of tempo. I think that’s the style
that I’m always accustomed to playing. You know, just a
style of having energy, being able to go up
and down the court. So, I think myself and the team
will adjust easily since we have the kind of players who are not
so much back to the basket type players besides Nick Marshall. I think it was just easy. – So, that’s when you expect a
team that’s going to get up and down the court, beat your
opponent down the floor, score in transition, and get
back on the transition defense? – Don’t let me
limit us to that just, you know, be
categorized like that. But we’ll be good
at that, for sure. I want to say that, for sure. So, I’m not saying
we’ll only be good at that. But I know we will
be good at that. – Ricky? – You know, Coach
has been, you know, preaching a lot
about transition, you know, and just.. Which, in order
to get transition, you got to get defensive style. So, I think that we’re going
to be a great defensive team this year. So, you know, just getting
out the transition gate, that’s what every
team wants to do. But like Shaq said, that’s
something we’re going to be really good at. But we’ll also have to be good
in the half court in order to be successful this year. – You have to make shots. You have to knock
down outside shots. You’ve been known to
knock down outside shots. You’re going to be called upon. Woodson, other guys on this
team that have to hit the shots. If you don’t like the shots,
that puts you beyond the eight ball. Right? – I think we’re
going to have, you know, a great year. We have a lot of
guys that can step out. You know, Shaq. You know, Nick. A lot of freshmen, they’ve
been working on their shot. But everybody has really
been working on their shot this summer and, you
know, in the off season. So, I think it’s going to be a
great year as far as scoring the ball and getting out
and just having fun. – Veteran players like
Ricky but new to the program. Kedren had been
around one season. But Shaq, this falls
on your shoulders. You’re the leader on this team. This is four years now. You have all these new guys. How do you take
them under your wing? How do you teach them and get
them integrated so you guys are all focused
on the purpose and that is winning
basketball games. – I keep them to a
family and together mindset. Because to me it’s
not on, you know, he’s a leader so he leads them. It’s more of a, you
know, like you said. I can help, you know,
show you how to get there. But it’s a together effort. So, I just try to show them
to do everything together as family. Work hard. We work out. When we lift weights.. Anything we’re doing, you know,
whether it’s on court or off the court, do it together. Build that kind of
chemistry, like you said, on and off the court. And that’s just what
I try to emphasize. Just togetherness all the way. And I believe that’s what
takes you over the hump. You’re one of
the most popular players in University
of Memphis history. People love you. The fans love you. We have seen you go out
there and dominate games. We have always seen you go out
there at times and disappear. We wonder, “Where’s Shaq?” They need you every single game. How can you be more
consistent this year? This is the finale, too. You’re looking at a pro
career down the road. How important is it
for ya this season? – I talk to Coach Pastner
all the time about me being consistent and me and him both
know that’s with me in my head. That’s all in my head. Keeping the minor distractions
that I’ve allowed in the past to distract me on the court. Keeping those away and
just being 100% focused. I’ll be fine. – Ricky, we know you’re
more accustomed to the point, you’ve told me. But you play probably
both guard positions. Talk about that. I’m ready. You know, this summer,
I’ve been used to since, you know, high school. I played some. At Tulane, I played some two. At Alabama, I played some guard. So, you know, it’s not really
about what position I’m at. It’s really about just
doing what the team needs. You know, rebounding, getting.. You know, guarding the
best guard on the other team. You know, getting steals. I’m just trying to.. Just to win and
make everybody better. – How important is it to
get to the free throw? It seems like Josh Pastner’s
always emphasized that. You have to knock him
down when you get there. But to penetrate, to get
inside, to get fouled, to go to the free throw line. – I think it’ll put
us at an advantage, you know, to get teams in
the double bonus to win. It’s an advantage
because, like I said, we’re not a big team but
we’re a very quick team. You know, us playing four
rounds and lost the guards. They have go to
penetrate in the last second. It uses
athleticism around the rim. I think it’ll be great. – Shaq, how do you look at it
when you’re not expected to win the conference championship? There are many that don’t
believe you could make the tournament, which could
be two years in a row. Does that give you more fire
in the belly knowing that the expectations are not as high and
that people are doubting you? – Well, I don’t think its
necessarily the fact that people are doubting us. Because since I’ve been
here, they’ve doubted us. Even my freshman year. – So, you’re saying
