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Sunday, October 15, 2006

Tiger Camp Report / Recruiting Update

Tiger basketball camp report

October 15, 2006

Injury sidelines Niles Freshman forward Pierre Niles will miss the next three weeks of practice after undergoing an arthroscopic procedure on his right knee scheduled for early this week.

The decision was made to scope the knee after soreness forced Niles to miss practice Saturday. Though Niles participated in Memphis Madness on Friday and looked good in the scrimmage, he had been bothered by soreness for several days. "In a way, (it's good) it happens early," coach John Calipari said. "Second thing is, you know now this isn't a dude that's trying to get out of practice. He was hurt.

"When you're playing this sport, those things happen."

Recruiting update

At least heralded point guard recruit Derrick Rose liked the University of Memphis enough to stick around and watch both practices Saturday.

That, however, is about the extent of the information that has come out of Rose's official visit to campus so far since Rose on Saturday did not want to talk to reporters about his impressions of the Memphis program or whether he's any closer to choosing his college destination.

That's not entirely surprising. Rose, rated the No. 1 point guard in the nation and No. 3 player overall by, hasn't said much publicly throughout the recruiting process.

Though the 6-foot-2 Rose said earlier this summer he was also considering Indiana, Kansas and DePaul, Memphis has been perceived nationally as the leader, an opinion that certainly wasn't discredited when the Chicago native chose to make his official visit for Friday night's Memphis Madness celebration.

Per NCAA rules, members of the Tigers' coaching staff are not allowed to comment on unsigned recruits.

Coach's corner

Everything about freshman Willie Kemp's game is lightning-quick, which ultimately will make him a valuable point guard in the Tigers' up-tempo motion offense.

But Calipari is trying to get Kemp's brain operating at a slower speed.

"This is what's hard about how we play -- your feet have to move really, really fast, and your mind has to move slow," Calipari said. "Normally, when your feet are moving fast, your mind's moving the same way. It's like the great baseball players would see the seams on the baseball. It all slows down. ... Andre (Allen) does a pretty good job of it; he's more of a bulldog kind of player and will bring it right up your throat, which is what we need at times. Willie is a little bit different. He can do that, but what I'm trying to get him to do is be able to play really fast, but don't have your mind moving that fast."

Kemp said he's beginning to get the hang of it.

"There's so many situations that we can run out of these plays, I have to think out there," Kemp said. "I feel I'm getting better day by day."

-- Dan Wolken

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