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Still a work-in-progress, the Memphis basketball team's schedule will feature 12 home games

Commercial Appeal Memphis logo Commercial Appeal Memphis 10/23/2020 Jason Munz, Memphis Commercial Appeal
a person standing on a stage: Memphis Tigers Head Coach penny Hardaway talks to his team before they take on Jackson State at the FedExForum on Saturday, Dec. 21, 2019. © Joe Rondone/The Commercial Appeal Memphis Tigers Head Coach penny Hardaway talks to his team before they take on Jackson State at the FedExForum on Saturday, Dec. 21, 2019.

The Memphis basketball team will play 12 of its 27 games this season at FedExForum. 

The latest tidbit on the 2020-21 scheduling front is according to Jeff Crane, the school's deputy athletic director. During an interview on Sports 56-WHBQ, Crane told co-hosts Greg Gaston and Eli Savoie the Tigers will play two of their seven non-conference games at home and one true road contest. He did not specify which non-conference teams Memphis would face.

“What’s ended up happening, you almost just take the entire schedule, from a non-conference standpoint, and you almost just throw it in the trash and start over,” Crane said Tuesday. “That’s pretty much the process we’re going through right now. We’re just not quite there yet on the opponents. (Our opponents) are going through the exact same scenario on their side. That's why, frankly, it just takes time." 

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The American Athletic Conference announced a 20-game, double round-robin, home-and-home format, which accounts for the other 10 home games on the Tigers' docket. The league has not released any other details. 

According to the most recent Shelby County health directive, which was issued Oct. 6, a minimum of 6-feet of social distancing will be required at FedExForum. The university initially announced a maximum of 1,500 spectators for Tiger home games, but that was prior to Oct. 6. A university spokesperson told The Commercial Appeal Ththe school does not yet have an updated capacity figure. 

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Crane also said Memphis anticipates it will play only one of its two non-conference neutral site games – either Tennessee or Auburn. Tennessee coach Rick Barnes subsequently ruled out the possibility of the Tigers-Vols matchup taking place this season. A spokesman for UT told Knox News the two schools are working toward playing the game in Nashville during the 2021-22 season. 

In May, the Tigers announced it would face Auburn on Dec. 12 at State Farm Arena in Atlanta as part of Holiday Hoopsgiving. 

Memphis is already confirmed for three non-conference games, including what will be its season opener against Ohio State at 3:30 p.m. Nov. 25, at the Crossover Classic in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. 

Earlier this month, the NCAA mandated a 27-game maximum for men's basketball teams. The Tigers were originally scheduled to host Mississippi Valley State, Arkansas State, Central Arkansas, Murray State and Saint Louis. Other road games initially on the schedule were dates at Ole Miss and Georgia. 

“The opponents that are going to have to be put off to another year, we feel very confident we’ll be able to reschedule those games,” Crane said.

Reach sports writer Jason Munz at jason.munz@commercialappeal.com or on Twitter @munzly.

This article originally appeared on Memphis Commercial Appeal: Still a work-in-progress, the Memphis basketball team's schedule will feature 12 home games

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