it’s nothing new? – It’s nothing new. Even my freshman
year, there was doubt. I think to me, it’s definitely
a personal fire because I see.. You know, I see a difference in
the city and the media from my freshman year to now. You know, I can just
tell the difference, you know, from when you’re
doing well and not doing well. So, I think it’s a
personal fire within me. But no animosity,
you know, that.. There’s no
animosity built into fire. It’s personal. – What did you know about
Memphis and the Memphis fans and the love affair they have with
this program when you decided to come here? – I knew it was a
great fan base just from, you know, watching Memphis
basketball in the past and obviously playing against
Memphis and being in the FedEx Forum, you know, talking
to the players about it. So, you know, it’s of
course this would be the most, you know, fan base basketball
school I’ve played in. So, you know, I’m
really excited. – You didn’t come here
not to make the tournament. – Not at all. I came here to make it. – How confident are you that
you’re going to get to the tournament? – I’m really
confident in this team. Like we said, we don’t.. You know, Coach talks
to us about the media. But we’re not
worried about what people, you know, project us to be or
what people expect us to be. We just come here
every day to get better. You know, just leave
it all on the court. So, you know, I’m really
confident in this team and the players. We’ll have a great season. – Damon Stoudamire, who you’ve
been here when he was a coach the first time
around, is back now. Obviously guys that
play the guard position, I’m sure, are thrilled to have
somebody to lean on that has the experience that
Coach Stoudamire has. – It’s been great. You know, a lot of
players get a lot of workouts. But what people don’t know is
he’s more than just a guard coach. He does a great job of
teaching the team defense and, you know, just doing
what it takes to win. Because, you know, obviously he
comes from a winning background. So, I think Coach has done a
great job of just helping us out not only with guards and the
skills set but just the bigs and teaching them how, you know,
angles to score in and defense how to be successful. So, he’s been a
great addition to us. – Let’s talk about some of these
new guys because there’s a lot of people out there
that may not know. They’ve heard of them
but they may not know what they’re all about. Let me start with,
again, the bigs. We’re thin there. But you have a guy like
Nick Marshall with a lot of potential. How’s he looking? – He’s looking really good. He’s still a little
raw from high school. I think Georgia Tech scrimmage
was really good for us because we got a chance to see
him against an opponent. And seeing somebody who’s
raw against an opponent, you get to see a lot of
things that need work. So, the past couple of
days we’ve been working on.. Well, basically watching film,
seeing what we needed to work on. So, I think he’ll adjust quickly
because I know he’s smart. He’s really young
to be a freshman. So, you know, he catches on to
things quickly since he had to adjust so quickly coming
staright out of high school, skipping the 12th grade. So, smart kid. Like I said, a little raw. But he’ll adjust fine. – Shaq, the Lawsons. How important,
especially Dedric, but K.J. —
he’s a gamer. How important are those two
young men for this season? – They’re major. They offer us so many things. It’s hard to.. It’ll be hard to scout for them. You know, scout against them. And the both of them. Like I said, they.. They’re a little raw from high
school as well as far as the physicality of the game. I say give them a few days,
watch some film and they’ll be ready to go as well. – Ricky, some of
these young guards. First of all, what would be your
advice to them being around the game as long as you have been? – You know, just
tell them, just, you know, I was
talking to Jeremiah. Just when you first
come in as a freshman, you know, you’re kind of lost. You don’t know what to expect. So, I tell them just
learn as much as you can. You know, of course
you’re going to struggle, you know, coming out of
high school to college. You know, different
speed, the strength. You know, players are different. So, you know, my
job is just being.. Just trying to teach them
ways to be successful on and off the court. I think, you know, they’ve
done a great job of listening. All the freshmen,
they work really hard. And you can tell that,
like I said earlier, they’re eager. – Who may be the break out guy
this season out of that group? – That’s a hard question. All of them are looking good. Craig Randall, he might be
one of the best shooters I ever played with. K.J., he plays
hard all the time. Dedric, we call him smooth. He is the laid back brother. But he’s very skilled. He can.. He drove us like a point guard. You know, he can shoot
it like a two guard. So, you know, I
think Randall Broddie, he’s really athletic. So, I think all the
freshmen bring their own, you know, skill set to the game. So, I really think
it’ll help us out. – Another veteran player that’s
in the back court who has had his issues with the
