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Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Tigers Practice Update

Calipari: Team set to shoot down reports

By Dan Wolken, Memphis Commercial Appeal
October 24, 2006

Seth Davis, a college basketball writer for Sports Illustrated and studio commentator for CBS, joined the ranks of those wondering whether the Memphis Tigers have enough sharpshooters to be a national contender. After taking in Memphis' practice last Wednesday, he wrote an article about the Tigers on over the weekend and criticized the team's shooting.

"Unfortunately, even a great pressing team has to make open shots once in a while, and I have to say I didn't see a whole lot of splashing going on," Davis wrote. "In fact, of all the major college practices I've witnessed over the years, Wednesday's was one of the worst collective shooting displays I've seen." Though the Tigers' shooting has been questionable at times during practice, coach John Calipari said his team shoots better than people nationally think right now.

"You watch us today, we made a bunch of shots today," Calipari said. "We're one of those teams that, if you think you're just not going to guard people or you think, 'We'll just play zone and give them jumpers,' you're not going to beat us. I don't think we lose that way."

The Tigers seem to progressively make more jump shots each day, with senior Jeremy Hunt, sophomore Robert Dozier and freshmen Tre'Von Willis and Doneal Mack probably the most consistent shooters.

Hunt said Davis just caught the Tigers on an off day.

"He probably saw the 3s we missed that were wide open and felt like, well, we're not a good shooting team," Hunt said. "But what about the ones we make? We take stuff like that and just get better as a team. That should tell guys to get in the gym more, shoot more jump shots, make more shots and shoot the same shot every time and concentrate."

Injury report

Despite being unable to run or do heavy conditioning since his right knee surgery last Monday, freshman forward Pierre Niles' weight hasn't increased.

Niles, whose goal before the injury was to get down to 275 before the season, weighed in Monday at 279.

"My weight ain't no big deal right now," Niles said. "I know I can get that down in a week or two. Right now I'm 279 and by the time I get on the court I'll be 270 or something like that. I'm keeping my weight steady."

In other injury news, Hunt's lower lip was gashed toward the end of practice when he collided with Joey Dorsey. Hunt said he was fine.

-- Dan Wolken: 901-529-2365

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