shoulder and still, as we tape this, we don’t know. But we know he’s
out there practicing and that’s Kedren Johnson. A very important
part of the team. He was big down the
stretch last year for Memphis. What’s it like and how do you
anticipate playing with him on the floor together? – I’m very excited
to play with him. You know, his IQ is very high. He’s always
positive on the court. He tried his best
to keep guys up. So, it’s going to be
exciting having him this year. – Shaq, Trahson Burrell,
always around the ball. Always makes things happen. Avery Woodson,
knocking down the threes. Important players
for last season. They will be extremely
important this year. Talk about those two. – Those two will
especially be important. Avery, three point
shooter from last season. He’s ready to go. I think he’ll be
ready to, you know, boost up his
percentage from last season. Trahson, however you
want to pronounce it. I talk to him frequently. He’s excited and
ready for this season, ready to get him to be more
consistent where he needs to be. You know, they
both are ready to go. I mean, I’m just ready to
see how we look on Friday. – Ricky, Coach
Pastner, what’s it been like? – It’s been a great experience. Coach Pastner, he’s a great guy. He lets you on the court. He lets you play the game. He doesn’t hold anyone back. You know, Coach P just wants
to be successful just like us. You know, we all
have the same vision. – Shaq, if you could change one
thing in your four years here at Memphis, what would it be? – If I could change one thing
in my four years at Memphis… – Are you happy with everything
that’s happened in four years? – I’m embracing it. My whole four years.. That’s a good question. I got to answer
that the right way. Uh.. Over the last four years.. I think, um, I think would
have took advantage of the relationship I had with
my teammates a lot more. – In what way? – I can say that. I can say previous
years, of course, we knew each other as a team. But the team wasn’t as close
at the team could have been. And I feel that I
could have always, each of those years, I
could have been the glue guy. But, you know, I just
fell in the category. Kind of blended in a little bit. – I see what you’re saying. But this year, you
have to be that glue guy. – That’s right. If I want the
results that I want, you know. If I want results that are
better than the results that I had before. – Right. And I assume you’re ready to
embrace that leadership role. – Right. Now I see what I haven’t done. And I see what I can do. It’s just opportunity. – What do you
think of the schedule, Ricky? – I think it’s a great schedule. You know, we opened up
Southern Miss at home. Oklahoma at home. Those are two great games. You know, I’m not going to
say that’s going to define our season. But it’s going to
tell us, you know, what we need to work on and
what we need to get better at. But we expect to come out on
fire and win as many games as possible. – Big non conference
game against Ohio State. Obviously then you get
into conference play. A lot of talented
teams out there. Shaq, last year, slow start. May not be the end all be all. But it is sort of important
to get out to a good start, especially to try to
win this fan base back. Right? – Definitely,
definitely, definitely. And like I said, I talk to Coach
P all the time about being more consistent from the jump. And me and him actually been
talking about us playing for the program and that’s it. You know, playing for
the program and that’s it. Because that’s
really all that’s there. So, it’s not about, you
know, what’s coming in. – And there’s no do-overs. You’re a senior,
you’re a senior. This is it. – The finale, yeah. – Saturday,
Southern Miss, the opener. Looking forward to it. I know it was a
rough off season. You came in late but Shaq
knows all about what happens. Very rare when a Memphis Tigers
basketball team is not playing post season ball. I fully expect that you guys
will lead the way and get this team back to the promise land. Well, Ricky, thanks again. Looking forward to
watching you play out there. Shaq, have a
great senior season. – Thanks for having me. – Thank you so much. We’ll take a break. Overtime is next. [theme music] The U.S. Olympic women’s boxing
trials took place last week in Memphis and it was a smashing
success for former Sports Files guest Ginny Fuchs who beat rival
Marlan Esparza to win the featherweight division and put
herself in position to represent the Stars and Stripes at
the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio De Janeiro. Joining Fuchs, Lightweight
division winner Mikaela Mayer and Middleweight
champ Claressa Shields, the 2012 Olympic gold medalist. All three must now finish
high at the Continental or World Championships to
secure their spot, and that seems very likely. The hardest part was surviving
and advancing in Memphis. [dramatic music] (off screen male)
Congratulations. You told us when you were
here for the announcing of the tickets going on sale,
you told us that you had
to go through Marlan. And you did. – Yes, I did. And twice. But I had a great training camp
and I was ready for anybody who was put in front of me. And I knew I was likely
fighter in the tournament. And most likely twice or
it could happen twice. So, you know, I just stayed
focused and I was prepared and did what I had to do out there. – Describe the fight for us. – I will say it was close. I made it a little too
close than I wanted it to be. But I kept my composure, which I
had been working on in training camp and not
getting too excited. And I didn’t let her
get on her rhythm. She started to get on her
rhythm just a little bit. But I made sure she
wouldn’t keep that rhythm. And I stuck to the game
plan that we had in my corner. – Describe for us
your preparation now for the Olympics. – Well, going into the Olympics,
I pretty much have a great team behind me. So, and then we all work. We’re very, very well together. And so, I want to keep
them behind me no matter, you know, if I have to go to the
Olympic training center to train for, you know, a couple of
months before the Olympics. But I will always have my team
behind me and work what we’ve been working on in this training
camp to win this trials. [ding-ding] – Well congratulations. Welcome back to Memphis. – Thank you. – Tell us about this fight. How did it go? What did you do
to win this fight? – Today, this
fight was definitely.. You know, she wanted to
make it by going to Sunday. I was not having that. No, no, no. I believed that I
was on every round, even the rounds
where I was on the rope. So, three and oh. Two time Olympian. There you have it. – So how excited are you to go
back and defend your title and defend your medals? – I’m just so excited. You know, my whole body,
everything on me feels so numb right now. I feel like this is a dream. The wait of who’s going to the
2016 Olympics is over for me. And at least, you know,
the fight is tomorrow. But me and Ginny Fuchs, we’re
going to the 2016 Olympics. – Do you feel like you
got a target on your back? Every woman boxer in the world
now in your weight class is got their sights set on you. – It’s always been like that. You know, it’s been like
that for the last three years. You know, I won Olympics 2012. And then 2014, I won
the World Championships. And I won every
tournament ever since then. So, I already know that
there’s a big target on my back. I’m just going to train harder,
get in better shape and get prepared for those girls
who really want to bring it. But girls abroad don’t
fight like the girls here in the U.S.A. And I keep telling everybody. I told everyone. My biggest competition will
be here in the United States. Because one, the judging
is a little bit different. They like.. In international, I can do
a lot more boxing and get it three and oh. Here in the United States, I can
do the boxing but I also have to be, you know, aggressive. You know, more aggressive
than I like to be nowadays. But abroad, I don’t have to. So, it’s definitely. I think the road to the Olympics
is just a straight shot. And I got it. I can see it. But I know it’s going to
be a lot of ups and downs. I’ve got almost a whole year
to go before the Olympics. – What do you have to work on
to get yourself in shape to be prepared for the Olympics? – To be prepared
for the Olympics, you really just can’t pinpoint
three or four things to get you in shape. You got to be
ready for, you know, you got to work on everything. I’m fast but I
got to get faster. I got to get stronger. I have to gain some weight. I came in this morning
weighing 150 pounds. I tried to weigh 164. And it just didn’t
work out that way. So, you know, I
have a lot to work on. You know, my foot work. My inside fighting. Really everything has to be
sharper than what it was 2012 because there’s footage
of me out there fighting. I have the Olympics out there. The Pan American Championship. The World Games. All that stuff on the internet. So, you know, it’s really just
more of having some discipline and really just a
lot of hard work. A lot of hard work is going
to be done going into the 2016 Olympics. – Well, to help you put
on some of that weight, you could always hit some of the
barbecue places around here and get you some vitamin Q. – Yeah, or some Gus’s
Chicken or something. Yeah, sounds good. [dramatic music] – Congratulations
to all and a big thumps up to Prize Fight
President Brian Young and his staff for putting on another
top notch boxing event in the Bluff City. The Memphis Tigers football
squad is ranked 13th in the first College Football
selection committee top 25. It’s uncharted
territory for Memphis, which continues to be one of
the biggest stories in all of college pigskin. The Tigers look to stay unbeaten
and improve on the nation’s third longest winning
streak when they play host to Navy tonight. The Tigers currently
have won 14 straight. And that will do it for now. Have a great week and
we’ll see you next time. [theme music] (female announcer)
Production funding
for Sports Files is made
possible in part by… (male narrator)
Infiniti of Memphis has
moved to Germantown road just half mile north of
Wolfchase Galleria and is proud to support WKNO for its quality
broadcasting and service to our community. Quality and service —
No wonder Infiniti of Memphis feels at
home on WKNO.

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